Home > Global, Social Issues > Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 3

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 3

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20 August: Day 3 of living in lock-down…

Day’s beginning.

Current covid19 cases: 22

Cases in ICU: –

Number of deaths: –

The day began sunny and near-cloudless sky. It was warming up. Not good, I thought with dread: fine days bring out the people for casual strolls on the beachfront; joggers; bike riders, dog walkers; et al. Most without face-masks, judging by yesterday’s observations on Oriental and Evans Bays.

By late morning, the sky filled with gray clouds; the temperature plummeted; and it began spitting with rain.

Perversely, my spirit lifted. People were less inclined to wander out and about in bad weather and – hopefully – would instead remain home.

The drive into Wellington to begin my work-day confirmed that the weather was worsening; the gentle ‘spit’ became a light drizzle.

There were fewer cars parked at the local railway station park-n-ride – only five today. In my immediate urban area there were even fewer cars on the road than yesterday. It was resembling last year’s lockdown.

On the highway I observed trucks marked PBT, “Lowcost Bins”; van marked “The Drain Doctor”; an “Armourguard” van; “Waste Management” jumbo-bin truck (unladen); “Postehaste” courier van; white van marked “Precision”; a light-truck carrying gas cylinders; a van marked “HydrauLink”; van marked “Initial”; a “Moore Wilsons” truck; another “Waste Management” truck; a ute marked “Groundforce”; a “Hirepool” truck, with driver and passenger, parked up at Belmont, carrying a portacom toilet; a “L.G. Anderson” marked truck; a yellow soft-sided truck (“Pak n Save”?)’; an unladen flat deck truck with a hi-ab; a soft-side truck marked “Countdown”;  a “Mitre 10 – Crofton Downs” truck carrying building materials; another “L.G. Anderson” flat-deck truck carrying a container; an ambulance; “Hirepool” truck; glaziers van; a “Traffic Management” truck; “Envirowaste” truck; “Waste Management” truck; “Provida Refrigerated Logistics” truck; “Kiwi Express” courier van; “L.G. Andrerson” flat deck truck, empty; “Dixon Dunlop” gravel truck, apparently empty; a police ute just north of Wellington; a “Toll” marked truck; “Dawson’s Waste” Pumping truck; two utes marked “Vertex”, carrying scaffold gear; a “Linfox” tanker;  “Onestop Plumbing & Gas” van (parked up); another police car in Miramar;  and many more which this blogger could not determine their company markings.

There was rock-dredging taking place in the Hutt River adjacent to SH2 “River Road” by two heavy digging-machines. Operations to rearrange the river-bed seemed to have returned to “normal” during an abnormal period. Has the Wellington Regional Council sanctioned this work?

By Melling, traffic was still light; lighter than the last few days.

At the automated BP Service station, on SH2 north of Ngauranga, there were workmen present again with several heavy vehicles.  Whatever work they were engaged in seemed unaffected by the nationwide lockdown order.

Out in the harbour, the freighter from yesterday was still anchored out in the choppy waters:

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One couldn’t but feel sympathy for the hapless crew aboard the ship:

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In Wellington City, few pedestrians wore face masks. But positively, there were even fewer people wandering along Oriental Bay Parade.

Update on the Marquee this blogger witnessed being erected/dismantled outside Te Papa Museum, in Cable Street yesterday:

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The Marquee had been put up. And it’s use was obvious:

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Unlike some of the commercial-construction activity this blogger was witnessing, this work was very much essential. A new covid-testing station in the city.  Just in time, for the terrible news that was just starting to break:

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Meanwhile, in the nearby Te Papa carpark,  three campervans were parked up. It remains to be seen if they will be present on Monday morning:

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At the Evans Bay Marina Campervan park, vehicles were still apparently coming and going, despite the lockdown.

At the eastern end:

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Compared to yesterday (right) with today (left):

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At the southern end:

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Compared to yesterday (right) with today (left):

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At the northern end:

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Compared to yesterday (right) with today (left):

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Parked up roadside:

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There was no change above from the image taken yesterday.

The reason this matters is not a campervan version of “trainspotting”. If these vehicles are are no longer parked-up, but are mobile, then they potentially become super-spreaders.

As the Wellingtonian who returned by car to Wellington, driving from Auckland:

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One campervan laden with occupants could easily spread the virus throughout the north island.

