The End of the Golden Weather

Today is Saturday November 6th, 2021. Kia ora!

Yesterday in the early evening the NZ Herald reported that traces of Covid 19 were found in wastewater samples in Gisborne and Napier.  So that’s not good.

Today there was a record number of new cases – 206. Of these, 4 cases are in Waikato and two in Northland (in Kaitaia, I think). There are 73 patients in hospital.  This afternoon the NZ Herald reports a new case of Covid 19 in Northland.

This afternoon we went to see the annual watercolour exhibition at the Fine Arts Gallery.  Usually this is a treat, and I take photos of several paintings, and rate my favourites (1st, 2nd and 3rd), and my next best – including my wished-for Christmas present. This time, however, I had no favourites. I found many of the paintings very dark, and I wondered if the Covid 19 presence and lock downs had influenced the artists, in a negative way. We also went to the shop, and bought nothing there. We need to buy a gift, but we didn’t today, although we went to the Wellington Museum shop and the Te Papa shop. Then we visited Toi Art: always a treat. (Note: it seems the annual water colour exhibition was cancelled, but the  pottery one, Ceramicus, went ahead).

It’s now Sunday November 7th. This morning I went to church – always a treat. I enjoyed the organ playing, again. This afternoon we went to Pataka and had afternoon tea and a look at the lovely shop there.  It turned into a beautiful, calm, sunny day – so much so that JD was brave enough to sit outside at the Kaizen Café. I missed out on the rhubarb shortcake: I was going to order it, but the customer before me bought the last piece, so I had a very nice muffin instead.

Today there are 113 new community cases of Covid 19. That’s over 100, but a lot less than yesterday’s 206. Of today’s new cases, there are 3 in Waikato, and one in Northland – the rest are in Auckland.  74 cases are in hospital, and 7 in Intensive Care.  Auckland has almost reached its goal of 90% having had their first vaccine jab.

It’s now Monday November 8th, another beautiful fine, calm, warm day in the capital city.  This morning I had a Tai Chi class, and then went in to Johnsonville. Today there are 190 new community cases of Covid 19, including one in Northland, seven in Waikato, and the rest in Auckland. Apparently there are a further four cases in Northland, which will be added to tomorrow’s (Tuesday’s) tally. There are 81 people in hospital, (up from 74 on Sunday), including 7 in Intensive Care. Evidently someone with Covid 19 has died in MIQ at the Stamford Plaza Hotel in Auckland, and a patient at Auckland City Hospital who tested positive for Covid 19 died in Saturday night. It has not yet been determined whether his death was due to Covid 19. There is to be a press conference at 4 pm today with Prime Minster Ardern and Dr Bloomfield to announce what changes, if any, there are to be in alert levels. A Destiny Church member who has been charged with organising an anti-lock down protest has tested positive for Covid 19.

The press conference announced that restrictions are to be eased in Auckland. Meanwhile, a pupil at Mt Albert Grammar School has tested positive, and the college has decided to close for the rest of the year. This seems early, but if they only have seniors attending, they were probably due to close soon for the year anyway. In the Edmonton Rest Home in Henderson, 20 residents have tested positive, and four staff members. Seven residents are in hospital. The first case was fully vaccinated. All the staff are vaccinated.

I asked my doctor about booster shots of the vaccine. Evidently, according to current wisdom, you have to be six months out from the second jab of the vaccine. That would put us out to February 2022. There’s no shortage of the vaccine now, thankfully.

It’s now Tuesday November 9th, another fine day, although not quite as nice as yesterday.  I have discovered some recordings of John Le Carré (and other) novels on Youtube. I’ve listened to part of A Perfect Spy and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. There’re very good recordings. In addition to The Rest is History Podcast, I have plenty of good recordings to listen to.

Today there are 125 new community cases of Covid 19. There are 79 in hospital, and Covid 19 has been detected in a resident of another rest home, in Avondale.  Of the 125, most are in Auckland, but 5 are in Northland and 2 in Waikato.

Today there was a big anti-lockdown protest in Wellington. Why, one wonders? We’re pretty free here. There have been protests by teachers who refuse to be vaccinated. What are they teaching their pupils, I wonder?

The six-week old baby who was in Whangarei Hospital with Covid 19 has now gone home.

At midnight tonight Auckland moves to level 3.2, or step 2 within the level 3 framework as outlined previously by Prime Minister Ardern. I do feel very sorry for her with the Wellington protest: why? One wonders, again. We’re not doing it hard here. She said the protest outside Parliament was not representative of the bulk of New Zealanders.

It seems to be a season of protests, though, against vaccine so-called mandates, and against the media. Looking at the protests, it seems crowds have been brought in to enhance the resentment. I am reminded of a James Dean film (before his tragic early death), when he was asked what he was unhappy about. The answer was “What have you got?” There are certainly mixed messages, with some gangs and some iwi leaders urging vaccination, and other like Destiny Church members railing against it. The media does make mistakes from time to time.

It’s now Thursday November 11th.

Yesterday was quite a busy day, with an early start – hymn singing. After that, I had morning tea in town, did some other stuff, and visited a friend in the afternoon. It was again a fine, warm, still day; I found it quite muggy.

