Efrain Vega de Varona gave his wife airline tickets to New Zealand for Christmas 2019 – their dream holiday destination.
A year later, following their two-week holiday in mid-March, they are still in New Zealand, having opted to stay rather than return to Los Angeles. ‘We’ve been living for 10 months out of two suitcases,’ says Vega de Varona of their newest Airbnb rental in Island Bay, Wellington (number 50 this year). Just before the national lockdown and border restrictions in mid-March, the pair were among an estimated 250,000 international tourists to New Zealand.
When the restrictions were relaxed in the following months, most returned home, but when the government extended the temporary visas, others decided they were better off where they were. Ardern unveils New Zealand Covid vaccine deals as the economy recovers Continue reading There were an estimated 120 by mid-May. In New Zealand, thousands of temporary visa holders, including U.K. visitors. And North America, who suddenly found themselves far from home, but with a passport to one of the world’s best-rated pandemic responses. After their L.A. ride, Vega de Varona and his partner, Ingrid Rivera, settled in the coastal town of Kaikōura on the South Island, where they helped to provide local elderly people with food. Vega de Varona admits that after the six-week lockdown, he had to be convinced to proceed. “Ingrid was the smart one who said, ‘This is the right place – we’re not going back.'”I certainly believed more in the [New Zealand] government than our own – and time, sadly, has proven me right. “I definitely believed in the [New Zealand] government more than our own – and time, unfortunately, has proven me right. “Ingrid was the smart one who said, ‘This is the right place – we’re not going anywhere.’
Rivera now plans to enroll in college and renew her visa, and by starting a company, they are looking at ways to put down roots. “We’re just starting to feel like home,” says Vega de Varona. But as grateful as they feel they have snagged a “golden ticket” through the pandemic, Rivera says it’s been balanced in the U.S. and Puerto Rico by concerns for their loved ones. “It’s obviously a very different story for them,” she says. New Zealand tiptoes for coronavirus removalRead moreDr Tom Frieden, a U.S. infectious disease specialist and public health doctor, highlighted the stakes this week, tweeting that an American in New Zealand has a 200-fold decreased chance of covid death.
In fact, in May alone, inquiries about emigrating from America to New Zealand increased 65 percent – the equivalent of the interest of 80,000 people.’ Like watching a horror movie’ The risk of returning to San Francisco was prohibitive for Eric Denman and Michelle Paulson, who vacated in New Zealand in March. Because Paulson has lupus, they decide they are at increased risk for the coronavirus
In October, they received a two-year work visa that they hope will lead to residency.
“It was an unexpected move, they say – but “it’s the hand we’ve been given,” Denman says. “The support of their families for their move (and “definitely a little bit of envy”) tells them that it was the right decision, she says – even if it was hard to watch the pandemic unfold from afar in the U.S. In addition to the question of government competence, Denman says that the rule-following nature of New Zealanders and their concern for the collective differ from the “Aside from the question of government competence, Denman says, the rule-following nature of New Zealanders and their concern for the collective differ from the ” of the United States and the United Kingdom. ” of the US and UK. ” he says. ” he says. ” It surpassed her deepest fears. “With the exception of Taiwan, Korea and a few other places, the experience of being here in New Zealand and watching the rest of the world was like watching a horror movie where you’re screaming, ‘Don’t go in there.’ … ‘You’re not locked in, the malls are full!'”