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(Alter)narratives of ‘winning’: Supermarket and healthcare workers’ experiences of COVID19 in Aotearoa New Zealand

Nayantara Sheoran Appleton, Nicholas J Long, Pounamu Jade Aikman, Sharyn Graham Davies, Antje Deckert, Edmond Fehoko, Eleanor Holroyd, Naseem Jivraj, Megan Laws, Nelly Martin-Anatias, Michael Roguski, Nikita Simpson, Rogena Sterling, Susanna Trnka, Laumua Tunufa'i


COVID-19 stories, especially from Aotearoa New Zealand as one of the leading nations ‘winning’ over the virus will be important historical documentation. The ‘team of 5 million’ is writing its narratives of life with/out COVID-19 – stories of ‘living in bubbles’, of ‘being kind’ and ‘being in it together.’ These are narratives of success which need to be examined alongside the narratives that have been absent from public national discourse but complicate understandings of ‘winning.’ To that end, in this article we map out (alter)narratives from supermarket and healthcare workers and highlight their stories of living and caring under lockdown. We posit that we need to pay attention to (alter)narratives of winning over COVID-19 in order to pay attention to the bodies and spaces that are often invisible but make winning possible. Thus, we see (Alter)narratives not as counter or anti to the nation’s winning narrative, but rather essential and adjacent.


COVID19, Aotearoa New Zealand, Supermarket Workers, Healthcare Workers, Essential Workers, (Alter)narratives

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