Over Another Peak

Wellington Free Ambulance

It’s now Thursday July 28th, 2022. Kia ora!

Last night I slept a bit better, waking after 2 am but going back to sleep until 6 am.  Today it’s raining and overcast.  I have a headache again; it’s not a good day and I don’t feel like going anywhere or doing anything. I don’t feel as though I’m getting better – I feel stuck; this should never have happened to me. But it has. Somehow I don’t see myself going on any of my previous “adventures”.

The Ministry of Health says there are 7627 new community cases today. There are 827 people in hospital with the virus, including 24 in intensive care. Nearly 100 people have died with Covid in the past three days as this week shapes up to be the deadliest of the pandemic to date. Since Monday the Ministry of Health has announced the deaths of 99 people with yesterday proving one of the grimmest days of the outbreak with 45 deaths alone.

I listened to the second part of the Battle of Stalingrad podcast on The Rest is History. I found it very affecting. No doubt it was a dreadful time, even if it has been somewhat mythologised.

It’s now Friday July 29th.

Yesterday was not a good day. Last night I had a racing heartbeat, feeling as though I’m on steroids, which I aren’t, any more. I’d had no caffeine either. This morning I leave a message for Access, cancelling my scheduled “cares”.  I actually slept all right last night; this morning I listened to the Bulwark podcast, where Charlie Sykes was talking to Admiral Stavridis; I have a lot of time for “Supremo”, it was interesting to hear him talk – about the war in Ukraine, for the most part.  I also listened to The Rest is Politics, where Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart answered some listener questions; there was more talk about “charter cities”, which are, you’ve guessed it, another right wing idea for wealthy people to escape the clutches of the tax department.

I also listened to a Lawfare podcast about the Secret Service and the missing text messages.  President Joe Biden’s poll approval is even less than Trump’s (which never went positive, by the way), but as I see it he’s a simply wonderful president, and Americans are lucky to have him. Even democrats don’t want him to run for President again!  So who’s going to beat Trump, then?  It will be interesting to see how the famous mid-term elections go, and whether Democrats will increase their mastery of the Senate.  It seems to me that Biden is an outstanding president, and the views of the severely right-wing Supreme Court should give Democrats another advantage.  

The polls universally ask is America on the right track?  No one ever asks what the “right track” might look like. Really, somebody or something should knock some sense into these folks.

This morning a dear friend drops off some beautiful daffodils and chocolate cupcakes.  I shower and dress, change the towels, and put two loads of washing on.  Earlier I had tidied the kitchen and put the dishwasher on. Later, I have crackers and cheese and quince paste and a cupcake with a cup of coffee for lunch. I fear that Covid 19 has caused my heartbeat to be rather erratic, but there’s a fat chance of getting anyone to check it out.  I am still very weak, and extremely unsteady. In bed, I think of things I should be doing, but then I get up and they’re way beyond me.  I can taste and smell, however, I guess that’s something to be thankful for. It’s fine and sunny now, too, and this week’s Listener has turned up – for television listings starting tomorrow! One of the front page headings is Blue Blood: How Luxon pulled the Nats out of a toxic tailspin. It’s accompanied by pictures of John Key, Simon Bridges, Judith Collins, and Chris Luxon; no mention of Bill English or Todd Muller, then. Luxon is probably their most effective leader to date, but already some of his public statements have irked many people, not just me. And as for pretending to be in Te Puke while he was on holiday in Hawaii: inevitably comparisons will be drawn with his erstwhile Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison (recently defeated in an election), and US Senator Ted Cruz going off to Cancun in Mexico during the severe Texas snow storm and power crisis, when some people froze to death..

It’s weird: I feel as though I’m in a strange kind of bubble, where everything passes me by, and further things are scraped off the list of things I would very much like to do.  I’m trying to lose weight (the covid curve), but will I ever dress up again? Wear a pretty dress? Put on makeup?  Life was an effort before this happened, i.e. before I caught Covid 19.  Now I feel it’s almost over.

The Covid 19 report today is terrible, again, with 7,605 new community cases, and 799 people in hospital. 25 of them are in Intensive Care. But there’ve been 41 further deaths reported today!  That’s horrendous, during the earlier phase we had less than 60.  Dr Bloomfield makes a final statement, telling New Zealanders to keep up their good work. Ha! Nice one.  I tried, desperate to avoid this plague, and now I’m in a hole.

There are now a total of 1479 deaths confirmed as attributable to Covid-19, either as the underlying cause of death or as a contributing factor. We’re not told where the deaths occurred. Actually we are told – sometimes you have to search the various websites to find this information.

Of today’s 41 deaths, one was aged in their 50s, one was in their 60s, eight were in their 70s, 12 were in their 80s and 19 were aged over 90. Of these people, 22 were women and 19 were men.

