More Wild Weather

Wild weather and flooding in Nelson

Today is Tuesday August 16th, 2022. Kia ora!

Last night was not a good night for me, but after midday I started to feel better. It’s not nearly as cold now as it has been. Not well enough to walk to the shops, however; I relied on JD to take me. Sadly, they have no rhubarb – neither stalks or conveniently sliced.

We do go out for lunch – to Kaizen, one of my favourite cafés.  The ones closer look really full. Kaizen is lovely with well-spaced tables, some of which are empty. I have a cheese omelette, and their beautiful rhubarb shortcake. Of course I don’t need it, and I feel quite satisfied after the omelette, but somehow one manages to find room for pudding.

I have been reading more of the LRB dated 6 January: a really interesting book review about the period of England from 1588 to 1699. We feel as though things  are mightily unsettled right now, but that was a terrible time in England with the regicide of King Charles II Cromwell, and the Protectorate, and great religious division. I tried to read Paul Lay’s Providence Lost, but I couldn’t cope with the violence.  Then there is a review of a book about duelling, and affairs of honour. There’s also a review of a biography of W.G. Sebald, called Speak, Silence. I have tried to read this book and found it not to my interest, but I did find some of his books quite amazing – specifically Austerlitz and The Rings of Saturn. There’s also an interesting article about American conspiracy theories (oh, dear!) and a story about the artist Fragonard. And then there’s Alan Bennett’s pandemic diary. Lots of interesting reading.

Today’s Covid 19 report is as follows: it’s reported that another 21 people with Covid-19 have died while there are 4,811 new community cases of the virus.

In its daily update, the ministry said there were also 533 people with Covid-19 in hospital, including 12 in intensive care or a high dependency unit. That compared with 536 people in hospital with the virus, including 13 in ICU or a HDU yesterday.

The cases in hospital were in Northland: 25; Waitematā: 64; Counties Manukau: 61; Auckland: 62; Waikato: 77; Bay of Plenty: 17; Lakes: 8; Hawke’s Bay: 38; MidCentral: 16; Whanganui: 8; Taranaki: 11; Tairāwhiti: 1; Wairarapa: 10; Capital & Coast: 15; Hutt Valley: 12; Nelson Marlborough: 9; Canterbury: 68; West Coast: 4; South Canterbury: 13 and Southern: 14. The seven-day rolling average of hospitalisations is 556 – last Tuesday it was 645.

On the deaths being reported today, six were from the Auckland region, two were from Waikato, three were from Lakes, two were from Hawke’s Bay, one was from Wellington region, two were from Nelson Marlborough, three were from Canterbury, one was from South Canterbury and one was from Southern. Five were in their 70s, eight were in their 80s and eight were aged over 90. Of these people, 13 were women and eight were men. There are now a total of 1782 deaths confirmed as attributable to Covid-19, either as the underlying cause of death or as a contributing factor.

It was reported that in the past seven days there have been an average of 13 deaths confirmed each day as being attributable to Covid-19. There were also 169 new Covid-19 cases reported at the border.

It’s now Wednesday August 17th.

Last night was disappointing. Although it was quite mild, I did not sleep much. I wasn’t a great sleeper before I had Covid 19; now I think the sleep disturbances have got worse.  I did listen to several podcasts: Willy Dalrymple’s Empire, introduced on The Rest is History: Willy Dalrymple is a great talker, he does rather go on and on. I found this interesting, however. I also listened to the American Scandal podcast about Edward Snowden – what paranoia! And the Real Dictators podcast about Napoleon called The Italian Job about Napoleon’s invasion of Italy. In fact, it wasn’t united Italy then, it was a series of fiefdoms. I also listened to a We Have Ways podcast entitled Greece Part 2. Warning: the titles don’t always bear much relation to the contents.  There’s a lot of banter, and a lot of “Yeah yeah yeah”, all rather annoying. There are some gems too. These were all moderately interesting – the news episodes drop later this week, so one is reduced to finding new podcasts to listen too, or listening again to ones one has already heard.  

Actually there was a redeeming feature in this podcast: they spoke about the new movie Operation Mincemeat (which wasn’t set in Greece, by the way).  It was quite a good movie, but having listened to the lads I can see its flaws.  It’s been interesting to hear their take on the Midway movie, and on Munich: the Edge of War, which was on one of the streaming services.

This morning – it’s raining. Again. A friend came to visit – that was lovely. I really should be braver about doing stuff and not moping around not feeling well enough to do stuff.  But I certainly don’t feel up to catching a bus or train yet.

Today’s Covid 19 report is as follows: because it’s Tuesday, the numbers are up a bit after the weekend. It’s reported that another 21 people with Covid-19 have died while there are 4,811 new community cases of the virus. The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers today is 4073 – last Tuesday, it was 5120.

