Kind of positive

“Not an impressionable child”

It’s now Monday July 11th, 2022. Kia ora!

It’s rubbish day here, and JD has put the rubbish out. It’s time for the crate of used glass bottles this week – after a break of two weeks, glass for recycling is to be collected again.

I do another RAT test, and it’s negative, thankfully. I don’t feel great, but then I hardly ever do; feeling well is not part of my brief anymore. I arrange for a doctor to ring JD at 11:30; his regular doctor isn’t in today. I send the other of my sons who lives locally a shopping list, with some helpful photos of things I’d like him to buy for me.

The doctor duly rings JD. He doesn’t qualify for funded Paxlovid, although I suspect a script would be written if he really wanted it. I’m pleased that he’s spoken to a doctor.  He advised leaving the kitchen and the bathroom for ½ an hour after he uses them, which is sensible advice, really.  Our kitchen is quite large, but has only a noisy range hood for ventilation. I am trying to persuade JD to shower downstairs: there’s a very good shower down there, although it doesn’t have a hand-held hose like the shower in the ensuite bathroom does. It’s still a great shower – I’ve used it several times myself.

I am looking forward to next Sunday, when we can officially come out of purdah, as long as I continue to test negative.  It is just so hard, trying to keep utensils separate! But then I really hope I don’t get Covid 19! I’m an asthmatic. So perhaps I’d qualify for Paxlovid. I listened to Kim Hill interviewing Dr Anthony Fauci on her Saturday morning show.  He said he had to have two courses of Paxlovid, and initially his Covid 19 symptoms were worse. So that’s given us pause. He was doubly boostered, and has completely recovered now, fortunately.  Kim Hill is such an intelligent interviewer!  What a joy she is.

With regard to Hōhepa, I can now see the huge value in keeping the house/the home covid-free. We have picked up our daughter from the gate to her house, the last few times we’ve been to Napier, instead of going inside the house. This continues to make such good sense.  While JD and I are “safe” in our bubble, there is considerable anxiety nevertheless about trying to keep as separate as possible. Yet again, I’m thankful to have a large house, where it’s much easier to keep separate. But really, I can’t go anywhere! I can’t take a risk by going shopping, or catching a bus; I’m stuck here, with my books and my podcasts, being thankful for what I have, and realising, again, that I have lived my life, and it doesn’t really matter if I get Covid 19. Who will look after me?  ah, that’s another question. If you have an infectious disease, nobody wants you. This is a situation that I hadn’t anticipated. Fortunately I’m a reasonably calm person, but it could drive someone mad, being isolated, yet not sick with Covid 19.

We get out of purdah officially next Sunday, July 17th, as long as I don’t test positive in the meantime. If I do, it’s “go directly to jail”, and don’t collect $200. Our purdah will be extended.  I have not experienced this kind of isolation before.  Lockdowns were very different from this – JD and I weren’t trying to keep apart from each other. At least I don’t have to clean up after him – thinking of diseases like cholera or bubonic plague.

Today’s Covid 19 report is as follows: there are 8,395 new community cases, and a further 17 deaths. There were also 28- cases at the border. There are 689 people in hospital. Including 13 in Intensive Care – a significant increase. These figures were nearing the record levels seen back in March, when there were 1000 people fighting Covid-19 in hospital. Those numbers were dropping steadily to about 300 last month but have since shot back up.

Today’s reported deaths include one from Northland, seven were from Auckland region, one was from Waikato, two were from Bay of Plenty, one was from Taranaki, one was from South Canterbury, three were from Capital & Coast/Hutt and one was from Canterbury/West Coast. Five were aged in their 70s, five were in their 80s and seven were aged over 90. Of these people, 10 were women and seven were men. We’re not told where the hospitalisations or the new cases are located.

It’s now Tuesday July 12th.

