N.Z. in lock down: DAY 9


Yesterday was DAY 9 of New Zealand in lock down as we try to fight the COVID19 pandemic.

After taking yesterday off, I tried to focus today on my University study. I am some distance behind in the lectures, which fortunately can be done at ones own pace. However, I want to try to finish the lecture material for the week I am currently working on before we have what was meant to be a 3 day block course starting on Monday, which has now turned into something quite different. I think that my weekend is going to be dominated by study.

The course material that was being looked at this week was about the necessity of council plans, planners and the planning profession. It looked at the first and second generation council plans and critiqued the processes undertaken to get there. I got to see a break down of “the good, the bad and the ugly” of the first generation plans, but immediately started wondering if anything had actually been learnt from them.

Every afternoon about 1530-1600 hours, I put my sneakers on and go for a walk. On days when the weather has looked dodgy or the forecast has been for rain, such as on Sunday (DAY 4) I have restricted it to just a couple of kilometres or about 20-25 minutes relatively brisk walking. On better days like yesterday, the walks have been up to 8-9 kilometres and, lasted about 80 minutes. I go by myself and I walking at speed. I am not stopping for any one, and for the most part do not have to stop for traffic at intersections – with the very vast majority of Christchurch at home, sometimes even on the major routes such as Fendalton Road and nearer to home, Wairakei Road, I can go for a few minutes without seeing a single car.

It is interesting to see how various businesses are handling COVID19. Two service stations within walking distance of my place are open. One has blue tape on the floor every two metres to denote the recommended physical distancing one needs to maintain. The other does not. Both have a plastic shield at the counter with just enough room underneath it to slide coinage and move the EFTPOS machine. Dairies are closed – there are two down the road from me and both are shuttered. Their daylight operating hours have been cut.

A Countdown supermarket about 1.5 kilometres from my place with an underground car park is perhaps a better example of how the rules are being enforced. Although most people are keeping their distance, where the ramp down to the underground car park meets the foyer and main entrance, a staff member is counting people as they enter and leave and sometimes a security guard is present to make sure people stick to the 2 metre rule. Behind the check outs there is blue tape on the floor to indicate where people waiting in line need to stand. I thought that all staff would have masks and gloves, but apparently not so.