Turning 21 is an important milestone in anyone’s life and is usually marked by spending some fun quality time with family and friends.
But for a young New Zealand woman it was shaping up to be a very lonely 21st birthday in a managed isolation facility in the city of Auckland.
A milestone birthday in total isolation
As part of the country’s very successful effort to manage the spread of COVID-19, any citizen or resident returning to NZ must first spend 14 days in a facility before being let out into the wider community.
Fortunately for the young woman, named only as Lilly, some local police officers got to hear about her predicament and stayed on after their shift to create a homemade banner and gather some balloons.
They then went to a police car park, where they knew Lilly would be able to see them, and did their best to get her attention and pass on their best wishes.
She was ‘pretty chuffed’, say the cops
“She was pretty chuffed with the gesture, and our officers were equally pleased they could make it one to remember!” New Zealand Police said in a post on their official Facebook page.
“Our officers in Auckland City stayed … to do a little something to make Lily’s milestone birthday a bit more special.”
Facebook users applauded police for the kind gesture and joined in wishing Lily a happy birthday.
Birthday to remember, say Facebook users
“I hope you have an amazing delayed birthday when you are out of isolation. Thanks also to the NZ Police for making her day as special as possible,” wrote one user.
“Be one birthday to remember for the rest of your life. NZ Police do have kind hearts,” said another.
No community transmission for 100 days
This Sunday, New Zealand will mark 100 days without community transmission of COVID-19.
From the first known case imported into the country on February 26 to the last case of community transmission detected on 1 May, elimination took 65 days.
New Zealand’s deaths from COVID-19 per million population stands at four, which is among the lowest in the world. The UK, for example, has 683 deaths per million.