As of midnight on Wednesday 25 March 2020 New Zealand entered COVID-19 Alert Level 4, meaning that everyone must stay at home and not mix with people outside of their household group. Only essential services are operating and the police have authority to enforce the ‘lockdown’ in order to reduce spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus which has now killed over 21,000 people worldwide.
This is the first time such a measure has been implemented in New Zealand and we are all still getting our heads around it, the announcement on Monday had a surreal quality about it, probably the closest I will get witnessing the country declaring war. I did have flashbacks to where I was and what I was doing when the World Trade Center in New York was hit by terrorists in 2001, another historically defining moment.
For our family we have parents isolated in their own homes, our eldest daughter living with friends at their student flat, and four of us in our home. Fortunately we have a good sized front yard so the kids can play outside and if the weather is good there is work to be done outside too. We are currently all fine, though I am still coughing and sneezing from whatever bug my boss brought back from Melbourne and thoughtfully shared with us at work on 9 March.
Today was a nice day so we got some washing done, had a bit of a cleanup of the kids’ rooms and a short walk this afternoon. I finally got around to doing some more work on this blog and spent some time reading. All fairly normal stuff and it felt much as a normal weekend would. It will be as days stretch into weeks and we are unable to escape to a beach or out into nature that the situation will feel confining.
I am thankful that we have the internet and a multiplicity of screen devices to connect with the rest of the world. If this had happened when I was a kid (way back before the internet) I think it would have been a near impossible ask of people.