If anybody said to me a year ago that the world would still be on hold with rampant Covid in mid 2021, I do not think I would have believed them. I guess we thought it would burn itself out and we would see some sort of return to the old ‘normality’. The opposite is the case. By most objective measures, the pandemic is actually getting worse and we may yet have to grapple with a scenario where a highly contagious strain emerges that is resistant to vaccines.
As we see other countries that have pursued elimination strategies now battling border incursions with new, more rampant strains, New Zealand and a number of south Pacific islands stand alone as places with no community transmission. But we have to be realistic; it is a matter of when, not if, we get another border incursion. It is the result of both good luck and good management that has kept us free so far and there will be a time when that luck fails. If you are of a mind to question how good our management has actually been, you should at least concede that it has been and continues to be better than most.
There are times I get a few pangs about not being able to travel as we used to. I miss that stimulation and inspiration. And it may be that our future offshore travel will be limited to family events, and quite possibly just to Australia. Even when travel opportunities reopen, I won’t be rushing to book further afield. Long haul air travel was never fun in better times; the prospect of sitting on aircraft for 27 hours or so (one way) wearing face masks and being attended by air crew clad from head to toe in PPE sounds grim, let alone transiting Covid hot spot air terminals on the way.
But, there are worse places to live out our dotage than here. And in this first week of our antipodean winter, all the yellows reminded me to be grateful for what we have and where we are.