16 Feb The Disastrous Year
This short book is dedicated to the superwoman, Jacinda Ardern. Thank you for being such a great leader and bringing New Zealand to a great place in life now!
Chapter 1: Covid-19
Early 2020, the world was told to go into lockdown!
No one knew why, until we all switched on our televisions and heard the big global news. The WHO (World Health Organisation) had found out a few weeks ago that there was a dangerous virus that was spreading so fast, like butter around the universe. New Zealand had a big change. The students all over New Zealand had to go home and study online, they had to attend zoom meetings every morning to talk to their teachers. Not only children, but some working parents had to stop and work from home. The very next day, people all over New Zealand were queuing in lines to get tested for the virus. Everywhere you went, all you would see were empty roads and people socially distancing from each other by 2 metres.
Two weeks turned into two months of lockdown in New Zealand. People were saying that being in lockdown was actually a good thing when you think about it.
When not in lockdown, New Zealanders said that they had seen all the roads full of traffic every morning and witnessed accidents on the motorway every night. They had also noticed the pollution in the air and had seen all the plastic and rubbish being dumped everywhere. Ever since lockdown started, we had all seen the “big change” in how the birds and the animals had clean air to breathe and the sea creatures were lucky enough to swim freely in a plastic-free ocean.
A few months passed by and we had finally been released out of our three-month lockdown of being at home 24/7. The air was once again polluted with gas, the oceans and beaches were filled with plastic bags and the roads were once again queued with cars.
Suddenly, on the night of the 11th of August, while the rest of the country was in Level 2, Auckland was put back into Alert Level 3. It seemed to be that a few cases of Covid-19 had re-appeared in the community. After a few weeks, Auckland moved down to Alert Level 2 while the rest of New Zealand moved to Level 1. Can you imagine being in Lockdown for two months at first, out of lockdown for a while, and then all of a sudden moving to Level 3 again in the middle of the year?
Lockdown was a once in a lifetime experience, even for those who experienced SARS-CoV-2 in 2002. SARS-CoV-2 became the first worldwide deadly virus to cause a lockdown, though it did not reach New Zealand. The virus started in 2002 and stopped completely in 2003.
Chapter 2: The Rush for Vaccines
While the pandemic was still going on, the World Health Organisation had been working with some scientists and were racing to find a vaccine as fast as they could in order to help stop the global pandemic. A few months passed by and the WHO announced that there was a vaccine by Pfizer. The first batch of vaccines was given to New Zealand on 15/02/2021. The only issue was that they would only give vaccines to people over the age of 65 years. Months passed by and the government had decided that vaccinating people over 65 years wasn’t enough, so they started handing out letters to the workers in the medical industries, and to the people that made items for medical reasons. The government then had said that after 28 July 2021 the public people of New Zealand could get vaccinated. But there was still an issue. People that were under the age of 16 weren’t eligible for the vaccine. Eventually, students aged 12+ were told to get vaccinated.
Chapter 3: Never-ending Virus
Although months passed by in lockdown, New Zealand was just going in and out of the levels. A few months go by and we shift down alert levels. We managed to spend about six months out of lockdown. Then, suddenly, when things were just at the peak of getting better, we heard about the second variant – Delta. Delta was the second wave and it started striking more and more people day by day. With Jacinda Ardern taking action immediately, we were put in Level 4 at that time. After a month of lockdown, some parts of the country were getting better. Because of this, Prime Minister Jacinda decided to shift the country, apart from Auckland, to Level 2. Auckland, however, stayed in Level 4, moving to Level 3 a few weeks later. Having said this, it is a never-ending virus, and none of us knows what will happen next.
Caught in a bubble,
Only to see a world crumble.
Ready to have an ending,
Or to see our lives mending.
Not able to be academic there is
A never-ending pandemic.
Viruses floating everywhere,
In and out of a square.
Restless days being spent on Zoom calls,
Unattended desolated malls.
Schools are going to be empty, teachers are waiting to give an entry!
A well-known country named New Zealand had to go through some tough times, along with the rest of the world. This story is based on how the world thinks of others and how life is just the way it is. We all have tough times and this short book is about the ongoing pandemic and the repetitive lockdown periods that occur every few months.
Lakshmi Thilakeswaran – Year 10