‘This is finite – it will end’


Anna Mickell is the CEO of the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce, co-owner of The Health Media and a lover of literary legends, like Shakespeare and Dr Seuss

March 26 (Day 1, Level 4).

I was asked by Mountain Scene to write an opinion piece this week, not because my word is any more significant than others at this miserable time, but just because it was my rostered time slot.

Talk about a tough ask.

I worried about what I could say that would make for interesting reading during a time of community crisis.

I considered discussing concerns about business resilience in this community, which is so reliant on visitor arrivals.

I could have given an analysis of the extent to which business owners are going to fund, along with government, our response and recovery.

I thought about writing about our migrant workforce – such a loved part of our community and our economy – dealing with isolation from family support and facing more uncertainty than most.

But after all this thought, I have chosen to reject getting all serious on you.

There are many reasons to worry, but as others have said, it’s a wasted energy.

Now is the time to seek comfort and guidance from the best.

For me, that means two giants of the literary world, Dr Seuss and Shakespeare.

I love them both – and despite their obvious differences, their messages align.

Dr Seuss always remembers the value of fun and teaches us simply and clearly that we are unstoppable.

“You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!”

The great doctor also reminds us about mindfulness and being kind, long before they became the ‘it’ words of our decade.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.

“Today I shall behave as if this is the day I will be remembered.”

While perhaps a little less direct – he was writing this stuff over 400 years ago -Shakespeare’s eloquence still resonates.

“How far that little candle throws his beams!” is a reminder that small efforts can have a great impact.

We know, and he reminds us, “The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together”.

We need to take care of ourselves, and I love that Shakespeare can rock out so many poetic reasons for getting a good night’s sleep.

“Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care,

The death of each days’ life,

Sore labours’ bath,

Balm of hurt minds,

Great nature’s second course,

Chief nourisher in life’s feast.”


He waka eke noa – we are all in this together.  Kia kaha, kia manawa nui. This is finite – it will end.

Look after yourselves.

If you know someone who is vulnerable at this time, ask them to register their details with the emergency operations centre so we can be assured they are given the information they need to help their decision-making.