COLUMN: A word from . . . The Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive Dougal McGowan.
Note: This article was written before the Level 3 announcement on Monday, April 20.
As I sit here, in my bubble, waiting for the Prime Minister’s update on what will happen to our change in level or not, I think about the incredible and profound long and short-term disruption that has occurred both economically and socially.
It is hard to imagine the significance of the change in current state of the nation.
After years of record growth and economic development, sharemarket rises, record house prices, all in just over six weeks the world we once knew has changed forever.
As a community and society, we have been challenged, been challenging, but responded in a way that literally I think only as New Zealanders can.
Throughout our history we have a demonstrable ability to look at what we believe are the right things for our communities, friends and families and act on them.
This has been to the fore in the last four weeks, where we have compliantly acted in the best health interests of our country and community regardless of the personal and financial sacrifices that needed to be made.
Not since the last great depression and world wars have we seen a change so dramatic and so significant to how our society functions, and the financial long and short-term effects.
It is not lost to many of us that this weekend marks one of our country’s greatest sacrifices.
The timing is coincidence, but the significance is serendipitous.
The scars from the sacrifice of our Anzacs have helped us to forge our national identity and our notion of what it means to be a Kiwi.
Equally for this generation I hope that when we to get to that time of reflection, we can celebrate the fact that we made such a profound difference and set an example to the world about what makes us different to everywhere else.
These last six weeks will continue to shape and define us as people and as a society for the next generation.
The way we work, socialise, connect and recapture aspects of our humanity and environment will not be lost.
We all now have the ability, power and passion to live, love, learn and earn in a different paradigm.
So this weekend when we think about those that made the ultimate sacrifice over 100 years ago, also remember those that have lost loved ones to this terrible virus and to those who have been so traumatically affected by it in so many ways.