Kaniva commentary 

New Zealand went back into lockdown again this week after the discovery of a new cluster of Covid-19 infections.

Nobody yet knows where the virus came from or how it got into the country.

As a result, the government has put Auckland back  into level three and the rest of the country into level two.

Unfortunately, the reappearance of the virus also led to the reappearance of something just as bad – stupidity.

Swarms of shoppers nearly overwhelmed some supermarkets.

There have been reports of supermarket staff being abused and people panic buying because of rumours they had heard or things they had seen posted on the internet.

At Countdown in Henderson on Wednesday morning one woman approached the counter with a trolley piled high. When asked why she had so much, she replied that her husband had told her that he had heard that Countdown was going to close on Wednesday  and not re-open.

That wasn’t true.

Nor was the story – believed by some other shoppers – that Countdown was going to close at midday on Wednesday.

Fortunately we haven’t seen the mass idiocy that happened when we went into level four. This time, nobody is trying to buy a year’s supply of toilet paper.

Unfortunately, crazy rumours have still been spread on the internet.

Now there have been reports of online abuse aimed at people who tested positive in the new outbreak.

Health Minister Chris Hipkins has rightly  described the abuse as “disappointing and dangerous.”

He said people needed to be able to come forward for testing without worrying about  being attacked.

The Minister said people should not believe everything they read on social media. His comments came as rumours swirled online about where the Auckland cluster originated.

Nobody wants to be back at level three or, if you are outside Auckland, level two.

It means restrictions.

Tomorrow we cannot go to church in Auckland.

In Dunedin, which is now under level two, the super rugby clash between the Hurricanes and the Highlanders will go ahead in front of an empty stadium.

But let’s remind ourselves that when the new infections were discovered, we were still at level one, which  meant that we weren’t completely clear.

We had also been warned that the virus could come back.

And now it has.

Nobody wanted this, but now we have to get through it again and hope that with all the experience and knowledge that has been gained the virus will be  brought back under control.

Nobody  enjoys being in lockdown, whether it’s level two or three and nobody wants to go back to level four.

The best way for us to do that is to stay safe.

That means wearing masks, staying home and working from home if you can.

It also means not shouting at supermarket staff or anybody else trying to do their job.

It also means listening to what the government and medical authorities are saying and ignoring gossip and crazy talk on the internet.

Let’s stay safe, be sensible, ignore the rumours and get through this together.

Kaniva News

Information in Tongan on what you can do in level three and two: