Testing Times

We don’t have Covid-19. Yet….

Ruby and I headed up for the test, taking our place in the long line of cars. It was only when we stopped and took our place, realising that we’d be stuck in the car for hours to come, that I noticed the empty red light on my petrol gauge. It felt like we were on a mission. Part of a greater team. The lovely woman with a long ponytail and high vis security jacket was brilliant. Patiently moving along a sea of cars with a wide smile. I must’ve noticed her smile because she wasn’t wearing a mask. I could see a young mother in my rear vision mirror. Red nosed and frequently turning to her back seat  to check on a hidden capsule. It’s winter. There’s a nasty cold going around. But even a common cold is a symptom. And everyone’s worried that there could’ve been a breach.

Two poor unfortunate women left isolation in a panic, horribly distressed that they’d missed the narrow window to see their dying parent take their last breath. It’s not their fault. But they’ve made a debacle of our watertight borders. The political pendulum is threatening to swing, less than 3 months out from the election. Saint Ashley Bloomfield is less saintly. Although his calm response to a den of snapping journalists is still a masterclass for civil servants.

Cases are surging  in the United States, Brazil, India and Pakistan. We don’t really know what will happen in Africa. Europeans can return to Venice. Pristine and glorious, until tourism takes over again. But outbreaks in the state of Victoria mean we won’t have our trans-Tasman bubble any time soon. Meanwhile, putting aside the ongoing border panic, life returns to normal in Aotearoa. People are more worried about their jobs. The farmers are worried about feed and rain. City folk should be worried about the rain too. Climate change has delivered us another ‘driest season on record’.

AJ Hackett Bungy has been given some extra government money. Quite a lot actually. It’s an iconic brand, blending adventure tourism with a 100% pure NZ backdrop. But it’s going to get harder to decide who gets the rest. And what part will plentiful environmental jobs play? When we’re through this plague and the airlines return to our skies, will we return to thinking about our carbon offsets and the value of our native forests in this equation. I’m hopeful.


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