Down under in NZ we are celebrating being possibly the most successful in the world in fighting COVID (we are competing with Iceland right now, but we are just ahead at the moment). Here is an official release from the NZ Govt. We have had no cases for 8 consecutive days now.
The "go hard, go early" philosophy seems to have worked well for us and we are now arguably the most open country (as a whole) with gathering allowed up to 100, stores open along with pubs and bars, and our tourist industry is coming to life again, powered by internal tourists - although we hosted 50,000 foreign tourists throughout the lockdown. The film industry is coming to life again, with the next two installments of AVATAR resuming filming, along with a bunch of other film and TV productions. Microsoft has announced they will have NZ host one of their data centres, based on our stable govt, economy, and health situation. We now have to fully energize the economy and without doubt, like most other countries, there will be major economic and social impacts. International tourism (one of our big earners) is going to take a big hit for a long time, as we are still excluding foreign entries to NZ - although Australia, and Israel are keen to join our 'bubble', and they are not far off our own situation.
Our government still seems to have massive support - 88% approval for how the pandemic has been handled here, so there is not much dissent in the ranks. We have an election in 13 weeks, with the opposition polling at under 30%, it's the current party's election to lose I think.
On a more local scale, in Auckland (NZ's biggest city of 1.5 million), as we enter our winter season, we have been in drought for over 5 months now and are facing water restrictions as Auckland's reservoirs drop towards 40% - they are usually in the mid-70% range at this time.
This is our first long weekend since Easter and the last for the next 5 months. It is also the first holiday weekend since our lockdown restrictions were relaxed, so of course everyone wanted to get out of the city. However, in traditional fashion it is raining all weekend - not enough to ease our water problems (that will take weeks of solid rain) but it all helps. So we stayed home and have kept warm, dry and unstressed by traffic jams from holidaymakers.
I continue to look after my partner who is slowly losing her battle with the cancer, and she is less functional and sleeps a lot right now. It was her birthday on Thursday, with lots of love expressed by those who know her, I hope we get to celebrate at least one more.
Stay safe and well everyone...