It’s the first day for New Zealand to be enjoying a few less restrictions during our Covid-19 lockdown. Today we dropped from Level 4 – basically, a full lockdown with only essential business operating – to Level 3. And even though some call this new phase “Level 4 with takeaways”, I think every so slight change in what we are allowed to do is major.
Besides being allowed to go surfing again – which I celebrated with a morning surf straight away – there is actually quite a lot going on. The roads were buzzing with traffic this morning. I even had to wait at the intersection to cross, which after almost five weeks of nearly empty roads, almost felt like a little surprise.
Biking to the supermarket, I hear and see construction workers getting back to where they had left things off over a month ago. Passing some of our local Cafés I pick up the sound of coffee machines steaming. Some stores even have their own “drive-through” area to get their business going in a new way of contactless services.
Over the last few weeks, the beach has been one of the busiest spots. But today I think it was even busier with most of the action happening in the ocean. I can’t remember the last time I have seen that many surfers out all at once.
Nothing has changed in terms of social distancing. We are still meant to stick to our “bubbles”, keep 2 meter distance from anyone else, and no social gatherings. There are still a lot of businesses who have to remain closed. And we are still meant to stay home just as before in hope of eliminating the virus and not having to go back to a full lockdown.
However, this action, this noise we had today feels good. Great. It’s that slice of freedom we all were hanging out for. It’s that glimpse of hope that we are moving forward. And it’s almost like a big relief knowing we have done something right.
The weeks in full lockdown made us adopt new habits and – at least for myself – grow a deep gratitude for, and appreciation of, not just life, but little things. Don’t you think?
I do hope that what we learned to appreciate over the last month or so, sticks with us going forward. That we keep remembering and don’t go back to what brought us here in the first place.