It’s Monday

Today is Monday, 30 March.  I went to bed alarmed at infection figures coming out of Japan. The morning is cool and overcast to start with, then the sun comes out and it becomes fine and warm.

This morning’s paper is upbeat. There is a note explaining that the newspapers are now thinner, seeing that advertisers have pulled out. Thank goodness for that! There is an article entitled “Good Health Equals Good Economics”. I put a link on the family’s messenger conversation. There is lots of positivity, in spite of the scams about. There seems to be a great common feeling that we are all in this together, with a common purpose, and that the government has our back. It is also absolutely clear now, that one can’t really do anything or go anywhere! So that’s that. Nice and simple.

People are rediscovering the nice aspects of not getting their hair done, not having to dress up, not having to physically interact. While we all miss our family and friends, some tensions have gone away for a time.

I go for a walk to the store with a list of requirements, as advised. I don’t want to hang about today. My main objective is to buy the Listener, which comes out on Mondays.  I do check the weekly specials – there seem to be very few of them.

On the way, I pass a mother and daughter who comment on the lovely teddy bears in a window of most houses.  Then I pass a couple I know and we have a nice chat, while keeping safely physically distant.

At the store, there are lots of people. I think they should reduce the number of customers from 75 to 50 or less. No one seems to be counting. At least they have painted places on the floor to ensure distancing. I am glad to have my gloves, although it is really a bit warm for wearing them.

There is no bread, at least no Vogel’s or Molenberg, and a low-carb loaf of Freya’s bread, which doesn’t cut it for me, so I buy a bag of croissants, which are on special. All the local breads look a bit overcooked.  I also buy soap, not because I need it, but because they have it in store again.  There are almost no coffee beans, so I buy some – coffee is definitely essential. I also buy some soup, which is on special.

When I go through the checkout, my payWave card works!

I walk home and we have croissants for lunch and I can spend much of the afternoon with my new magazine.

We listen to the 1 pm briefing, as usual. NZ has 76 new cases of Covid19 today, bringing the total to 589. Of these, two patients are in Intensive Care. Most of these cases are from travellers from overseas. It’s heartening that no one has died, no one is on a ventilator, and the number of new cases is more than yesterday but less than the day before.

The Prime Minister is interviewed by John Campbell. She values the Press, and also speaks about the need to keep the Leader of the Opposition informed. What a difference in tone from the President of the US, who continually attacks the press, who have, for the most part, treated him very fairly.

In overseas news, Australia seems to be in a muddle. Scotty from marketing was on TV yesterday, encouraging people to get together and talk things through (surely not!) and seeming to encourage domestic violence (although I’m sure he misspoke). He looked a bit tired. NZ was not mentioned. Apparently now they have restricted meetings to two people, maximum. In NZ domestic violence has decreased.

The biggest news of the day comes from the US, where the President has evidently pivoted once more, saying an Easter re-opening was “aspirational”. Some wag wondered Easter of which year?  He has extended social distancing guidelines through to 30 April. Everyone should be relieved about that.

The figures out of the US get more and more alarming – the numbers of cases, and numbers of deaths, and the lack of personal protective equipment. Again, the rate of illness and fatality amongst health workers continues to be alarming. There is a lack of realistic encouraging leadership. The President claims that restricting deaths to 100,000 would be a win! Some win. Who loses here? Dr Fauci predicts between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths from this pandemic. Trump’s relentlessly unrealistic positivity contrasts alarmingly with Jacinda Ardern’s realism, acknowledgment and encouragement. And yet it seems that the sight of body bags in Queens finally got to Trump.

Tonight we watched the movie Contagion. While it has the Hollywood treatment, it seems quite appropriate at this time. We should be relieved that he victims of Covid19 aren’t bleeding, coughing up blood, or vomiting. It’s interesting that while they did some things correctly in trying to contain the virus, they were really slack about others. Ah well, it’s a movie, not real life.

We then watch the Pope’s Urbi et Orbi blessing in an empty St Peter’s Square, with some beautiful singing.

In my bubble I can listen to Bach – piano, organ and choral music. How nice!

Tomorrow I shall (most probably) do this all over again.

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