Like many countries, here in New Zealand our Prime Minister and our Director General of Health appear on TV to give regular updates on the current situation. Unlike in many countries, our Prime Minister doesn’t have to be tolerated and viewed through grimaces. She’s phenomenally intelligent, a great communicator, and more photogenic than some other leaders. Yesterday a question was put to her that, in a nutshell, shows why she has so many admirers around the world: someone asked if the Easter Bunny was an essential worker.
I can see why some would think that a flippant comment – for heaven’s sake we’re in the middle of a bloody pandemic! But we all need some lightness in our lives, at any time, and especially now. I’m not a parent and I can’t imagine how hard it is for those who are, trying not only to explain the gravity of this lockdown to young children, why they can’t go and play with their friends, but then have to keep them entertained, contain meltdowns and deal with tantrums. All whilst trying to maintain their own sanity. If I had young children around me now I’d definitely end up in a different kind of lockdown and be unlikely to see them – or fresh air – for a few years.
Jacinda took the question, as she does most, in her stride, confirming that, yes, the Easter Bunny, along with the Tooth Fairy, is an essential worker and therefore can carry on with their important work. Then, just in case any parent watching broke down weeping at the thought of one more thing to organise, she warned that these essential workers might struggle to get around to everyone as they had their own bubble and their own families to take care of. I’m surprised she didn’t get a round of applause.
Teddy bears have taken up residence in the world’s windows to help children cope. My own is, sadly, in his own lockdown at our holiday home, where he went whilst we were away and stayed whilst we moved. (I can’t wait to give him a hug.) For Easter, our Prime Minister has sent out a picture of an egg for children to colour and place in their windows – voila, an Easter Egg hunt! So, if you’ll excuse me, I must be off – I have some colouring to do.