It’s Wild Out There

The slip in Lennel Road, Wadestown, Wellington – a main thouroghfare

Today is Thursday July 21st, 2022. Kia ora!

I’m still coughing today, despite using cough mixture and inhalers. This morning JD manages to sleep through it.  I ring the medical centre soon after 9 am, but my GP is fully booked today and only has one appointment free on Monday. I arrange for someone I’ve never encountered before to ring me at 1:15pm. No, you don’t want me to come in – I have Covid 19.

Meanwhile, it’s wild and stormy in Wellington, although you wouldn’t know it here. There aren’t planes flying overhead, thank goodness. It rained heavily during the night, and it was still raining when I went up to get the paper – I had to put a raincoat on over my dressing gown.  There are big swells I find when looking at the photos: a high tide in Lowry Bay, in Oriental Bay, at the Petone Foreshore, and all flights in and out of Wellington have been cancelled. A Bluebridge ferry cannot dock, and is circling the harbour. The train line between Johnsonville and Wellington is affected by a slip (again!), and trains have been replaced by buses. Roads are closed around New Zealand. I am thankful to be warm and cosy here, if a tad frustrated. We are not cold here. The heaters have been kept on, we are warm and comfortable, and I hope there’ll be no power outage.

I listened to a Guardian Australia podcast about recent damage to Australian ecosystems – this environmental report, although received, was not even tabled by the outgoing Coalition government. We all knew Australia was very lax about the environment; this report is even worse. The new Labour Government is facing an uphill battle getting environmental concerns addressed; there’s a lot of support, but a lot of opposition too.  Meanwhile, they continue to export Kiwi-born criminals here, and consequently there are shootings here more days, especially in Auckland, and the level of crime is up. As well as shootings, there are ram raids, and some knife violence.

After 1:15 pm a doctor rings me – I don’t know his name, but eventually agrees to prescribe me a course of prednisone, and fax this through to the chemist in the Johnsonville Shopping Centre. He does not ask about my peak flow reading, or if I’m running a temperature. He does ask if I have a sore throat, which I don’t, thankfully. I will get JD to pick it up later on this afternoon. I did manage to find a peak flow meter reader, but I don’t have a spacer, which I am supposed to use with this particular inhaler.

Today’s Covid 19 report is out: there are 9,953 new cases, and 32 further deaths. There are 767 people in hospital, and 20 of them are in Intensive Care. There are 383 cases at the border.

In the US, the Arizona republican party censure Rusty Bowers!  He’s the dude who testified to the January 6 Committee, and defied Donald Trump. So what was he supposed to do? He still intends to vote for Donald Trump – unaccountably. (Later I learn that Bowers does not intend to vote for Trump in 2024 if he’s the Republican Party’s nominee for president).

It’s now Friday July 22nd.

I felt much better during the night, but not so good this morning, with lots of coughing.  I duly started on the prednisone, but don’t see much difference as yet. I do another RAT test, and it has a second faint red line. Access woke me up with a call early this morning, but I didn’t manage to answer the call, and they didn’t leave a message.  After my RAT test, I left a message for Access to cancel today’s help.  On looking up the site, I was the carer was “to be announced”, so perhaps the usual person was unwell. Anyway, it’s cancelled for today. Even if I’d tested negative, I don’t feel up to doing the usual things I do for preparation. I still feel very weak.

In Wellington, the weather is milder today: aeroplanes are flying again, and many who live by the sea are assessing the damage from yesterday’s storm. In Lennel Road, Wadestown, there’s been a huge slip, causing the road to be closed. There is actually another (upper) road into Wadestown; perhaps this could be used in the meantime.

I listen to more excerpts from Tom Bower’s new book, Revenge. H G Tudor is now reading chapter sections, rather than abridged versions.  I had thought the January 6 Committee in the US was doing a presentation last night, but in fact it’s to be tonight – Thursday night in the US, so I still have that to anticipate perhaps, rather than look forward to.

Actually the hearing is on Thursday evening in the US, so it comes online here from early afternoon. It’s gripping viewing, as expected.

This afternoon I get a text from the Medical Centre reminding me of my second booster appointment on Saturday morning (tomorrow). I duly ring and cancel the appointment – how annoying that they don’t seem to have any coordination between their various systems. I’m advised to “get well soon”, not asked how I’m feeling.

It’s now Saturday July 23rd.

I’m still coughing, and weak. I realise it’s an achievement to take a shower, out clothes on, make the bed, go for a walk outside (once I test negative), and then perhaps go shopping, or go to church, and take up Term 3 activities.  While I am still coughing, I don’t dare go anywhere.  This is a peculiar kind of isolation – no one can come and visit, no medical people are in touch; the unknown doctor who prescribed me the Prednisone didn’t even ask what my peak flow measure was. I had dug out my two peak flow meters, but no matter. Covid has hit me very hard.

Last night I didn’t sleep. I listened to lots of podcasts – The Rest is History, the Rest is Politics; I also listened to We Have Ways of Making you Talk podcast about Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour, and the war in the Atlantic. I try to listen to the complete latest January 6 Committee hearing, but it’s not available until early morning.  Chairman Bennie Thompson has Covid, but he does a very nice introduction via zoom to the latest hearing.

The hearing is riveting, of course, and I learn distressing new things, but I also learn that Steve Bannon has been convicted for his defiance of Congress.

In New Zealand, Brian Tamaki has organised protests – one of which is on the Auckland motorway. What is there left to protest, one wonders? These folk are protesting against the government. Goodness knows, there are plenty of things one could protest about – like insufficient measures to address climate change, the war in Ukraine, child poverty, pollution in our waterways.

Today’s Covid 19 report is as follows:

There are 7746 new Covid cases in the community today and 22 people have died with the disease. There are 759 people in hospital with the virus, including 19 in intensive care.

