And on it goes

Today is Wednesday February 16th, 2022. Kia ora.

Last night I hardly slept at all, but I got up early this morning and went to hymn singing. It was lovely, as always. I decided I really wanted to see the film Belfast at the Lighthouse cinema, and I figured that the bus from Khandallah would go up Victoria St, and from there I could walk to the theatre in Wigan St.  There were very few people in the bus, and not many at the theatre – I could sit well away from other folk.  Afterwards, JD picked me up, so I didn’t have to navigate walking down Cuba Street or catching a bus to the Northern Suburbs. It was a bit risky to go to the cinema, but I figured it was a risk worth taking. Hopefully, it will prove to be so.  Now that we’re in Phase 2, the isolation period is down to 7 days, rather than ten.

Belfast is a very good movie, I think; I’m, so pleased that I saw it.  It was extremely well acted – yes, credit to Jamie Dornan, although I didn’t like him in The Tourist; and the little boy was amazing. Ciarán Hinds and Judi Dench were awesome, as expected. The opening of the film reminded me of the opening sequence of the television series Call the Midwife – did they use the same set, I wonder?  But the violence and the poverty and the huge pressures were daunting. I listened to a reviewer who claimed it was “sanitised”; I did not find it so.  I found it terrifying.  Once again, I’m glad to live in this distant, far-away land where things are for the most part civilised. Long may they remain so.

As JD arrives to pick me up, I learn today’s numbers. As warned, there are now well over 1,000 new cases. There are 1,160 new community cases of Covid 19 today, and 56 people in hospital, but still none of them are in Intensive Care. There are 43 new cases at the border. At Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital’s ED, 10% of patients tested positive for Covid 19. It’s reported that the new community cases are in Northland (24), Auckland (861), Waikato (73), Bay of Plenty (33), Lakes (5), Hawke’s Bay (15), MidCentral (3), Whanganui (4), Taranaki (9), Tairāwhiti (9), Wairarapa (5), Capital and Coast (32), Hutt Valley (20), Nelson Marlborough (15), Canterbury (8), South Canterbury (3) and Southern (39). Two of the cases’ locations are unknown. An Auckland gym is shutting down.   It seems the NZ police are under pressure, with the convoy protest still going strong, some isolating for Covid 19, and some having left the police force because of vaccine mandates.

Late yesterday I remembered that I have Tai Chi at Mana tomorrow.

It’s now Thursday February 17th.

This morning’s newspaper has a nice story about new homes and facilities being built in Wellington. This development will be in Te Aro, quite close to educational institutions and to Cuba St.  That has to be good news.

I went to Tai Chi, and it was lovely!  We had the Walk to Tai Chi, the Lotus Qi Gung, a break, and then went through the Form, very slowly. I am a bit rusty, but I really enjoyed it. They had a great turnout too – over 30 people, and since it’s a large hall and Tai Chi is non-contact, I felt quite safe.  Afterwards, I sat outside in the beautiful sunshine and waited for JD to pick me up.

He wanted to go shopping; we decided to chance going to New World in Thorndon – I always like to go there.  If there seemed to be lots of people there, we’d go somewhere else.  But it was lovely there, and there weren’t too many people.  We bought raspberries, some salads, some brie, and a pie.  There were no black doris plums, but they had some greengages. I bought some more lettuce, tomatoes, baby cucumbers, and avocadoes too. Avocadoes are still 3 for $3 – a great city price. We are enjoying them.  Everyone was masked, the store was not busy, and we felt quite safe there. Afterwards, we were able to turn right and drive up Molesworth Steet to get onto the motorway.

But the Covid 19 figures are shocking: 1,573 community cases of Covid 19, with 62 people in hospital but still none in Intensive Care. It was reported that 1140 of the cases are in Auckland, with the others in the Northland (31), Waikato (143), Bay of Plenty (29), Lakes (35), Hawke’s Bay (2), MidCentral (3), Whanganui (11), Taranaki (8), Tairāwhiti (8), Wairarapa (30), Capital and Coast (20), Hutt Valley (22), Nelson Marlborough (49), Canterbury (7) and Southern (35) DHBs. 

There was a crisis meeting about the convoy protest, and some defence force folk have been moved there, but as yet there is no action to break up the protest. There are plenty of complaints from local residents and businesses, and some Thorndon schools have hired extra security. My guess is that the authorities want them to go of their own accord, but this is not happening. The NZ Herald reported in tones of admiration that Russell Coutts is to join them.  To me, and I suspect to many New Zealanders, he is a rat who should never have been given a title. I can’t see him camping or suffering any inconvenience.  Whatever the circumstances, I continue to wonder how people do their ablutions, their washing, and charge their phones. It must be very boring.