Yesterday there were 147 new community cases of Covid 19. Of these, 14 were in Waikato, 2 in Northland and the rest in Auckland..

Today there are 185 community cases of Covid 19, in Auckland, Waikato and Northland, and an additional death in Auckland (this is the subject of a police investigation, and there’s no further comment at the moment). Of the new cases, 8 are in Northland, 25 in Waikato, and 152 in Auckland.  The three suspects in the Grey Lynn Motel shooting case earlier this week all have Covid 19, and are in isolation. Consequently the police who arrested them are having to isolate as well.   Last night it was reported that there’s a new case in the Northland town of Kaitaia.  There are 84 people in hospital. In Auckland, the shops are open again. No doubt they will have their own rules about mask-wearing, numbers of customers, entry and exit routines, and card/cash protocols. I hope there are rules – at least those in charge will have thought about protecting their customers, if not their staff,

It’s now Friday November 12th.  Lots of things are happening, most of them not good. Last night I heard that there were 6 cases of Covid 19 in Stratford, and one of them in hospital. Stratford is a nice town, I’ve been there several times. They have a beautiful craft shop there, and it is near Mt Taranaki. You can sit down at the library, it’s a welcoming place, as libraries should be. So Covid 19 is edging closer. It’s reported that these folk did not want to get tested. That’s understandable, but other people need too know.

Overnight, there’s more sad news. I listened to a podcast about Remembrance Day, and read the story by Rudyard Kipling, The Gardener. It is just so sad.

Then I read the Guardian website: the dictator of Belarus is threatening to close of the gas supply to EU countries, if his country is sanctioned over the migrant crisis between Poland and Belarus. This is just such a sad situation. I don’t believe anyone leaves their home unless they think they have to.  The Guardian reports that Prime Minister Ardern’s support is slipping – according to two recent polls. There’ve been protests here about vaccine mandates – actually, you don’t have to have the vaccine, but you won’t be able to work in certain places (like health, caring and education) if you aren’t vaccinated. Many countries are introducing such requirements. This is not unusual. There’s lots of talk about freedoms, but surely many of us expect our government to protect us too: if you really care about freedoms, how about living in China, Hong Kong, or a communist country? We enjoy plenty of freedoms here, in my view. We’re pleased to have been looked after so well. I’m sure everyone, including the government, is frustrated by the current situation with Covid 19. We all are. But I ask again, where would you rather be?   There are still few deaths and hospitalisations so far.

In terms of climate change, the world (some people) is trying to restrict global warming to 1.5 degrees. It’s heavy going. The Chinese Communist Party has applauded Chairman Xi. In the US, there are extreme death threats and threats of political violence – it seems that it’s being normalised. I think violence is never all right!  But the Republican congresspeople who voted for Biden’s Infrastructure Bill are being attacked and receiving death threats, for themselves and their families!  This is outrageous! How come infrastructure spending is bad for anyone?  Inflation is rising, and there are shortages, of various things. It’s a war, people; it’s only been going just under two years, so far. It’s so ironic that the US, which has suffered a huge number of deaths (759,000), still has people against the vaccine – their potential life-saver.  We are all so over Covid 19, but hey, it’s a war, and we don’t have to fear bombings, or nuclear radiation. In the main, we don’t have Covid 19 sufferers bleeding or vomiting. Some day, it will not be such a crisis as it is now.  Where is the patience?

This afternoon we went to our Art Group.  That was nice. I was very tired, and we had trouble parking, but it was wonderful to see everyone again. There was a big turnout – 12, I think. JD had to go off to an appointment, but came to pick me up afterwards (from a café).  We had a good discussion, but there is huge frustration with the Covid and vaccination situation.  I think most organisations are trying to keep everyone safe, but their move sometimes misfire, and may be misinterpreted. I think you should be vaccinated unless you have a medical reason not to do so, and rather than a denial of freedom, it’s an act of love and respect to be vaccinated. My daughter is in care, and while I respect those who don’t want to be vaccinated, I want everyone caring for her to be vaccinated, just as I would hope my grandchildren’s teachers would all be vaccinated.

Today there are 201 new community cases of Covid 19, and traces of Covid have been found in the wastewater systems of Taupo. Taupo! That’s quite close to home. I know people who were looking forward to going there. I know people who live there.

Of the 201 cases, there are 181 in Auckland, 4 in Northland, 15 in Waikato, and one in Taranaki. The other 5 cases in Stratford will be included in tomorrow’s total.  All cases in Taranaki are linked, and there’s a link to an Auckland cluster. There are 85 people in hospital.  It’s been suggested that Taranaki go back to Level 3, but this is unlikely.

In other news, not noted already, it transpires that the Tory government in the UK is again enmired in sleaze; Meghan Markle has admitted lying about her input to the book Finding Freedom, and an Appeals Court has temporarily granted Trump the right to withhold documents from the January 6th Select Committee. So none of that is good. Much of it is not surprising, but it’s still not good. The Kyle Rittenhouse trial is proceeding; it’s feared he will be acquitted, despite killing two people and wounding another. The Ahmed Arboury trial is proceeding in Georgia, long after he was killed. It seems that accountability in the US is a rare commodity. Sadly, there are suggestions of book-burning in the US.

That’s it for now. Ngā mihi.

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