You ARE special.
You were born in New Zealand. That alone makes you rare, in this world of 7.8 billion.
At some stage, for any of a thousand reasons, you left your home country. Perhaps for adventure, or love, for opportunities to study, or work, or live in a bigger, brighter city. Perhaps you were bored here, or your life wasn’t what you wanted it to be. Or maybe you didn’t have a choice, or the choice was not yours to make.
And now you want to come home. You are welcome. Your country awaits you. We are special too. We have stayed, and worked, and played, and lately, we have suffered. We have had our freedom curtailed, our incomes reduced, the things we took for granted taken away. We have had loved ones die, and not been able to attend their funerals. We have had others sick, and not been able to comfort them. We have had our children graduate, unable to have ceremonies. We have had weddings with ten guests, where there would have been 100+. We have suffered, and, maybe, we have triumphed. But we are not at the finish line yet, and our future is precarious.
You are welcome to come home. You are special. But the lady behind the till at the supermarket? Her child has asthma, and she lives in fear of catching Covid-19 and taking it home to her child, who is vulnerable. And the nurse who will be testing you? Her husband has cancer, and is undergoing chemotherapy. His immune system is shot, and Covid-19 would be fatal, and so they are not living together. The assistant at the liquor store? He doesn’t even know, but he is immune compromised, and not only is he at risk should he catch Covid-19, but so is his newborn baby.
So please, come home. You are special. But you’re not MORE special. Not more than the supermarket worker, not more than the nurse, not more than the liquor store assistant. Not more than any single person in New Zealand. So please, come home if you need to, want to, or have to. But DON’T think you’re “more special”. That the rules don’t apply to you. That you should be entitled to compassionate leave to attend a relative’s funeral or visit a sick grandmother. Because we, too, have been unable to do those things. We, too, have felt that pain. But we are not MORE special than the rest of our team of 5 million, and so we have done our bit to protect our beautiful country, and all the special people in it. And now it’s your turn.
Come home, by all means. Join our team of 5 million, we welcome you back. But please, obey the rules. Two weeks in a four star hotel with meals provided is not punishment. It is the price you need to pay for calling New Zealand home. To be able to come to our safe haven, and live with little restrictions. To enjoy, it could be argued, the best quality of life offered by any country in the world right now.
And to those (few) of you who can’t obey the rules, or think you’re MORE special – then perhaps this is no longer the place for you. You do not belong in our team of 5 million, and you are not welcome. We have worked too hard, together, with too much cost, to risk it all on the likes of you.
Signed: A Concerned Citizen