By Local Matters general manager Jannette Thompson
A year like no other in living memory is how many of us will look back on 2020. The stuff of Hollywood movies suddenly became our reality and words such as bubbles, clusters, quarantine, lockdown, community transmission and asymptomatic entered our day-to-day vocabulary. Health workers and professionals donned masks and became the new superheroes, while other less obvious pandemic heroes also emerged. Among these were the legion of supermarket employees up and down the country who smiled behind masks and Perspex shields while making sure shoppers didn’t sneak an extra pack of toilet rolls or bottle of hand sanitiser into their trolley.
The post-Covid fallout is still unfolding, although we know already of the devastation it has caused the airline and tourism industries. Many hospitality businesses have gone to the wall, while other small retailers are just taking it one day at a time. On the positive side though, things are looking good for farmers and supermarkets, and some businesses in construction and related fields are powering ahead, busier than they have ever been.
But wherever you sit on the Covid-19 repercussions spectrum, Kiwis can thank their lucky stars that they live on small islands at the bottom of the world, with stable and coherent leadership.
We’re not out of the woods yet, but it is to be hoped that with the rollout of vaccines, the world has at least turned a corner.
It would take a brave soul to predict what might happen next year, but our communities have shown an inspiring level of resilience, kindness and innovation. There are many lessons to be learned from the past year, but perhaps the one that resonates most loudly is not to take anything for granted. The future promises us nothing, so enjoy today, especially at this time of year.
Merry Christmas to all our advertisers, delivery people and readers, and we look forward to bringing you all the news from our communities again next year.
Merry Christmas from the Mahurangi Matters team.