N.Z. in lock down: DAY 34

Yesterday was DAY 34 of New Zealand in lock down as we fight the COVID19 pandemic.

Yesterday was also DAY 1 of what I – and New Zealand – HOPE is only 14 days in LEVEL 3 lock down. Past articles have already explained LEVEL 3 compared to LEVEL 4, so I will not dwell on it here.

My parents and I celebrated the end of LEVEL 4 today with a lunch of eggs, hash browns, tomatoes and bacon cooked on the barbecue. During those 33 days for a lot of people it would have been a good family bonding exercise over learning how to work with each other, finding creative and stimulating things to do.

Going out for my daily walk this afternoon I was struck by the sheer volume of traffic on Harewood Road. Surely it cannot all have been compliant with LEVEL 3 restrictions, which enabled bubbles to bring in one or two extra family members. Surely it could not have all been going to McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King or other places serving fast food, though I was reliably informed by friends that there were queues in some cases starting before 4AM of people wanting to be the first to get a fast food fix into them.

At our place my father laid into a list a of do it yourself tasks around the house, including deferred maintenance – some of which had been on the cards for decades! – which he is feeling quite pleased about. The greater sense of accomplishment may however come when a significant portion of our cobble footpath is relevelled and re-aligned for safety reasons, for which he intends on enlisting the author’s help. With no prospect of work for a few more weeks at least, it will help to ease the boredom that will eventually start to creep in.

For some families the test of COVID19 would have been a fatal blow to relationships and marriages. An article from the United Kingdom that I read told of one particularly sad case where a man’s wife moved out during week 2 of their lock down, leaving him to deal with two energetic teenage boys. In other instances mentioned on social media couples have had huge blow ups in front of their kids, and although in some cases they appear to have immediately regretted it, the damage might be terminal.

But the worst for me has been getting regular updates from an Aunty in Southland whose husband has worsening dementia and is pretty much bed ridden in a secure unit. Because of lock down she has not been able to see him and nor have his adult children.


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