This ongoing pandemic has given rise to many conspiracy theories, and in my opinion people have far too much time on their hands. Initially the stop to many crazy luxuries was welcome -that initial pause, where there was a great deal of goodwill, and kindness and cooperation.  Now – all countries are lifting restrictions, and many are lifting mask mandates. In New Zealand, there are delays in testing, and you’ll be notified by text message if you test positive. Some efforts are being made to assist vulnerable people in isolating from their whanau, and doing shopping for them, but I fear the contact-tracing team are overwhelmed already, or they soon will be.  I think the message is that you’re on your own, now. Be careful out there!

It’s reported that 320 schools, kura and ECE are now affected; Tamaki College in Auckland has closed, for the time being; lots of students attended a party in Dunedin, which was pretty crazy of them.  At Auckland’s Starship Children’s Hospital, 6 patients and 6 staff members have tested positive. In Wellington, three senior police who have their office in Molesworth St have tested positive, thus putting further pressure on remaining staff to isolate if required, and, of course, limiting the numbers of police available to serve. Wakatipu College has two students infected, and lots of close contacts since apparently masks were worn incorrectly.

On television, we are watching Inventing Anna on Netflix.  It’s quite fascinating how gullible people are.  I have to say Julia Garner does a great job of acting the part of Anna; she reminds me of Maria Butina – Russian accent, looks, going for the higher-ups (rich white men), and the cheekiness.

It’s now Friday February 18th.

Someone from Access was rostered to come – first, at 11:30 am, then at 12:15 pm. It’s now almost 3 pm, and she hasn’t shown up. I’m not too bothered at this stage.

Today’s Covid 19 numbers continue to break records: today’s total of new community cases is almost 2,000 at 1,929. There are 73 people in hospital, and now one person is in Intensive Care. There are 12 new cases at the border. It’s reported that of Friday’s new cases, 1384 are in Auckland. The rest are spread across Northland (13), Waikato (155), Bay of Plenty (58), Lakes (9), Hawke’s Bay (17), MidCentral (3), Whanganui (11), Taranaki (9), Tairāwhiti (8), Wairarapa (5), Capital and Coast (28), Hutt Valley (50), Nelson Marlborough (60), Canterbury (35), South Canterbury (7), Southern (77). At Wellington Hospital, a ward has been closed to visitors after a staffer tested positive. 5.9% of people tested were positive for Covid 19.

There is a horrible and misleading story on the stuff website with the heading as follows:  Woman dies at home of real estate boss after taking drugs at Christmas party.  The story concerns the sickness and death of the woman; the real estate boss, whom I know, is Paul Ellis, one of the owners and managers of Harcourts Active Real Estate in Johnsonville.  If you read the story, the party was held somewhere else, and Paul Ellis took the woman to his home on The Terrace, where she subsequently died.  It’s a very murky story – police were in attendance, illegal drugs were taken; one wonders why she wasn’t taken straight to hospital, but she may have insisted that she was all right.  The thought of getting a sick person into one of the apartments on The Terrace doesn’t really bear thinking about, but I don’t doubt that Chopper was trying to do the right thing in helping her, and in so doing, has ended up with some very poor publicity. I know people love to hate real estate agents, but some of them are decent family people, and certainly not rogues. They suffer illness and losses, too. When the protesters talk about the lying media, they certainly have a point.

Another headline reports 78 new Covid 19 cases in Wellington; that would indeed be shocking, but the number is 28.  That’s still shocking, but it’s a lot less than 78. Get it right, Stuff! You keep asking for money – that’s so annoying, but one would be more sympathetic to your situation if you reported correctly more of the time.

It’s reported that the police say that “de-escalation is the only safe option” for dealing with the protest at Parliament, now in its 11th day.   Metlink informs me that the toilets at Wellington Railway Station are still out of action. Rosemary McLeod has written a thoughtful column about protest in today’s Dompost. I have to say that I agree with here: the only protest I ever went on was a peaceful march through Wellington streets against the Vietnam War, although there were also protests about the threat posed by nuclear weapons, and, of course, the Springbok Tour in 1981.  Thankfully, at that time I was heavily pregnant with my second son, and so excused myself from protesting about this highly divisive issue.

I guess ideally those in charge want the protesters to leave of their own accord. In time – weeks? Months, perhaps, they’ll be gone; who’s feeding them, I wonder?  I suspect when winter comes it’ll be very cold and uncomfortable there. It seems that enforcement is not an option, at present. Whatever happens, no doubt there’ll be some acrimony: there should have been action taken sooner, or later;  there’ll be plenty of blame to go around. 

That’s it for now. No doubt things will get worse here before they get better. Nga mihi,

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