Life in Lock Down: Day 33 & 34

2
186

.

.

April 27: Day 33 of living in lock-down…

Five more cases, only one of which has been confirmed. And another of our fellow New Zealanders has fallen to the virus, a woman in her nineties, a resident from St Margaret’s Rest Home in Auckland.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Today my partner and I have discussed merging our ‘bubbles’. It will have been over four weeks since we’ve seen each other, aside from ‘Zoom‘ video-calling.

The “catch” is that whilst her ‘bubble’ is only three people – mine is significantly larger. The risk from me is greater than from her.

On the ‘positive side of the ledger’, the Hutt Valley and Wellington DHBs have not recorded any further C19 infections. As at 9am this morning;

.

.

And going back to last Thursday, still no new cases;

.

.

At today’s press conference with PM Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield, there was this “golden moment” at 33:54;

.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/R__nYc_b1yU” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>

[alt.link]

.

The expression on Dr Bloomfield’s face: priceless. It was the non-verbal version of, “What the f**k?!

It was obviously a questioned geared to create headlines, which in turn would generate ‘clicks’. (Plus it was just plain dumb.) Dr Bloomfield would have none of it. The man has not spent decades of his life in the medical profession to answer gormless questions about something an orange Village Idiot, sitting in the White House, said when his walnut-sized brain was coasting in ‘neutral’.

It was up to the PM to bat the inane question aside, treating it with the contempt it deserved.

Tonight will be the last day/night of living under Level 4. Tomorrow, the “ropes” will have been loosened somewhat to allow businesses to re-open, though in a limited way, practicing social-distancing.

Though from what little I’ve seen of “social distancing” within supermarkets and road gangs, I am not filled with optimism.

.

Current covid19 cases: 1,469

Cases in ICU: 1

Number of deaths: 19

.

April 28: Day 1 of Level 3…

The first day of Level 3 – a step closer to some semblance of ‘normality’. (Though much of what we Humans call ‘normal’ has ravaged the planet; consumed our resources; filled the atmosphere with greenhouses gases; turned out oceans into a vast garbage dump; created mass-extinctions; and ripped the guts out of our rain forests. Yet, so many of us yearn to return to that ‘normality’…

Hitting the road, I pass the Park N Ride as I do each day. The signs are good: only four cars present – one more than usual.

.

.

Perhaps my forebodings are baseless and people will respect the necessity to stay home?

Fat chance. These *are* humans, after all.

On the roads leading to SH2, the increase in traffic is obvious. Last week there would have been three or four cars – it’s way more.

Then out onto SH2. I start recording the commercial vehicles with my voicecorder, and given up after five minutes. Traffic is heavy, both commercial and non-commercial. In fact, it’s fairly similar to any given day at around 11am before anyone ever heard of ‘novel coronavirus’ or ‘covid19’. The Melling Interchange was as busy as ever;

.

.

The red ship that had anchored in the harbour, within view of the motorway, had gone. It’s fourteen days quarantine must have included it’s ocean-going time spent on the high seas.

This raises questions how freighters will deal with quarantine protocols in future. With air travel limited, will a fourteen day mandatory quarantine for sea-going freighters be uneconomic? It will certainly be a long time before anyone is bold enough to step foot on a cruise-liner again.  The owners of those floating hotels/petri dishes couldn’t give those tickets away.

After exiting the Terrace Tunnel and queuing with other traffic at the lights;

.

.

It was “all on”. If the Prime Minister was watching out the windows of her Ninth Floor office, she must have had her head in her hands, shaking it in despair.

This wasn’t Level 3, 2, or 1. This was pre-Level Anything. Whatever these New Zealanders had heard on the radio, TV, or internet was completely opposite to how I understand Level 3 to operate.

Even the motorhomes were on the move again, like this one that pulled up in Hataitai;

.

.

Driving along the southern coast and Lyall Bay, it suddenly struck me that bicylists were again a vulnerable minority. The dominance of the automobile had returned.

One plucky father had two children (5? 4?) on their little bikes trailing behind him on Hamilton Road, with cars zipping past. (I braked to a crawl, to slowly over-take, probably irritating drivers behind me. F**k’em.)

In the days to come, as car drivers reassert their dominance on the roads, bolstered by a tonne of metal, glass, rubber, and fabric, bicyclists will come to remember the brief month that their mode of transport ruled the Ways. It may be a tale they pass on to their grandkids…

At 1PM, we get the good news: only three new cases and – thankfully – no additional fatalities. Well, that’s the positive side. The downside? This;

.

.

Can you spot two-metre distancing outside the Burger Fuel outlet? No, neither can I.

Just one asymptomatic carrier of covid19… that’s all it takes. Just. One. Person.

