Life in Lock Down: Day 8




April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down…

Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital recently discovered. Yesterday I received a pandemic “pack”. Latex gloves (good); one small bottle of hand sanitiser (good – but won’t last long); and paper face masks (useless). Better than nothing, I guess.

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Checked emails. We’re advised a list of protocols to follow travelling from client to client. One is disinfecting our shoes… I’m going to have to find some disinfectant.

Breakfast; coffee, weetbix, soy milk, and fresh chopped figs.

I have a tip-off questioning whether a rather curious business is authorised by MoBIE to be operating. The business claims to have authorisation to do so, but I’m dubious. I make enquiries.

Chatted to some passers-by walking past my house (a good three metres distance between us). They’re a couple in their 60s,  intrigued by my fig tree. I tell them  to help themselves; there’s plenty there. (Otherwise the wax-eyes will get them)

We discuss the lock-down and how well people are adhering to the rules. They say most are following the lock-down rules, but some of their neighbours are making them angry. Especially as the gentleman is diabetic and in a vulnerable age with an under-lying medical condition (like this blogger). They’ll be using the dob-in line, they tell me.

We discuss HBA1C blood sugar levels. His is in the mid-40s, lower than mine. He offers a few suggestions how I can better self-manage my blood sugar. Some very good suggestions which I take onboard.

She picked half a dozen figs. I suggest he is careful how many he eats; they are so ripe they’re high in sugar (wasps have been attracted to the fruit, en masse).

On the way to work, in the late afternoon (late start, late finish) the Park’N’Ride has only one car. Good sign, so far.

The white motorhome is still parked up where it’s been for the last few days.

From  the Hutt Valley to the Eastern suburbs, around a 40km trip, I see… one police car.

On the motorway there appears to be more car traffic than commercial vehicles. The commercial ones I spot include Fulton Hogan; a double tandem gravel-hauler; a stack of beehives on a flat-deck light-truck; a “Pacific”-branded fuel tanker; “Gator”-branded heat pumps van; a Downer truck; “Eurofins” Laboratory car; “Hawkeye”-branded ute; “Red Wolf” security ute; WEL (Wellington Electricity)  van; 3 Mainfreight trucks; an emty container-haulage truck; “Budget” rental van; “Spotless” catering van; 2 fully-laden container trucks; “Linfox” branded truck; “ACM” security van; Scania truck; and a “Chemdry” van (carpet cleaning business must be on the up and up?).

Traffic appears, on the face of it, “heavier” than the last few days. However, it’s a different time of the day (around 3.30pm), so people may be on their way home as I’m hoofing it to work.

More near-deserted streets in Wellington…

In Miramar, a gent in his 50s (60s?) is sitting in the open back of his van, cleaning a paint brush. Judging by the gear in the van, he’s a full-on commercial painter, not a DIYer. The house he’s parked in front has scaffolding around it;



I’m hoping the house he’s painting is empty and so is maintaining his bubble – by the look of his age, he’d be in the vulnerable age group.

It’s a long work day. My clients are still in lock down – most have underlying medical conditions as well as in the 50s – 60s age group. I doubt many of them would survive a covid19 infection. Protocol for entering; gate unlocked; hands washed immediately; soles of shoes wiped clean with disinfectant.

The evening passes quickly. Paperwork on-line is completed,  and it’s time to go home.

Outside, in the night, there is a fire engine with lights flashing down the street. No siren, just the red strobes of the emergency lights.  It reminds me that the true heroes of this crisis (as well as retail workers at supermarkets) are the fire-fighters, police, and medical professionals. We owe them so much – our lives, when you think about it.

As I stand on the footpath, it’s a windless night. No other cars. And no airplanes taking off from the nearby Wellington International Airport.

It’s just… silence. The Quiet Earth is here. This is civilisation’s “dial” wound back to near-zero.

The drive home is like the drive home last night, and the night before: a near empty motorway.

At home, I have my own protocol’s; shoes off outside; open door; straight to bathroom to thoroughly wash hands. Phone and other gear wiped down with disinfectant. Is it enough? Who knows. But it’s what we have to work with.

Tonight I skype my partner, “A”. We don’t live together so we have our respective “bubbles”. We don’t mix at all and I haven’t seen her since the Sunday prior to lock-down. We chat, swapping stories of our work day. It’s good to see her smile.

“A” pranks me by coughing and complaining of a sore throat. I’m alarmed for a second before I notice the expression on her face. *Bazinga!* She got me. It’s black humour, but by the gods it lightens the mood. (And it’s pay-back for the times I take the mickey with her.)  After half an hour, we’re both showing signs of weariness. It’s bedtime; say our goodnights; and sign off.

Tomorrow is another day. Let’s see what it brings.


Current covid19 cases: 797

Number of deaths: 1






RNZ:  Coronavirus – First death in New Zealand from Covid-19

RNZ:  Live Covid-19 updates from New Zealand and around the world on 2 April

Must Read

Elemental: Hold the Line

Democracy Now:  Madrid’s Ice Rink Turned to Morgue as Spain Exceeds China in Coronavirus Deaths

Previous related blogposts

The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus

Life in Lock Down: Day 1

Life in Lock Down: Day 2

Life in Lock Down: Day 3

Life in Lock Down: Day 4

Life in Lock Down: Day 5

Life in Lock Down: Day 6

Life in Lock Down: Day 7

Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)




Acknowledgement: Rod Emmerson


This blogpost will be re-published on “Frankly Speaking“. Reader’s comments may be left here (The Daily Blog) or there (Frankly Speaking).


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