'If it's gotta happen, it's gotta happen': Kiwis react to alert level changes

A police road block south of Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook
A police road block south of Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook
New Zealanders outside of Auckland are filled with anxiety, frustration and a touch of apathy as they grapple with the possibility of returning to life under level 3 or even level 4 restrictions.

RNZ's reporters canvassed people around the country yesterday afternoon, as news broke of 13 more cases of Covid-19 in the community.

Authorities will have to make a call today on what happens after midnight, and whether more of the country moves into further restrictions.

A Christchurch woman believed more restrictions were inevitable.

"It's already going to happen, it's just going to be our little businesses it will hit more."

Sean Farrell with Lukhan (standing) and Precious. He says further restrictions will be to protect...
Sean Farrell with Lukhan (standing) and Precious. He says further restrictions will be to protect our health, so wouldn't mind if they happened. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin
New Plymouth's Sean Farrell was one of several who are pragmatic about the prospect.

"Ahhh if it's gotta happen, it's gotta happen. It's just to keep our community safe really, so I don't really mind. At least you can save a bit of money at the same time too aye."

Tony Adson of the Hutt Valley said New Zealand needed to do its part to get the virus under control.

"I don't want it to turn into a global catastrophe. If we have to go into lockdown do it, for our health and for the world."

But there was also frustration and fear.

Will Wilson from Newtown had serious concerns for the country if a return to lockdown was ordered.

"I'm just worried that if we go to lockdown again over the whole country it's just going to be a huge impact on the economy and the people at the bottom of the stack are the ones that are going to be hurt the most by it, I think."

Johnsonville man Bob, in his 70s, said masks should be free and accessible for vulnerable people.

He was struggling to find them in supermarkets.

"We're the vulnerable group, yet we can't get masks. Masks should be available for the elderly through something like the medical centre or a pharmacy on production of some identification like a gold card or a drivers licence or something."

Faizal Kamsan of New Plymouth says the best thing we can do is spread kindness and listen to what...
Faizal Kamsan of New Plymouth says the best thing we can do is spread kindness and listen to what the authorities advise. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin
His wife, June, found lockdown rules frustrating, though understood the need for them.

"You've got so many restrictions. I mean, we can't even go to the supermarket together already, and we're only at level 2."

Christchurch shopkeeper Mohammed Sarajul Huk kept his supermarket open during the first lockdown and said he's ready to go another round, if needed.

"We are quite familiar with what's going to happen and what to do. Most of us are quite well prepared. The procedures are there, the scaling system is there on most of the shops. We have to be on the safe side."

Others out and about on Thursday said lockdown would simply be a return to a way of life that was now familiar.

New Plymouth's Danielle Reid said people were more prepared this time.

"It's not the unknown like it was last time. We know what it's like, we know the rules and stuff."

"No biggie for me," Wellington man, Phil, said. "We've done it before, we can do it again. Nothing much you can do about it."

Another Taranaki local, Faizal Kamsan, said the country was in good hands with the authorities and was confident New Zealand would beat the pandemic.

"The way I see it, we just leave it to the professionals to attend to it and we follow suit. We just brace ourselves for whatever comes because we survive almost every pandemic given to human beings.

"The best thing we need is kindness - that's it. It's everywhere."

The current lockdown provisions expire at midnight tonight.

 

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