I am so sick of this. I don’t feel great today, but I don’t feel like taking a RAT test either, although I realise the later I test positive, the later I’ll have to isolate.  It feels very cold today: it’s stormy, it’s raining, and actually I don’t want to go out. I just want to feel better, and not to have to be so careful about keeping distant from JD and anything he may have touched. And, of course, he can’t bring me toast, or even a cup of coffee!  My computer says it’s 10 degrees C today. It feels more like 3C.   The wild weather is wreaking havoc with travel arrangements, and its being school holidays makes it worse. Many roads are affected by flooding.

I am listening to the Persona podcast, about Gilbert Chikli; at the same time, information is being revealed about Uber and its unethical practices – the Guardian is doing a three part podcast on the Uber revelations. Truth to say, there are similarities, and at times I have difficulty keeping details separate.

The Covid 19 report is terrible today. It’s reported that There are 11,548 new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today. There are a further 19 Covid-related deaths.

Of today’s deaths one was from the Auckland region, three were from Bay of Plenty, one was from Taranaki, two were from Whanganui, one was from Hawkes Bay, four were from MidCentral, one was from Lakes, three were from the Wellington region, two were from Canterbury, and one was from Southern.

One was aged in their 40s, two were in their 60s, three were in their 70s, five were in their 80s and eight were aged over 90. Of these people, 10 were women and nine were men. The total number of virus-related deaths is now 1707.

There are 710 people in hospital with the virus, including 17 in intensive care. Those in hospital are being treated at Northland: 16; Waitematā: 141; Counties Manukau: 59; Auckland: 85; Waikato: 58; Bay of Plenty: 36; Lakes: 9; Hawke’s Bay: 25; MidCentral: 26; Whanganui: 13; Taranaki: 13; Tairawhiti: 4; Wairarapa: 11; Capital & Coast: 37; Hutt Valley: 27; Nelson Marlborough: 16; Canterbury: 78; West Coast: 2; South Canterbury: 17; Southern: 37.

I make a sandwich for lunch. I can’t be bothered to mash a hard-boiled egg, or cut up a tomato or an avocado.  After me, JD goes to make his lunch. I get an alarming text: he can’t smell the coffee; or the Dettol on the chux cloth, or the mustard. I joke that I can feed him garlic now if I can be bothered cutting it up.

He was feeling better this morning, but now feels a bit worse again. I am trying to fight off an imminent sore throat, sore chest, and a cough. I have these symptoms all the time, so I usually assure myself I don’t have Covid 19. Now I’m not so sure.

I read some outstanding LRB magazines, and then listen to the second part of the Uber files podcast on the Guardian’s Today in Focus. A senior executive of Uber has turned whistle blower, and is spilling the secrets of the sometimes aggressive Uber drivers.  We are learning some of the exploitative secrets behind the (formerly) cheap hire-car rides. I do have an Uber account, and I have used it occasionally, with mixed success.  Twice I had to cross our busy road to get in the Uber; however I do like the way it’s so easy to order, and I can see the progress of the car coming to pick me up.  In these Covid 19 times, there’s some risk with catching an Uber, or a taxi, or getting on a full bus or train for that matter.

It’s now Wednesday July 13th.

Last night we had cheese on toast for tea. I didn’t feel like cooking anything else. During the day yesterday I felt as though I was fighting off a sore throat, a sore chest, and a bit more coughing than usual.  Last night I feel I hardly slept at all. I had a bad headache, although not the type of headache when I had brain bleeds.  I do get headaches, so it wasn’t necessarily ominous.

This morning I took another RAT test. It was negative, to my surprise, but ID saw a faint red line after the requisite 15 minute wait. There is a faint red line, barely visible; it doesn’t show up in the photo I took, and I duly recorded a negative test on the website as required. I don’t feel like breakfast – I just have a piece of toast and a cup of decaf tea. JD makes me a cup of coffee, I guess I’m not being so careful about avoiding infection now. There are all kinds of implications of this result:  I don’t want to go to hospital, but I don’t feel at all well either. I don’t feel like doing anything at all.

