Post-Covid New Zealand tackles a new threat – anxiety over an uncertain future

July 07 2020 by The Guardian

When Jacinda Ardern urged New Zealanders to stand firm behind her government’s decision to keep the country’s borders tightly closed against Covid-19, the prime minister described a reality that many around the world could only imagine with envy. “We get to enjoy weekend sport, go to restaurants and bars, our workplaces are open, and we can gather in whatever numbers we like,” she said.

New Zealanders returned in June to normal life with strict border controls the only remnant of a pandemic that months ago had threatened to sweep the country as it had in most others before a strict lockdown quashed its spread.

But now its inhabitants now face a burgeoning anxiety that some find more difficult to cope with than the fear of the pandemic, analysts say: an open-ended uncertainty about their own futures and New Zealand’s place in the world if the virus continues to rage elsewhere.