Aaron Gulley in National Geographic:
On a crisp afternoon, four cyclists pedaled mountain bikes along the serpentine two-lane byway on the southern shores of Lake Wanaka. This part of New Zealand’s mountainous South Island typically sees clear days in April, with weekends bringing a buzz of tourist vehicles and campers bound for the terminus at Mount Aspiring National Park. But on this Saturday afternoon, not a single car passed, leaving the bikes to cruise the middle of the road.
The deserted highway was just one manifestation of New Zealand’s resolute response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Under stringent lockdown orders, the lights were dark and patios empty at every pub, café, and business in downtown Wanaka, and yellow police tape sealed off the skate park and playground, where the swings were zip-tied out of reach to snuff out temptation. Not that there was much risk of transgression: other than the occasional jogger or couple out for a bit of air, city streets were as abandoned as a set from The Walking Dead.