Duncan Garner: What I learnt during the COVID-19 pandemic - and what The AM Show got wrong

Opinion 08/12/2020

OPINION: Britain rolls out the COVID-19 vaccine officially on Tuesday, and let's not underplay that.

What a remarkable achievement in such a short space of time.

No one thought this was possible even just a few months ago, but the medical research world is on zoom right now, hugging, high fiving and popping corks from all ends.

But for me it's a chance to genuinely reflect back on the year. To be honest and to say what I've learnt about myself, my fellow New Zealanders, and our society and our response.

Firstly, we got it wrong.

No, not the Government, not the health system, but rather, us, The AM Show.

On day one of the show in 2020, we chose not to cover a story about a virus originating in the Chinese city of Wuhan. I think we can now confidently concede, we missed that one.

Number two, the first lockdown taught me how helpless you can feel.

At the 11th hour it became clear my young son would be in another bubble for the duration and I wouldn't have much to do with him for weeks. And sadly, there was almost nothing anyone could do to fix the situation.

Three, I learnt to be in a bubble by myself but I also learnt I wasn't very good at it. 

I need social circles, the old experiences, Saturday sport. I was lost.

I learnt we are one of the most compliant nations in the world.

I learnt kindness can get boring and we are programmed for more than just one speed.

I learnt that silence is OK.

I learnt we should never take freedom and basic things for granted.

I learnt I don't have to visit shops to buy things.

I learnt that the chorus broadband network saved our economy.

I learnt that by listening to the best medical advice we have been able beat this.

Listen. That's what our Prime Minister did. 

Never underestimate the power of it and the power of shutting up.

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.