Soon after initial descriptions of an outbreak in Wuhan, China, were shared, reports in late January 2020 (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/ article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30260-9/fulltext) confirmed that Covid-19 was almost certain to become a serious pandemic. Despite New Zealand’s geographic isolation, we knew that introduction of SARS-CoV-2 was imminent because of the large numbers of tourists and students who arrive in the country each summer, predominantly from Europe and mainland China. Our disease models indicated that we could expect the pandemic to spread widely, overwhelm our health care system, and disproportionately burden indigenous Maori and Pacific peoples. New Zealand began implementing its pandemic influenza plan in earnest in February, which included preparing hospitals for an influx of patients. We also began instituting border-control policies to delay the pandemic’s arrival.