Lockdown

Today is Monday March 23, year one CV (thanks to the bugle podcast).

Early this morning my youngest son and his wife left to fly back to England. It seems they left just in time – to transit through Singapore before such measures are banned from midnight Monday, and on possibly one of the last international flights out of New Zealand. On their return, they will have very limited ability, if any, to move around.

Today in New Zealand we learnt there are new cases of Covid19 taking the total to 102.  Still, this is not exponential, and no one has died here yet. There is, however, some community spread – not all the cases are related to travel from overseas.

I slept poorly last night, and during the night, new realities bore in on me. There is no new “normal” – unless one counts constant change as the new normal.

Yesterday, I learnt that Community Advice Bureaux would no longer give face-to-face advice. No big deal, really.

This morning I discovered that I am to have the flu vaccine in the Johnsonville Community Centre, rather than the Medical Centre, and then wait in my car outside for 20 minutes!  But I don’t drive anymore. Is the Community Centre cleaner than the Medical Centre, given that you aren’t supposed to go there if you have symptoms of Covid 19?

I also learnt that doctors would only do virtual appointments, by phone, skype, or video, so no going to the doctor.

Yesterday (Sunday) NZ was at level 2, apparently. That all changed today.

This morning I learnt that in the Wellington area there are 50 drivers over 70, so they will not be allowed to drive, and some services will be cancelled.

This morning I also learnt that the WHO claims that present measures (stay in place) are not working, whatever that means.

Today, whatever was yesterday/today’s news is out of date.  We are in lock-down. Schools are to close, and only essential services are to remain open. The Khandallah Community Centre is to close. My weekly hymn-singing will no longer take place. All shops, cinemas,  cafes, pubs, restaurants are to close, even takeaways are no longer allowed. Public transport is to close down. One is only allowed out of the house to buy food (where essential), or to go for a walk. A new reality bites.

I walked to the local supermarket this morning. It was quite busy, not crazy though. I bought a baguette (they looked nice), and a couple of pies, the first one best before 3 April. When I got home, I found that the second pie was best before 23 March, so I picked out the receipt, and decided to take it back and exchange it for another one. In the meantime, we were advised about the coming lock down.

We drove to the supermarket again, where, to our surprise, the carpark was almost full. I took the last trolley, and we proceeded into a very busy store, where many shelves were already empty. No crowd control here! We had to queue up for a checkout, the end of the queue being at the entrance to the store! Everyone was very well behaved. Some were wearing masks; another woman yawned without covering her mouth. It was a pretty crazy scene.  We really do have plenty of food, and other supplies. There are still lots of fruit and vegetables available.

Meanwhile, the figures overseas get more dire. Cases of the virus are spreading in prisons, and there seem to be varying responses to treating those who need to be in care, whether they be people with special needs, the elderly, or prisoners. You get the feeling that medical folk are doing an amazing job everywhere, in the most distressing circumstances: treating really sick people, and, in many cases, being unable to get appropriate protective gear. All these wonderful people have their own families and loved ones, too.

I fear for our children going back to the UK, which seems to be following Italy’s example, but expecting a different result.  They got out of NZ just in time, I realise. I hope they get safely home again, although that may take a while.

There is lots of crazy new information.

  • Angela Merkel is in self-isolation, after her doctor tested positive for Covid 19.
  • Germany has banned gatherings of more than 2 people. Gatherings?
  • Harvey Weinstein has tested positive.
  • Senator Rand Paul has tested positive.
  • Trump has written to North Korea (where there are no reported cases of the virus) offering help.
  • Families will not gather for Mother’s Day.
  • Trump has made lots of promises but failed to follow through on them.
  • More tests are coming available in New Zealand.

Yesterday the prediction was that half of us would get this disease. Now it’s predicted that a far greater percentage will get sick. I’ve given up on these predictions.

Tomorrow is Tuesday, normally a Tai Chi day, and my “big day out”. We would leave home by 9:40 am at the latest to get out to Mana. The class would run from 10 – 11 am, and I would catch the train back to Wellington. Then I would catch a bus into the CBD, have lunch at a café, and do some shopping, usually, before catching a bus back to Johnsonville, and then the shuttle bus to Churton Park. Often I would walk from Willis or Manners Streets back to the Railway  Station, and catch a bus from there. I was always tired, but it would be exhilarating too to survive these adventures, using my Super Gold Card on public transport. I look forward to doing this again.

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