On 21 August, this blogger reported one of several vehicles on the motorway:

“South of Ngauranga, a white campervan was heading north. Another person taking the opportunity to treat lockdown as a personal opportunity for impromptu holiday-time?”

Where were they heading?

They are a potential, dangerous vector for spread no one has considered.

Tonight, a campervan owner at the Marina told this blogger that the Wellington City Council had lifted the 4-day maximum parking limit for vehicles during the covid emergency. There is therefore no valid justification for campervan owners to be moving around and flouting the lockdown.

Police have been notified.

Throughout the day, this blogger had occasion to visit two ‘Pak n Save’ supermarkets; one work-related on behalf of a client; the other personal. Neither were pleasant experiences.

Though supermarket staff did their best to limit numbers entering the store, the two-metre distancing rule is impossible to practice. The aisles are simply not wide enough and customers often pass each other well within a metre.

However, mask wearing was near universal. Only three customers were spotted; one with his mask slipped down; another without a mask, and wearing only a scarf which had slipped down around his neck; and a woman who responded that she “had an exemption“.

Did she also have an exemption from the Delta Covid? She didn’t say.

But they were only three of several hundred this blogger witnessed.

People entering the stores were assiduously scanning QR codes.

Dodging the Bullet – a personal note

The Ministry of Health released a list of locations of interest where covid-infected Wellingtonians, returning from Auckland, had been in the last few days.

The locations included places in suburbs around Wellington:

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As this blogger read through the list, my heart sank. Two places on Wednesday 18 August, in Johnsonville, were on a day I visit a client. The times coincided when I accompany them through Johnsonville.

Could it be that we had crossed paths with this infected  person? I could have passed him on the footpath and breathed in as he exhaled. Delta Covid is that infectious.

I felt sick in my gut.

I quickly grabbed my work diary. Checking the appointments, I found my client’s entry.

It had been crossed off.

I had been reassigned to Miramar clients instead. This was dodging the bullet on a personal level.  By reassigning me, my Manager may have inadvertently saved me and my client from becoming two more statistics.

By Day’s End.

Current covid19 cases: 31

Cases in ICU: –

Number of deaths: –

So ended the third day of our journey to beat this thing.

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References

RNZ: North Shore Hospital patient tests positive for Covid-19, emergency department closes

NZ Herald: Covid 19 coronavirus Delta outbreak – Everything we know so far about Wellington cases

NZ Herald: Covid 19 coronavirus Delta outbreak – Two cities, one cluster; North Island cases grow

NZ Herald: Covid 19 coronavirus Delta outbreak – Locations of interest pass 190 – yet more expected

RNZ: Covid-19 update – 11 new cases in the community, including three in Wellington

Additional

Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MoBIE): Workplace operations at COVID-19 alert levels – Guidance for businesses at Alert Levels 2, 3 and 4

RNZ: Daily cheer – Social media content from lockdown day 3

Previous related blogposts

Team 5 million vs Covid: Aotearoa on Three Strikes

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 1

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 2

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Acknowledgement: Sharon Murdoch

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Have your own thoughts? Leave a comment. (Trolls need not bother.)

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= fs =

  1. 21 August 2021 at 10:32 am

    Many of those caravaners were probably caught out by the lockdown. Although it sounds like a contradiction they’re probably less likely to spread the virus than you.

    Although they are moving around they’re still within a bubble, usually a couple or a single person. They would only need to interact with people when they refill gas bottles (which don’t need to be refilled more than once a fortnight depending on frequency and type of use), buy food and dispose of waste. As long as they wear face masks, scan wherever they go, observe two metre distancing when they’re out of their caravan and only one person does the shopping etc they’re fine.

    The biggest problem is power supply. Without being hooked up to a power supply the batteries need recharging and driving around is the only way to do this. You don’t need to socially interact to do that or even get out of the caravan.

  2. 21 August 2021 at 8:47 pm

    I think you’ve totally missed the point, Miles. They’re not in a bubble when they’re travelling the country needing to be re-fuelled; buying food; interacting with locals.

    I don’t believe “staying at home” means taking your home with you.

  1. 24 August 2021 at 8:01 am
  2. 25 August 2021 at 8:32 pm
  3. 27 August 2021 at 10:00 pm
  4. 29 August 2021 at 4:31 pm
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  11. 7 September 2021 at 8:31 am

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