“Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love ”
Leonard Cohen, Canadian Songwriter
Well once again it’s Saturday here in Aotearoa, the Land of the Long White Cloud and therefore, time for Six Word Saturday. My six words are in the title of this blog – Getting Ready to Return to Normal.
Here in New Zealand, we are close to coming out of lockdown and working out what is our new normal to be.
Since mid-March, we have been going through the Alert Levels with 4 being the strictest and the longest. We moved quite seamlessly into Level 3, still pretty restricted, people staying at home and shopping mainly online, except for grocery stores, chemists and other essential services. Travel was still restricted to local areas and gatherings of up to 50 could be held for funerals, tangihangas (Maori funerals), and weddings but no receptions were allowed. We could walk for exercise daily but gyms were still closed and 2 metres social distancing was in place. So into Level 2 where we have been since May 27. Things are certainly much easier. Most schools and childcare centres have reopened; many businesses are working, retail outlets are open but everywhere we are reminded that social distancing is still required.
And now we are looking forward to going to Alert Level 1 next week. It has been hinted at but not yet confirmed. As before, we expect Jacinda Ardern our PM to make the announcement on Monday and we will then go into the lower level at 11.59 pm on Wednesday.
We have been more fortunate than most. We have no borders backing any other country so it was relatively easy to close our borders, our government acted hard and early in the fight against the virus and it seems to have worked. However, now is not the time to become complacent. We have seen how the virus can suddenly resurface as in other countries.
So we are looking forward to next Wednesday and of course, we have a General Election coming up in September. We know the world will not be watching this election as they will be watching the one in the United States. But for us, in our little corner of the world, it will certainly show whether Ms Ardern and her government have done enough for the majority of New Zealanders to give them another three years in power. We will watch with interest what comes out of the woodwork over the next one hundred and four days.
And now is the time for a little self-care –
I hope you will soon be in a position to say “We ‘re getting ready to return to normal”