The big story this week, for Aucklanders especially, has been the Mt Roskill mini cluster.
It’s annoying because we’ve worked so hard and sacrificed so much and followed so many rules, that to think Level 2 could now be prolonged due to people taking the law into their own hands, is infuriating.
Someone emailed me yesterday saying they’d lost their mother 4 days ago and they had 2 sisters with families who’re all still in quarantine with 8 days to go, so they never got to see her before she passed away.
It’s a familiar story, we’ve been hearing from families in situations like this for months. It is heartbreaking for people like this, who’ve religiously followed the rules.. even ones which have dramatic impacts on their lives, to hear stories of others who’ve been more cavalier or careless.
There is no point traversing the faith over science argument, or the God will protect us argument, because we don’t really know the full extent of what’s actually happened here, and if that was the intent or belief.
Regardless though, the Church has come in for a lot of flak.
But what about the Police? If they were called back in August to shut down these secret prayer meetings during Level 3 restrictions, why didn't they get tougher than just a few warnings? Why didn't they go hard and go early when they had the chance? Why risk letting it spiral even further?
There are those who’re defending the Churchgoers, saying they’re good hard working people who didn’t deliberately set out to do the wrong thing. That they’re not anarchists who were actively working against the law.
But at the end of the day, whether they’re nice people or not, doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that everybody follows the rules.
The point of a strategic response to managing Covid is that we’re all on the same page, and by and large Kiwis are an extremely compliant bunch. We’ve seen that with the lockdowns and the support of the lockdowns, New Zealanders don’t appear to mind being told what to do and when to do it. They seem to accept this is bigger than just the individual, and if we all need to do something, then we all need to do it.
Which is why this has been so irritating for so many people. Nobody wants to be let down, nobody wants to have their sacrifice and hard work made a mockery of. And most of all, no one wants this Level 2 extended a second longer than it needs to be.
After Monday’s cabinet meeting we’ll hear our fate – whether we’re going to move down alert levels or not.
If we do, we’ll be in Level 1 by midnight Wednesday of next week, fingers crossed.
If we don’t, I think there’re going to be some very grumpy members of our already splintered team of 5 million.