The seven-day rolling average of community cases now sits at 8703 – continuing a downward trend. It was 9984 on the same day last week.

Out of today’s new cases, 353 were among people who had recently travelled overseas. The 759 people with Covid in hospital are located in: Northland: 19; Waitematā: 94; Counties Manukau: 62; Auckland: 97; Waikato: 65; Bay of Plenty: 41; Lakes: 13; Hawke’s Bay: 32; MidCentral: 38; Whanganui: 11; Taranaki: 18; Tairāwhiti: 2; Wairarapa: 8; Capital & Coast: 33; Hutt Valley: 29; Nelson Marlborough: 13; Canterbury:137; West Coast: 0; South Canterbury: 12; and Southern: 35.

Among the 22 people who died with Covid: six were from the Auckland region, one was from Waikato, three were from Bay of Plenty, one was from Lakes, one was from Hawke’s Bay, one was from Taranaki, one was from MidCentral, one was from the Wellington region, two were from Nelson Marlborough, two were from Canterbury, and three were from Southern. Two were aged in their 50s, one was in their 60s, five were in their 70s, six were in their 80s and eight were aged over 90. They included 10 women and 12 men.

The seven day rolling average of reported deaths with Covid is 25. There has also been 1976 people who’ve died with Covid since the pandemic began.

I didn’t give yesterday’s report – to be honest, it wasn’t much different. We have no real good news as yet.

In the afternoon I showered, washed my hair, dressed, and then changed the sheets and towels. I found myself feeling much better than I had done for several days.

It’s now Sunday July 24th.

Last night I slept much better than I had done. I woke about 6 am, but went back to sleep.  I zoomed into the church service, again without video.  It was a lovely service – about prayer, and the value of the Lord’s Prayer – which we can say when we don’t know what to say in prayer. One of the hymns was What a Friend we have in Jesus. I joined into this, finding I can still sing, if weakly; what a sad life the writer had, and what a beautiful hymn it is. I feel quite heartened by feeling better – I hope it lasts.

Today there are 5535 new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today – and a further 14 Covid-related deaths. It was reported that there are 720 people in hospital with the virus, including 21 in intensive care.

Of the 720 people in hospital with the virus, 18 are in Northland, 96 are in Waitematā; 63 are in Counties Manukau; 82 are in Auckland; 60 are in Waikato; 40 are in Bay of Plenty; 11 are in Lakes; 32 are in Hawke’s Bay; 40 are in MidCentral; 13 are in Whanganui; 16 are in Taranaki; two are in Tairawhiti; six are in Wairarapa; 61 are in Capital & Coast/Hutt; 11 are in Nelson Marlborough; 132 are in Canterbury/West Coast; 13 are in South Canterbury and 24 are in Southern. The average age of those with Covid in hospital is 66. I feel we are in a holding pattern with Covid 19: the news has been fairly steady for several days, if not weeks, mirroring my own situation.

I do another RAT test, and I’m negative for Covid 19, but still coughing, and still very weak.  I certainly don’t want to go to hospital, but where’s the care, I wonder? Let’s face it, you just have to look after yourself.

It’s now Monday July 25th.

I am feeling a little better today, but I am amazed when JD announces he’d like to take me out to lunch, or would I like to go shopping? I find his relentless positivity really annoying. I would like to go out for lunch, but I’m still coughing a great deal, and don’t feel well enough to walk up to the local shops. It’s cold today, too, so going out of the house is not a good option. Furthermore, it’s very anti-social to cough in public.

I am quite intellectual today. I finish re-reading Philippe Sands’ East West Street, centred around the city of Lyiv (Lvov) in what is now Ukraine. His Jewish forebears came from a small town outside of Lyiv, and suffered very badly during the Second World War, with most of them being exterminated.  How fascinating that Lyiv is now again a focus of Ukrainian conflict and culture. I would love to go there, but Ukraine is likely to be a dangerous destination for some time.

I also finish reading my last LRB, and find a review of a new book by Jonathan Parry very interesting: the book is called Promised Lands: the British and the Ottoman Middle East. The library don’t have it, but perhaps Unity Books do. I look forward to browsing there again.

I need to read more of Mikhail Bulgakov’s White Guard, which is due back at the library later this week.

I have been listening to more of H G Tudor reading Tom Bower’s new book, Revenge, although I’m finding it a bit boring and repetitive now. As with Trump, the more I hear, the more my earlier sentiments are confirmed; I haven’t heard anything to make me change my mind, just to confirm how awful some people can be.

I listen to a Guardian podcast about homeless people in Los Angeles being forced into the Mojave Desert, where it is far too hot for people to survive without basic amenities. In Los Angeles, there is a huge contrast between extremely wealthy people, using massive and scarce resources to water their lawns and gardens, despite a water shortage, and those who have nothing – not even a home. The city of Lancaster, north of Los Angeles, has a republican mayor, who has evidently called for homeless people to be arrested – and told not to loiter. Of course, some loiter, others don’t.

Then I listen to a new The Rest is History podcast about the Battle of Stalingrad. This is very interesting, too; part two will be published later this week.

There are 6910 new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today, and a further 16 Covid-related deaths. There are 836 people in hospital with the virus, including 27 in intensive care.

Of the people whose deaths were reported today, one was from Auckland region, one was from Waikato, two were from Lakes, one was from Tairawhiti, one was from Hawke’s Bay, four were from Taranaki, one was from Whanganui, two were from Wellington region, three were from Southern. Six were aged in their 70s, five were in their 80s and five were aged over 90. Of these people, five were women and 11 were men. IN the US, President Biden has Covid 19. He’s double-boostered, and is said to be responding well to Paxlovid.

That’s it for now.  Slava Ukraini! Ngā mihi.

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