April 23: Day 29 of living in lock-down…
Three new cases… but two more deaths. It’s a cruel act of Fate that success and good news is tempered with tragedy and death. With each of those deaths, families are left grieving for the loss of someone who has been entwined in their lives.
There are times I wish that those agitating and making shrill demands to re-open the economy, should be made to be in the room with those grieving families. No amount of money and economic growth can make up for the loss of a loved one who we shall never see again, and lives on only in our memories and photographic recordings.
The day starts of as many have in the last four weeks. Drive past the railway station Park N Ride – still three cars in the open expanse of a carpark built for a hundred times that number. (Yesterday there were four cars present.)
On the main road to SH2, the white motorhome is still in place. It’s become a ‘fixture’ my gaze automatically looks for in the first ‘leg’ of my drive to work.
It was a cloudy, mild, autumn day.
On the highway, a Wellington Electricity van; ‘JETS’ van; ‘Phoenix Transport’ van; an unbranded double-tandem truck (unbranded commercial vehicles seem more common than I have ever noticed, previous to the lock-down); ‘Kaibosh’ van; a fully laden ‘PBT’ container truck; ‘Jina’s’ fruit & veg van; a police car; a light truck marked ‘Dandy Candy’ (really ?!); ‘Waste Management’ truck; an unbranded light truck carrying gas cylinders; ‘Placemakers’ ute; ‘Chorus’ ute; ‘Precision’ glazing van; ‘Paint m& Plasterer’ ute; ‘Good Shed’ light truck; ‘L.G. Anderson’ covered truck; ‘Steinlager’ branded covered truck; a firewood truck (company logo not discernible); ‘Gilmours’ truck; ‘Arobake’ van; a fully laden ‘KAM’ container truck; another police car; ‘Coca cola’ branded truck; towtruck wagon carrying a car; ‘Bundaberg beer’ branded SUV; ‘PBT Transport’ truck; ‘Toll’ double tandem truck; ‘Print Link’ truck; ‘Arrow Hygiene’ van; ‘Budget Rental’ covered truck; truck carrying two waste-bins; ‘Commonsense Organics’ van; ‘Enviro waste’ rubbish truck; ‘Dimond’ building ute; ‘Inter Waste’ truck; an unbranded fully laden container truck; an ambulance; a skip bin truck; scaffolding truck; ‘Red Cross’ blood van; ‘Gilmour’s’ truck; ‘Cushman & Wakefield’ real estate services van; a police car; ‘Tip Top’ refrigerated truck…
Traffic on SH2 was light; about half a dozen vehicles around me.
The red ship still lay where it was first spotted;
Definitely under fourteen day quarantine.
Meanwhile, another large freighter berthed near the Interislander wharf, spotted the previous day, was gone. If mandatory quarantine does not apply to that vessel, hopefully it’s a coastal trader, restricted to Aotearoa’s waters.
The road works gang with ‘Wellington Pipelines Ltd’ trucks and digger in attendance, were still digging up the footpath. Still no sign of any social distancing being practiced.
Meanwhile, ‘Z Energy’ has made itself out to be practicising high levels of corporate bastardry by getting rid of unwanted fuel stocks back on to the world market. The reason? To keep local fuel prices high.
So there we have it; Z Energy’s chief executive, Mike Bennetts openly admitting that allowing cheap fuel into Aotearoa would result in “too much fuel that will affect us by way of having to sell“.
Anyone still believing that the rules of the free market apply in any way, shape, or form, is deluded. ACT – the so-called party of the free market – made no comment on this blatant manipulation of fuel prices. (Quite the opposite, in fact. ACT has been calling for more corporate welfare – paid by taxpayers.)
The next time David Seymour or any of his ACT cronies bleats on about “market forces” – point them to this story. Then watch them do “mental gymnastics” to explain how/why such a thing could happen in an open market like ours.
Current covid19 cases: 1,451
Cases in ICU: 1
Number of deaths: 16
April 24: Day 30 of living in lock-down…
Back up to five new cases *AND* another death. With only three more days until we move to Alert Level 3, we better start hoping that contact tracing is working.
The railway station Park N Ride had the same three cars – but there the similarities to previous days, weeks, ended. In my driving to Wellington, and around the city, there was a marked increase in both commercial and non-commercial traffic on the roads. The fact it was a fine, sunny day – more like summer than autumn – also brought a few people out.
Commercial traffic was definitely higher than before. And whereas there there moments on the open highway when my vehicle was the only one present – today there was a constant flow of traffic around me. Still not as heavy as in normal times – but still noticeably heavier than at any time in the last four weeks.
On my way home tonight, again, traffic at around 8pm was the highest I’ve seen it since Level 4 lock-down began at 11.59pm, Wednesday, 25 March.
People are starting to revert to “normality”.
Meanwhile, the roadworks in Vivian Street, downtown Wellington, had ended; as had roadworks at the Miramar ‘cutting’; and new roadworks this afternoon in William Street, Hataitai. I watched the roadworks gang – at no point was social distancing evident. It was business-as-usual.
If the police fail to monitor holiday ‘hot spots’ as they are promising to do this weekend, it will be a free-for-all for people to be on the move. In which case, Professor Shaun Hendy’s prediction of a “re-invasion” by the virus could become a reality.
Back to square one. Or rather, back to Alert Level Four.
Meanwhile there are the usual click-bait headlines highlighting bizarre ideas. Such as Aotearoa prostituting itself to become rich white men’s “bolt hole”. Or billionaire Trump supporter and founder of data-collecting company, Palantir, Peter Thiel, wanting to offer his services to help track covid19.
That’s a ‘Yeah,nah,piss off” to both those suggestions.
And while we’re about it, could someone in this government look to stripping Peter Thiel’s New Zealand citizenship? Mr Thiel bought his citizenship (the price is unclear) in 2011. Millionaire John Key gave Billionaire Peter Thiel citizenship – even though the latter had only briefly visited this country on a few occassions.
There is no clear reason why this gentleman should hold New Zealand citizenship. Aside from his money, maybe.
The one headline I want to see is not “Billionaires flock to New Zealand and buy up North Island” – but rather, “No new covid19 cases today“. I know which is worth more to us.
Current covid19 cases: 1,456
Cases in ICU: 1
Number of deaths: 17
NZ Herald: Citizen Thiel
The Independent: Is Sweden having second thoughts on lockdown?
Elemental: Hold the Line
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