Lockdown blog

Sunday 29 March

Day Five of my Lockdown

Went for a MTB rider this morning after much angst. There were quite a few people roaming around walking dogs and running, far more than usual, at the time In go up. Though to be fair I am later than I have been given it is dark until after 7. Daylight saving ends this coming Sunday so it will be light at 6ish so I can get going earlier. I have good lights but I need to be a little careful at this point. The last thing I want to do is fall off and hurt myself to the extent I need medical care and need to present myself to a medical centre or hospital when there is a national crisis under way.

Took it easy- 4 minutes off my best time.  Better than going crazy and falling off. Luckily I stocked up on consumables – touchwood so I can fix some things. Might run out of contacts but at least I know where I can get some. Sarah called me yesterday to say they had arrived.

Everything I read and hear in the news regarding what is going on in other parts of the world  reminds me how lucky we are to live down here in a relatively isolated part of the world. If we can keep on top of the spread of the virus and prevent any new cases, basically close and seal the border, we will emerge more intact into a new world. New arrivals in NZ have to self isolate/quarantine but its going to be difficult to get everyone and some people always think they are exempt from the rules that apply to everyone.

It will be interesting to see what shape the new world will be. The current political and economic landscape has been shown to be fragile and unable to cope with the pandemic. Populists have been found wanting, their versions of nationalism and isolationism and playing on the fears of large numbers of people to get their vote, and playing down the impact of the pandemic are failing to deal with the need to mobilise resources to support the health systems.

China’s influence might wane given the pandemic started there and global supply chains were disrupted as they locked the country down to get on top of the pandemic. One outcome, I am sure will be more protectionism and a review of what industries and manufacturing has strategic importance.

Being an authoritarian state, China has managed to get the pandemic under control and is firing up. On the other hand the pandemic is rampant in the US and Europe and who knows how and when they will emerge and in what shape.

The other issue is this situation might accelerate the decline of old media leaving RNZ and TVNZ as the only news sources to counter the miss information spread on social media.

Saturday 28 March

Day Four of Lockdown

Saturday happens to be day three of the official lockdown. Typical Saturday for me. Have just completed my chores. Did the washing, mowed the lawn, listened to Kim Hill for a while, read the news and tried to ignore the reason I am here in the first place.

Now what? No sport, no shopping? Already tidied up the garage and the shed, my office . ….

I’m keeping a bit if a diary if anyone is bored and wants a bit of reading material. I am luckier than a lot of people, I can work from home to and we have a big house so me and she who must be obeyed can self-isolate in our isolation bubble if we need to….

. ….83 new cases either confirmed or probable now 451

Joyce not liking being told off for not social distancing. Noticed a few people who were ignoring the exercise local call.

Friday 27th March

Day 3 of Lockdown and ennui has settled in and I need to get back to some form of normalcy, even though I am working from home. Making sure I exercise is a key one. I have felt a little odd this week, possibly a little stress and anxiety, and dehydration. This house is really dry and well insulated and sucks the moisture out. I felt this at Christmas.

The last few days workwise have been crazy. It will be a different sort of crazy next week as we have gone from flat out to running at less than half speed. People’s concern will likely shift from a lack of hand sanitiser and gloves

NZ has 368 confirmed or probable cases – no deaths as of today.

Haven’t been on my MTB for ten days but I think I will start and go for rides – I was worried about falling off an hurting myself and putting a burden on the health system. I’ll just take it easy and ride in the light, instead of the dark. Reduce the risk. Yeah right.

I also need to get Joyce doing stuff as she will sleep all day otherwise. I’d like to think I could do some writing, but I have been quite busy with work. I went in for a few hours yesterday and it was quite eerie, very little traffic on the road.

NZ’s response to the pandemic has been slow as we have watched events unfold overseas and at least we can try and learn what has worked and what hasn’t. Based on information today most infections in NZ are imported and there is limited community spread to date, so we have a chance to stamp the virus out, and our isolation will be a big help in keeping the virus out if we can stamp it out. The upshot of this is that our economy will change in many ways, some seem obvious-less tourism, international travel, more working from home. But there will be many others that aren’t apparent to us today.

Political systems and economies are under stress at the moment. Authoritarian regimes would seem better placed to enforce lockdowns on the other side of the spectrum the US seems unprepared for the crisis as small government libertarians have stripped out ‘non-essential’ components of the federal system, health institutions, and while the US has great medical care, its only for those that can afford it. Many people have little or no access to decent health care. For many the US Health system is third world, not only do many people have limited access to medical care, many live on the edge, the working poor.

The US crisis isn’t helped with having a buffoon as President who clearly doesn’t have much of a grip on reality. He is focused on getting the US Back to work and save the economy not people. This underscores the ideology driving the current administration-profits vs people. Even the stimulus packages being released seem more focused on keeping business afloat vs making sure people can pay their bills. The irony of big business with their hands out for government funds seems lost on them but might herald a new way of doing things in the future with more government support, and a change in the way governments operate and deliver services, and collective responsibility.

This doesn’t mean an end to big business or entrepreneurship, but might mean more tax, better holidays and sick leave provisions and new ways of working. It also might change the current trends of globalisation, because with China and other parts of Asia being the workshops of the world and shut down, many critical products, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals for example are in short supply -this might mean a move to more local production of strategic and key supplies which will be tough on developing nations.

More work from home, home shopping will also transform the industry I work in and lead to more growth. Last weekend we visited our accountant who suggested we look at commercial property, not office blocks.

I’ve been feeling quite shitty for a few days, better today. Joyce had a flu jab and I wonder if I got a whiff of that or have I had a slight dose of the dreaded lurgy.

Dennis rang to see how we were going. He and Katy have been working from home for a week or so longer than us but a sign of how more seriously NZ is taking the lockdown, they are still getting takeaways.

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