PANDEMIC DIARY, CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND: WEEK 23

(Photo above: Chestnuts foraged from hundred-year-old trees at Hagley Golf Course and Park)

In last week’s post I expected that I would be writing from home in San Francisco. Yet I want to share a few last lingering and loving thoughts about New Zealand.

I haven’t changed my mind about leaving New Zealand to return to the U.S, but I feel melancholy and wistful. Yes, it feels like I am swimming upstream and inconceivably towards more harm than away from it. For me, it is time to return to the real world, while having escaped from it for a while. I have been to the far side of paradise but I should leave it, now that I have been here.

After five months here, I relished the many positive points about this tiny island nation. Tourists rave about its pristine beauty. For those fortunate to live here beyond a dream vacation, they will find a life worth living.

Along the Avon River in Christchurch on a lazy Sunday afternoon
Pandemic Management

Today, as New Zealand joins the bubble with its big cousin, Australia, there are new protocols. Health providers must suit up fully to administer COVID tests. The requirements change frequently as the level of safety varies. Only half of the population approve of the new bubble and another quarter are ambivalent about the changes.

In my observation and experience, New Zealanders are courteous, cautious and conservative. Those have been the trademarks of managing the pandemic successfully. They wait for the science to prove itself, so there is no rush to vaccinate. Patience is a virtue. There will be enough doses for everyone, whether you hold residency or not.

Strong family values fostered by the Maori community are often mentioned in the media. Bilingual messages delivered through public media spread the latest information about COVID-10, the importance of getting vaccinated, and personal hygiene measures to avoid COVID.

Farewell to a Cute Country

New Zealand is a country I would describe as “cute”. Its people, land formations, and customs give me a warm and endearing feeling. While it’s also “rugged” or “raw”, I am drawn to its mild-mannered people, their mindfulness, and their ability to be kind.

A Dedicated Street Performer

I don’t intend to compare the pros and cons of New Zealand characteristics with ours in the US. The world can learn alot from this tiny country that could. Over the past months, I have grown fond of New Zealanders, their tenacity, and can-do mentality. I will really miss New Zealand.

Historic working trams

Yes, back to masks. And I will perhaps be deterred from many freedoms already offered here: get my hair cut, go to a movie or attend a concert, or ride the bus mask-free. Hug friends and family readily. But maybe one day. Soon.

Four Strings, A Soprano and Four Suits: a live performance in Christchurch yesterday afternoon

Farewell, New Zealand! Til we meet again.

One thought on “PANDEMIC DIARY, CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND: WEEK 23”

  1. Beautiful post!

    Thank you Vickie for sharing your wonderful experience with us. You took us along with you. And now, it is as if we are taking the trip back home with you, going through the emotions of leaving the safety and peacefulness of this beautiful country. I am looking forward to the day when we can read your post about your going back to NZ just for fun this time. Wishing you a super smooth and pleasant trip back home to SF.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.