NZ in lock down: DAY 1

Over the next 30 days I will attempt to write a bit of a diary of my time in lock down in New Zealand. Some of the entries might be quite short. It will depend on what does/not get done on that day. Others will have reflection on what means to be a New Zealander, and how this impacts the country. I will also be discussing how I think the COVID19 emergency *may* play out.

On 25 March at 2359 hours New Zealand entered a LEVEL 4 lock down nation wide.

Everything that does not qualify as an essential service must close. People may leave the house for essential tasks such as going to the supermarket, going to the pharmacy and going for exercise. But everyone must remain 2 metres apart. Police are making sure that no one is out doing non-essential stuff. Every day at 1200 or 1300 hours, the Director General Ashley Bloomfield gives an update on the medical situation followed by Police Commissioner Mike Bush with an update on police enforcement.

And so, DAY 1 of – I will make it 30 because I understand that the earliest that the government will begin reviewing restrictions is 25 April 2020 – began quietly. I work full time for a rental car firm (Avis Budget Group) and I am a part time postgraduate student studying planning extra murally from Massey University. My work is on ice until 25 April at the least, though if the Government in the course of conducting its business needs rental cars, we may be asked to supply a few. That might mean a skeleton staff on a couple of days during that time being asked to come to work, and as a senior wash bay staff member, there is an off chance that might include me.

Of my study? I did have an assignment due on 25 March 2020, but that has been pushed back nearly a month. Massey University and other institutions like Universities of Canterbury, Auckland, Victoria of Wellington, Waikato, Lincoln and Otago, have all amended their academic schedules. This comes after they were made to realize in the wake of last week where thousands of student lives were upended by government announcements that sticking to their original timetables was simply not an option. I am actually very lucky, living with my parents that I have few of the problems that many other students have, such as one who owns a small business and was losing sleep over the prospect she might lose it.

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