Hands up if you had no idea yesterday was a traffic light announcement day.
My hand is up. I was so oblivious, it was like stepping back in time, I thought the Herald had the wrong headline up when it ran front page news that Chris Hipkins had announced we were staying in an Orange light. Really? No kidding.
Didn’t even know the prospect of coming out of that was on the cards. That’s how brow-beaten we all are by now. We don’t even expect our full freedoms back do we?
But it seems we're staying in Orange not just due to Covid - but the flu too.
There seems to be a very nasty flu hitting Australia, we’ve had some of it here in Dunedin already, I know there're many families back to isolating and staying home with sickness. Auckland's seeing resurgence in Covid cases – up 75 percent. In fact both the shops I visited yesterday had signs up saying, ‘please be patient, we have many staff away due to Covid.’ So it appears we’re not out of the woods yet, and is worse yet to come in the form of flu?
And is it that this year's flu is expected to be really bad, hence we're staying in masks, or is that the norm now, that every winter we'll go to an Orange light and stay in masks?
Has Covid and the pandemic powers exerted by governments brought with it a change to life as we know it forever?
Will there be a time that we once again go maskless in winter? Or will they just be the bad old days?
Once the border fully opens in July and more Kiwis are travelling for school holidays and winter escapes, we will be back to circulating the usual bugs and viruses. And our immune systems will be unprepared having been locked down as a country for two years, and staying in our little bubbles.
But in terms of ever getting back to Green light life? I don’t see the return to freedom happening before Christmas.
But who amongst us would be brazen enough to predict anything these days? God forbid we start thinking we know what might happen or how it might unfold. Largely we just plan for the worst these days don’t we? Do we have collective PTSD from Covid? I mean Monkeypox reared its head with a handful of cases and the global panic looked to be back on immediately.
We are so scarred aren’t we?
I was in a lift yesterday and a woman came to hop in behind me and then she paused, neither of us were wearing masks, and she said, ‘do you mind me hopping in with you without a mask?’
It’s a fair question I guess, it’s the new normal, we are paranoid about tight spaces with each other, well not all of us, but many of us. She went on to tell me she’s not had Covid, we didn’t know how we’d both dodged it so far but no one wants to be smug about that anymore given it may still come for us.
The other thing I find people volunteering is their vaccination status. I was in close proximity with a stranger in a queue the other day and they turned to me and randomly volunteered, “Oh I’m double jabbed and boosted don’t worry.”
Assuming that everyone is worried!
It’s a wacky old world we’re living in these days, when chit chat with strangers turns into volunteering vaccination status. I guess come winter we'll just be adding in the new one .. 'don't worry I've had the flu jab.'