Fourteen of these people were from Auckland region, three were from Waikato, two were from Bay of Plenty, three were from Lakes, two were from Hawke’s Bay, one was from Taranaki, two were from MidCentral, two were from Whanganui, two were from Wellington region, seven were from Canterbury, three were from Southern.

Cases in hospital include: Northland: 21; Waitematā: 100; Counties Manukau: 51; Auckland: 93; Waikato: 97; Bay of Plenty: 35; Lakes: 16; Hawke’s Bay: 44; MidCentral: 48; Whanganui: 13; Taranaki: 21; Tairawhiti: 5; Wairarapa: 7; Capital & Coast/Hutt: 45; Nelson Marlborough: 17; Canterbury/West Coast: 129; South Canterbury: 13; Southern: 44.

This afternoon I have a coughing fit – something I haven’t had for a while. I’ve also had a bit of a runny nose. It’s disconcerting to have symptoms, like a headache, or an irregular heart beat, reappear. Will I ever be free of this scourge? I had pneumonia several years ago, and it took me weeks to get over it.  Although “community spread pneumonia” is infectious, it’s much harder to catch than Covid 19, I think. I still feel really wary about going out anywhere.

It’s now Saturday July 30th, and I am determined to go shopping.

This morning there were 3 big things on my “radar”: Joe Manchin’s about-turn on Biden’s big Act to combat inflation and take some climate measures, amongst other things. Then I look up the NZ Herald website, which claims that Brian Tamaki drove dangerously, crossing the centre line and crashing into a car and injuring two elderly people. The other item is a very shady real estate deal, where a LIM was doctored, removing leaky building information, and then an auction was brought forward, meaning that the successful bidder did not have time to call for a building inspection. The buyer only discovered the omission when he went to sell the property, and again obtained the LIM (which contained the deleted information).  The fraudulent seller became a real estate agent for Barfoot and Thompson; the original real estate agent has gone to Australia. The couple, who originally owned the house, may go to jail for up to 10 years.  This looks bad for all concerned, but especially bad for Barfoot and Thompson, wo, I think, would claim to be one Auckland’s more honourable agencies.

I listen again to The Rest is Politics podcast about David Trimble, and the part he played in the Northern Ireland Peace Accords (for which he shared the Nobel Peace prize). Then there is an obituary in this morning’s Dompost. What a remarkable man, and what an amazing agreement, ending years of sectarian troubles. I still marvel at this achievement. There were enormous challenges involved.

I shower and dress, and make a shopping list. Then I wait for JD to have his shower, I wonder if I am up to this trip, but we head off to Thorndon, and it goes quite well. The New World supermarket is very busy, but the crowds lessen off as we move through the store. There are no raspberries, and no potato-topped pies, but I get most other things on my list. Tomatoes are $15.99 per kilo, so I give them a miss. I did get some pre-cooked meals, coffee beans, tonic water, salads, cheese, yoghurt, soup and bread. We don’t have to queue up to check out; I have plenty of bags, but I’ve spent so much money that I have to enter the PIN on my pay-wave card. Fortunately I remembered it correctly. We drive home in the rain, and eat pies for lunch.  It was nice to get out, but boy, I am tired afterwards.

Today’s Covid 19 report is better, in that there are fewer new cases (6,232), and fewer people in hospital (769, with 18  in Intensive Care), but there are 67 deaths reported, including 6 people in their 20’s. 67!  That’s crazy. Apparently New Zealand is over the peak, say the experts.

In a statement, the Ministry said the 67 deaths include people who died between 12 May and 30 July, and only 25 were in the past week.

The 67 people who died with Covid-19 included six who were in their 20s, as well as three in their 30s, five in their 40s, four in their 50s, six in their 60s, 10 in their 70s, 22 were in their 80s and 11 aged over 90. Twenty-seven were women and 40 were men. Nine were from Northland, 16 were from Auckland region, seven were from Waikato, two were from Bay of Plenty, two were from Lakes, one was from Hawke’s Bay, four were from Taranaki, six were from MidCentral, three were from the Wellington region, eight were from Canterbury, one was from West Coast, seven were from Southern.  Covid 19 seems to be like what used to be called “old man’s pneumonia” – you’re close to death, but Covid 19 adds the finishing touch. And you may have a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order on your file, which is then obeyed. I think you have to have one when you enter a rest home. At least this plague is knocking elderly people, in the main. It would be truly horrific if children and more young people were dying. Thankfully, there’ve been few so far.

On that cheery note, I’ll end; once again, I feel that so many more things I would like to have done are removed from my to-do list.  Slava Ukraini! Ngā mihi.

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