It was reported that there were also 533 people with Covid-19 in hospital, including 12 in intensive care or a high dependency unit. That compared with 536 people in hospital with the virus, including 13 in ICU or a HDU yesterday. The cases in hospital were in Northland: 25; Waitematā: 64; Counties Manukau: 61; Auckland: 62; Waikato: 77; Bay of Plenty: 17; Lakes: 8; Hawke’s Bay: 38; MidCentral: 16; Whanganui: 8; Taranaki: 11; Tairāwhiti: 1; Wairarapa: 10; Capital & Coast: 15; Hutt Valley: 12; Nelson Marlborough: 9; Canterbury: 68; West Coast: 4; South Canterbury: 13 and Southern: 14. That’s still lots of people in hospital in Hawkes Bay, and in Wellington and the Hutt Valley.

On the deaths being reported today, six were from the Auckland region, two were from Waikato, three were from Lakes, two were from Hawke’s Bay, one was from Wellington region, two were from Nelson Marlborough, three were from Canterbury, one was from South Canterbury and one was from Southern. Five were in their 70s, eight were in their 80s and eight were aged over 90. Of these people, 13 were women and eight were men.

There are now a total of 1,782 deaths confirmed as attributable to Covid-19, either as the underlying cause of death or as a contributing factor. In the past seven days there have been an average of 13 deaths confirmed each day as being attributable to Covid-19. There were also 169 new Covid-19 cases reported at the border. So that’s that. There are still too many deaths.

Today marks one year since New Zealand went into lockdown for the delta variant of Covid 19.  This seems slightly laughable now, but other countries had been through Covid 19/delta and had pretty high death rates – the wave in India was particularly distressing. I think there was one case here, but soon there were more, in fact it never really went away. Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) was in severe lockdown for weeks – 13, I think – until the beginning of December. Auckland borders were opened – I think mid December. Aucklanders couldn’t wait to get away.

Now, there are virtually no restrictions.  We can take whatever risks we feel like. The isolation period is down to 7 days, and a close contact is someone who lives in your home.  Masks are still common in Wellington, and are required on public transport and in supermarkets and most shops. You don’t have to scan QR codes, although one can still do a manual entry – which I do, on the whole. It’s useful to know where I’ve been, and it can be frustratingly hard to remember. Now we are (condemned to) living with Covid 19. Many cafes are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, and closing at 3 ppm rather than 4 pm. And who can blame them – they’ve had a really hard time for the last 1 1/2 years. Everywhere, including public transport, is affected by sickness and staff shortages.

It’s now Thursday August 18th.

This morning I went to tai chi again. It is raining again, but not nearly as cold as last week. It was lovely to go to Tai chi again; I’m telling myself it’s good for my balance (and I’m, sure it is). On the way home we stopped at Nada Bakery and bought some yummy food – a scone, a doughnut, some savouries, and a pie.

Last night I zoomed into Macbeth Unpacked, an online session in preparation for the Verdi opera Macbeth about to be performed in Auckland and Wellington in September.  They had speakers about Shakespeare’s Scottish play, the conductor and director of the opera Macbeth, and the head of MZ Opera.  I think 107 people zoomed in; among names that I recognised were Rob Julian, Roger Hall and Karen Grylls.  The session was free. The conductor really impressed me. I do indeed want to go to the performance. There are only 3 in Wellington, instead of the usual 5.  I don’t know this opera, but I do know Shakespeare’s play, have seen several film versions, and I greatly admire Verdi’s music.  Today I listened again to The Rest is History podcast about Macbeth.

During the night I listened to a British Scandal podcast about the abdication of King Edward VIII in 1936 (not 1938).  This was the third episode, and for some reason it was extremely difficult to listen to: my phone kept wanting to play something else.  It seems really sad that David and Wallis were forced into an extremely difficult situation,  where there was really no practical way out. David and Wallis (the Duke and Duchess of Windsor) were exiled from England, not one member of his family came to their wedding, and they didn’t have enough money. David had nothing to do, and few friends; he’d lost his entire way of life. They were wooed by the Nazis, and considered traitors for cosying up to them.  It seems that Wallis wanted to stay married to Ernest Simpson, but he was engaged to marry her best friend. What a sad story.

Today’s Covid 19 report is as follows:

There are 4,540 new community cases of Covid-19 reported, along with 473 people in hospital. Ten people are in intensive care. There have been 16 virus-related deaths.

It was reported that of the 16 people who died one was from Northland, four were from Auckland region, one was from Bay of Plenty, one was from Lakes, two were from Hawke’s Bay, one was from Taranaki, four were from Wellington region and two were from Canterbury. Three were in their 60s, three were in their 70s, seven were in their 80s and three were aged over 90. Of these people, eight were women and eight were men.

The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers today was 3928 – last Thursday, it was 4750. The seven-day rolling average of hospitalisations was 527 – last Thursday, it was 617. There were now a total of 1807 deaths confirmed as attributable to Covid-19, either as the underlying cause of death or as a contributing factor. The seven-day rolling average increase in total deaths attributable to Covid-19 was now 12.

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

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