I listened to a podcast about Commander Hugh Dowding’s use of radar and Chain Home stations to manage the RAF during the Battle of Britain. It was called The Dowding System.  I was amazed at the intricacy and cleverness of this system, which I must admit I’d totally taken for granted. Well done, Britain! I also listened to American Scandal, which had the last episode about the Waco, Texas disaster; I must have gone to sleep during this because the podcast ran on into episodes about Watergate. In the early morning, news came through of the January 6 Committee in the US holding a live hearing.  There is more explosive testimony, needless to say. It’s all shocking. Once again I am impressed by Chairman Bennie Thompson’s old-fashioned grace, respect and good manners. I cannot imagine him shouting, swearing, or hurling insults.  This evidence focusses first on a strange meeting in the White House in December 2020, between Trump, Sidney Powell, Michael Flynn and Gabriel Byrne; Giuliani was in a separate room; this caused alarm, evidently there was lots of swearing and angry voices. Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, rushed to be there. There was other evidence on Trump’s speech at the Ellipse, and use of social media to fire up his followers, especially the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys – these groups were heavily armed and had plenty of food, apparently.  It seems they were in it for the long haul. It was not a spontaneous riot, although it was supposed to appear spontaneous.

This evidence is alarming and explosive, and thank goodness some brave folk stood up to Trump, why ho why didn’t they testify earlier? It seems that Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony encouraged some others to come forward, like Pat Cipollone, but it seems to have been like pulling teeth to get this explosive evidence made public.

I listen to more podcasts about Covid 19/omicron. Cases are increasing around the world, not just in New Zealand and Australia.  The BA.5 subvariant seems to be very contagious.  If one does quality for Paxlovid, it’s quite hard on people, I gather. In the US, Chuck Schumer has tested positive for Covid 19.

Today’s Covid 19 report is out, with 11,464 new community cases, 29 deaths, and 729 people in hospital, including 18 in Intensive Care.

Of today’s deaths seven were from the Auckland region, one was from Waikato, two were from Bay of Plenty, one was from Tairawhiti, two were from Taranaki, one was from Hawkes Bay, one was from MidCentral, two were from the Wellington region, two were from Canterbury, two were from South Canterbury, and eight were from Southern. One was aged in their 50s, one was in their 60s, seven were in their 70s, ten were in their 80s and ten were aged over 90. Of these people, 15 were women and 14 were men.

The patients are being treated in Northland: 14; Waitematā: 145; Counties Manukau: 49; Auckland: 93; Waikato: 56; Bay of Plenty: 49; Lakes: 13; Hawke’s Bay: 25; MidCentral: 25; Whanganui: 13; Taranaki: 16; Tairawhiti: 4; Wairarapa: 10; Capital & Coast: 30; Hutt Valley: 29; Nelson Marlborough: 10; Canterbury: 90; West Coast: 1; South Canterbury: 14; Southern: 43.

So that ain’t great at all.

What is good news though is that my son who had Covid 19 is now returning a negative test result (one week later); his children are still showing faint red lines.

Having watched some of the testimony on Youtube, I am now watching digests of it, mainly on MSNBC. Several scary pieces of news emerge:

  • How did Powell, Flynn and Byrne get into the White House for an unscheduled meeting? This was a huge security risk. How did they get in here for an unhinged meeting that lasted several hours, where the shouting and expletives were audible outside?
  • The riot was supposed to appear spontaneous, but was in fact carefully planned.
  • The 2 right wing militia groups, the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, had not previously worked together, but they came together for this. Trump spoke directly to them!
  • Trump was in touch with a witness after Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony;
  • People came to Washington DC because Trump asked them to
  • Steve Bannon’s prediction – “All hell will break loose” was true;
  • Mark Meadows knew that Trump had lost the election, and there wasn’t sufficient fraud to overturn the result of the election. He then searched for a constitutional loophole to keep Trump in power.
  • People Trump had pardoned, like Flynn, Bannon and Roger Stone, far from being abashed, were actively involved in the insurrection.
  • Brad Parscale was upset about people getting hurt and even killed, and felt guilty about having managed Trump’s election campaign (until he was sacked). I did not have great esteem for Steve Parscale, but his concern for human life, and feelings of guilt, are heartening.

I have a distressing cough – fortunately, not very often. That’s it for now. Slava Ukraini! Ngā mihi.

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