As the world closes its doors and we all face serious restrictions on our movements, an opportune time to communicate with other countries.
Here in New Zealand it is Friday 27th March and we are in our second day of a potential minimum 28 day lock down. What does this mean? Our situation has been aptly described as living in a bubble which includes those we are living with but excludes other bubbles of people. Generally we should stay at home although we are free to walk and cycle as long as we always stay at least 2 metres away from other people. Travel is restricted to essential trips to the supermarket or pharmacy and each house should have it’s designated shopper, ideally a younger person under the age of 70 if you are a family of older people. This task falls to my wife Claire who meets the criteria, whereas I don’t! Shoppers are carefully controlled at the supermarkets to avoid crowding and close contact. Payment by card not cash.
Our situation is rather unusual in that for many months we had expected a couple of friends to visit from the UK, arriving last Sunday morning – which they duly did after two weeks touring the South Island. They are now stranded with us for the foreseeable future! A bit of a test of friendship. Absolutely no problems so far. Like many a family/group isolated together we have agreed a few guidelines to ensure that we have time to ourselves and don’t end up killing each other. Otherwise it is interesting to discover the food fads of people when it comes to selecting menues.
Despite being in the vulnerable older age group, in many ways we have some advantages. We are used to not going out to work and keeping ourselves busy at home, and not least we have a regular income in pension form. Not so for many people who have lost their jobs, although the NZ government is doing stirling work to maintain incomes for everyone.
Finally a thought for all those who are employed in essential services from the medical staff to transport staff and certainly supermarket assistants. We will all owe them a considerable debt of gratitude.
I will update our NZ situation as and when.