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Cara Tipping Smith

Well, last Monday’s announcement seems to have put the kibosh on a South Island with different-from-North-Island rules.

Air New Zealand announced that no jabs means no flying internationally, maybe not at all.

The Government announced no jabs means no entry to New Zealand for non-citizens starting November 1.

Vaccine passports are up for discussion.

Alert Level 3 has multiple settings.

It’s getting more “nuanced”, which means more to get our heads around – and we’ve been told more changes are coming.

Bottom line – restrictions here for a while.

Vaccinations are the new “elimination”.

Outside is safer than inside (because, transmission).

Masks are staying.

Yep, we kinda knew that too – it’s what’s been happening everywhere else.

So let’s get on with it.

In these parts, we’re problem solvers. Sure, there’s some bitching and whining (hey, even in the Waitaki we have a vocal few of that kind), but mostly we dust ourselves off and stump up with solutions.

Delta Level 2 means restrictions. Delta Level 1 likely will as well.

Masks.

Masks suck but people get used to them. Alex reminds me that he’s worn many masks, in many jobs, in all weathers, inside and outside. He’s a living example of well-adjusted mask-wearing from a pre-Covid world.

It snaps me back to the days of no seatbelts, habitual drink-driving and no helmets on skis – all things we learned about, got used to or got over.

We can do this.

Vaccinations.

Yep, I’ve got the jab twice.

I had cancer for a bit, made my treatment choices and am more than five years clear, but it still breaks my heart every time someone is diagnosed.

I know they could survive relatively unscathed, like me. I also know they might not. I know that fear. I don’t want it for anyone.

Covid could be far more common than cancer (which is one in every three) and more impactful.

Nuff said.

Outside.

Summer is coming. Where we live, it’s traditionally dry. Let’s use our natural advantages. Council’s waived the fees for street furniture. The weather is on our side. We have amazing outside spaces! Let’s get busy on it.

Yellow is the new black and Covid is the new normal.

We’ve got masks, vaccinations and outdoors up our sleeves. I’d love to hear your ideas.

Cara Tipping Smith is a director of The Business Hive and the chairwoman of the Oamaru Business Collective.