NEW ZEALAND (KTXL) — Former Sacramento news anchor Pallas Hupe Cotter is now living in New Zealand, a country that has been very successful at containing the novel coronavirus.
“Before COVID, it’s been incredible since day one when I landed,” Hupe Cotter told FOX40.
She and her family moved to New Zealand in 2011 where she now works as a mentor and authored the books “Discovering Yourself In New Zealand” and “Make Your Life Pop.”
Hupe Cotter said it was with a very focused sense of purpose that New Zealand, as a country, nearly eliminated the virus.
“It was go hard, get this done, be as safe as possible, lock down, eliminate this thing,” explained Hupe Cotter. “And once that decision was made, the community coalesced around the political leadership and went in that direction. There was a lot of emphasis on being kind.”
A few new cases of COVID-19 have surfaced in recent days but those are under supervised quarantine.
Life, to a certain degree, is back to normal in New Zealand, according to Hupe Cotter.
“We conformed, we did what we were supposed to do and now we’re out doing what we want to do,” explained Hupe Cotter. “We aren’t wearing masks because we don’t have community transmission right now. We don’t have active cases in our communities.”
But there is still one aspect of life in the country of 5 million people that is not normal: the borders are closed to the outside world. And there is no telling when it will change.
“A lot of people we love are in the states and some are in the high-risk category of being older,” explained Hupe Cotter. “And it’s just sort of disempowering to stay here feeling so safe and grateful. You almost feel guilty because you can’t protect those you love.”
Hupe Cotter’s parents, who live in the U.S., are in their 80s and she wonders if she will get to see them again.
“It is a fear but is it a realistic fear? Well, percentage-wise, probably not,” said Hupe Cotter. “However, it’s going to be a long time. Our borders are going to remain closed here in New Zealand until we’re sure number one, that we’re not bringing it in. But number two, that we can get a supply of the vaccine.”
Hupe Cotter embodies the mixed emotions of loving the place where you live and longing for those in the place you came from.
“It’s hard not to be able to go home, even if it’s temporarily. And I look forward to the day that I can,” said Hupe Cotter.