Verum woke up in the middle of the night with a growling stomach. She sat up on her bed and wondered, “What can I eat? It’s so late into the night.”

The sensible part of her said, “Go back to sleep, Verum!”

But her stomach continued to rumble, “Grr…Grr!”

Verum knew her body. She knew when her stomach got so grumbly-rumbly, there was only one thing to do – eat! She looked around for some snacks. Perhaps a bar of chocolate or a packet of chips. But all she could find was a packet of instant noodles.

Verum nodded in approval, “This will do.”

So, she secretly began cooking herself a bowl of noodles. Within a few minutes, she was armed with a fork – gobbling the delicious, spicy noodles. Verum thought, “Yum!”

She sat in front of her crystal ball with a bowlful of noodles and started world-gazing to pass the time. Her trusty crystal ball was ready with an important story from New Zealand, the country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. This country was made of two landmasses – the North Island and the South Island.

Verum said, “Oh, no! New Zealand has 72 active Covid-19 cases! These include cases in seven schools and six infections in Wellington, the capital city.”

A yawning Felix sat next to Verum and said, “That’s a much lower number than many other countries of the world.”

“You’re right, Felix,” said Verum, “But the thing is that New Zealand’s Covid response was applauded all over the world. With strict lockdowns and rapid decisions, the country managed to limit the transmission of the coronavirus. This made Covid almost disappear in New Zealand.”

 She added, “But the first Covid-19 case in six months was detected about a week ago.”

“According to the Covid-19 response minister, Chris Hipkins, this changes the game and makes New Zealand’s existing measures less adequate,” said Verum, adding, “The country’s low vaccination rate also contributes to the problem. The latest figures claim that less than 50% of the population has received at least one dose.”

“This is a concern because the country will have to open up at some point,” said Felix.

“Oh, so now what happened?” said Felix.

“Since the case detected is the extra-infectious Delta variant, New Zealand extended the lockdown. It also announced that it would keep its borders closed till 2022’ the virus,” said Verum, “Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern aims to vaccinate the people by then and to ‘absolutely eliminate’ the virus.”