Lockdowns or vaccines? Three Pacific nations try diverging paths

A commercial business is closed in Sydney on Aug. 13, 2021, as greater Sydney continues a weeks-long COVID-19 lockdown. Japan, Australia and New Zealand all got through the first year of the coronavirus pandemic in relatively good shape, but now are taking very divergent paths in dealing with new outbreaks of the fast-spreading delta variant. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Cheryl Simpson was supposed to be celebrating her 60th birthday over lunch with friends but instead found herself confined to her Auckland home.