2020 is called the Year of the Rat in China. According to some history books, terrible things often occur in such year. And the prophecy came true this year. Since the beginning of 2020, Covid-19 has been spreading in China, this virus has affected many other countries, disturbing the peace of the whole world. At that time, New Zealand, with its unique conditions, was not captured by the virus. The world nowadays, however, is a community of shared destiny, and no nation can stay out of it. Not to mention that New Zealand as a country of developed economy, great environment and inclusiveness, it’s impossible for it to stand out of this crisis. Eventually, the virus invaded this pure land. Facing such menacing virus, the New Zealand government immediately issued the level four alert, which is the lockdown of the whole nation and cities in it, in order to control coronavirus.
My partner and I moved to our daughter’s place in accordance with the government regulations, so that we could take care of each other more conveniently. My life has gone through fundamental changes since we started quarantine at home.
The Chinese association in Browns Bay, in which I am a member, was shut down, so were the English class, singing and table tennis class, and chess and cards activities. My favorite game of go was also under influence, because I had to give up playing against my friends every week. Unfortunately, I had to cancel my plan: one is to travel in west Europe; and also go back to China to visit relatives.
Honestly, I was not used to quarantine at home at the beginning, but I was able to accustom myself to this kind of life after some mental adjustments. I told myself that since I had lost my chance to engage in social activities, I might just enjoy the happiness brought by my families. As an old saying goes, what you lose on the swings, you get back on the roundabout. I enjoyed every moment with my two lovely grandchildren who are full of energy. They had online classes, did homework, played the piano and practiced taekwondo, making themselves occupied every day. I also helped them with their Chinese and taught them how to play the harmonica. We played games and sang karaoke together. That was a time full of family joys.
Life wasn’t boring at all, because I made reading, watching tv and news my daily routine. From time to time, I would do some gardening like mow the lawn, those things brought me joy too. Delicious food had become the theme of our life. Every day we brainstormed to set a list for each meal. Whether Chinese food or western food, if we wanted something new we would search the recipe, in that way we tried fresh meals and had a sense of achievement. We closely followed the news every afternoon to keep up with the situation of coronavirus, looking forward to the end of lockdown.
The rapid development of Internet technology made quarantine life surprisingly easier. We had English classes, lectures and meetings on Zoom. Online shopping and online communication were very easy to access.
During lockdown, even though the whole society ceased to function properly, the supermarkets, transportation and medical systems in Auckland were still serving the citizens to ensure basic supplies. That was why our life wasn’t affected much.
Our jointed efforts put a stop on the level four alert which lasted for four weeks. It symbolized that remarkable results have been achieved in the prevention and control of the epidemic in New Zealand. Later on, the alert went down to level one. There were no new cases in 102 consecutive days. In this period of time, the society restored it normal order, so the Chinese association restarted all the activities. The members went to Shakespeare Regional Park to plant trees. ELP restarted offline English courses. We could say that the first wave of pandemic in New Zealand was well handled by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her administration, which deserved compliments from the whole world.
Nevertheless, the pandemic was still severe worldwide. The sneaky virus kept on spreading. Some cities in America and countries in Europe, Southern America even had multiple waves of this epidemic. Hence, the Prime Minister and Director-General of Health and Chief Executive repeatedly remind people to keep an eye on the virus, or it could come and hit us again.
As expected, after we reopened the border, virus invaded New Zealand again. Soon the second wave of Covid-19 started to spread in communities. To cope with this situation, level three alert was immediately implemented in Mid-August.
Despite that the epidemic was rampant, some churches ignored government regulations and had illegal conventions. Some organizations even protested against the alert for their so-called freedom and human rights. They were even against vaccines and talked nonsense such as “we must learn to coexist with coronavirus”. It was unbelievable how they despised life and trampled on science. Fortunately, the government remained strict on protection and prevention, so that the second wave of Covid-19 could be under control. It was not until September 24th that the alert went down to level two in Auckland. But now “a long tail effect” has appeared in the community transmission chain, and we can see new cases from time to time.
We didn’t expect the long-lasting pandemic to create such severe destruction, because we thought the virus would disappear in half a year. Up to now, it’s been ten months, and the situation in this world isn’t getting any better. Until September 28th, the total number of Covid-19 cases in the world has reached 32 million, with more than 996 thousand cases died. In New Zealand, 1477 people have been infected, and 25 died of it. Currently the virus is still with us, but it is the responsibility of those experts to draw lessons from previous experience. For us, we have to reflect on our own behaviors when facing such shocking numbers. From now on, we must consciously protect the ecological environment and maintain respectful to all the living creatures, otherwise Mother Nature will revenge, by creating tragedies like this in human history.
For us Chinese people, this year October 1st is special, it is the National Day, as well as the Mid-Autumn festival. The Chinese association had a plan to have a formal and proper celebration party, but now it is cancelled. There’s an old saying in China goes “while the priest climbs a post, the devil climbs ten”. As we are getting more experience about how to treat this virus, and vaccine research is progressing, we believe this is the turning point of this epidemic, which indicates that a decisive victory for mankind is just around the corner!