This scene will be repeated around the country and become more common as people become more complacent.

Cue sequel: The Virus Strikes Back.

My drive home tonight, at about 8pm was no different. Traffic. Lots of it. In fact, it seemed as if there were more vehicles on the motorway than usual at that hour of the night.

And one more thing.

The smell.

There was a “new” acrid smell in the air. The smell of burning fossil fuel had returned. In time my nostrils would become accustomed to the odour again and not register to my senses.

But I will also have lost the smell I’d enjoyed only up until last night – clean air.

Postscript

Meanwhile, the lack of new cases in Wellington and the Hutt Valley mercifully continues;

.

.

Current covid19 cases: 1,472

Cases in ICU:  1

Number of deaths: 19

.

.

.

.

References

Day 33

Ministry of Health:  Covid-19 – current cases – 27 April 2020

Ministry of Health:  Covid-19 – current cases – 23 April 2020 (via Wayback Machine)

Youtube:  Ministry of Health update on Covid-19 – April 27

RNZ:  One new confirmed case of Covid-19 today, but one further death

Day 34

Twitter: Richard Hills – Burger Fuel – covid19 – queue -28.4.20

Ministry of Health:  Covid-19 – current cases – 28 April 2020

RNZ:  Covid-19 latest update – Three new cases in NZ, no further deaths

Must Read

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

The Independent:  Is Sweden having second thoughts on lockdown?

Elemental: Hold the Line

Other Blogs

Will New Zealand Be Right?

Resources

Johns Hopkins University: Coronavirus Resource Center

Ministry of Health:  Covid-19 – current cases

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)

Life in Lock Down: Day 8

Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)

Life in Lock Down: Day 9

Life in Lock Down: Day 10

Life in Lock Down: Day 11

Life in Lock Down: Day 12

Life in Lock Down: Day 13

Life in Lock Down: Day 14

Life in Lock Down: Day 15

Life in Lock Down: Day 16 – Bad Friday

Life in Lock Down: Day 17

Life in Lock Down: Day 18

Life in Lock Down: Day 19

Life in Lock Down: Day 20

Life in Lock Down: Day 21

Life in Lock Down: Day 22 – Is that a light at the end of a four week long tunnel?!

Life in Lock Down: Day 23

Life in Lock Down: Day 24 & 25

Life in Lock Down: Day 27 – and it’s been a shit day

Life in Lock Down: Day 28 – An Open Letter to Prime Minister Ardern

Life in Lock Down: Day 29 & 30

Life in Lock Down: Day 31 & 32

.

.

 

Emmerson covid 19 pandemic

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).

.

= fs =

2 COMMENTS

  1. Frank the only downside of getting too level one apart from the obvious is your excellent analysis of life in Wellington which mirrors life here in Christchurch and all other corners of our beautiful country.

    ” And one more thing.

    The smell.

    There was a “new” acrid smell in the air. The smell of burning fossil fuel had returned. In time my nostrils would become accustomed to the odour again and not register to my senses ”

    I have noticed the same thing in my travels around my immediate area , that and after our long sojourn the return of the patient , courteous kiwi driver.( sarc )

    The enforced detention has done very little too focus the animal that exists when most of us get behind the wheel.

    The usual speeding , race too cut you off as two becomes one lane , not giving way at intersections and not indicating your intention too turn as you enter a roundabout ( being a mind reader i supposed too know in advance your intentions of where you are going )

    Oh and my personal favourite the tailgater who wants too be the only one on the road and yes they have had that privilege in the last five weeks.

    If you have some spare over ripe feijoas send them my way.

    I can throw pretty far when i need too.

    All the best

    • Thanks, Mosa. It’s been an interesting experience and a divergence from my usual style of reporting. Especially as I probably referred to more of my private life than I ever wanted to. But context seemed important.

      Unfortunately we may quickly forget the five weeks enforced “holiday” from our rat-race consumerist society. It was a moment in our lives where we had a brief experience with another way of living. But the price to pay would be high – too high for many.

      It’s a shame. I liked the peacefulness. But then again, I was “lucky” that (a) I still had a job and (b) I was out and about and not cooped up at home. As always, it’s a trade-off and despite the positive aspects of five weeks of peace, I suspect most folk would use the adage, “Nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there”.

      Re the tailgaters. Yes, I’ve had them, as well. specially during L4 Lockdown when the roads were nearly totally empty. Evidence that the driver was deliberately tailgating? Road bullying? One day I’d love to jam on my brakes…!

      Feijoas? Email me your address. I’ll see if there are any left on the tree! (fmacskasy@gmail.com) Are post offices even open at the moment?

Comments are closed.