Last night, I had a dream. I was in the Beehive Theatrette at Parliament, and our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was at the lectern.
All of the reporters from the Gallery were there, keyboards in hand, Twitter accounts open and at the ready. The sign language interpreter was champing at the bit to do some hand waving. Dr Ashley Bloomfield was looking at the Prime Minister, pupils dilated with affection.
Then she spoke:
“Tēnā kodo kādoa. Today the Cabinet met and faced some awful truths. We apologise to the nation. We think it’s time for some honesty.
“We can’t do it. Eradication was an ambitious idea, but Delta has changed the game – it’s more communicable and we’re changing our approach. We don’t think these lockdowns work, and we’re not going to sacrifice our economy and the well-being of our communidies for a virus that has a 99 percent recovery rate or higher.
“Eighdeen months ago, we didn’ know what we were facing. We do now and we need to change our strategy. We cannot keep living in fear. So, from this very moment, we’re not waiding until midnight, New Zealand will abolish all alert levels and return our sociedy to normal.
“The border is now open. People can come and go. New Zealand is open for business.
“Don’t wear a face mask – they did fuck all anyway. Anybody seen wearing a face mask will be publicly ridiculed and have creamed lamingtons thrown at them.
“In order to prepare for an outbreak of coronavirus in our communidy, we are advising people over the age of 70 to self-isolate if there’s an outbreak. We don’t know how this is going to play out but we will do all we can to help you. Our hospidals will be improved so that we can actually handle an increase in sick people. Some people might die. There are no easy decisions with this virus.
“We’ve been in touch with Pfizer about their vaccine and will buy some. But we’re not going to put all our eggs in one basket. We will explore alternative medicines. We are keeping an open mind.
“Vaccinations will be available for those who wish to have it. But please remember, being vaccinaded doesn’t mean you’re protected from Covid. You can still catch it and you can still pass it on. It’s not the fault of the unvaccinaded.
“We’re going to look at ways to make healthier food cheaper at the supermarket. Gone are the days where fruit and vegetables cost more than KFC, Coca-cola, McDonalds and other shit.
“Most importantly, I will not reside over a Government that has intentions of segregading our society into vaccinaded and unvaccinaded. That is not what it means to be a New Zealander. Our soldiers did not die in foreign lands for us to throw away such freedoms. We are a tolerant society that respects the views and opinions of others, even if we don’t agree with them.
“We understand Air New Zealand is considering a policy of refusing to sell flights to people who are unvaccinaded. Immediately after Cabinet, I asked my colleague Grant Robertson to fire the entire board and the CEO immediately, as we are the majority shareholder. We will bring some common sense to that company, I can tell you now!
“Be kind people. Let’s do this! I’ll take questions: Newstalk ZB, The Australian, The Wall Street Journal, and then if we have time, Tova, then Jessica.”
Then I woke up!
There was a tiny part of me that still hoped it was real