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Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 19 (@L3)

6 September 2021 1 comment

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5 September: Day 19 of living in lock-down…

Day’s beginning.

Current covid19 cases: 782

Cases in ICU: 7

Number of deaths: 1 (Total since first infection in Aotearoa: 27)

Another day spent mostly at home. Plenty of housework to finish, and a chance to catch up on some tree and flax planting I’d been meaning to get around to for since Lockdown. The front lawn is slowly becoming a micro-“Zelandia, with native trees and other plants gradually replacing flat grass:

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New flax plantings, and Whao (encircled in red)

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New ‘Whao’ (centre)

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The flax was obtained from a professional garden-maintenance team who were going to dump it. The flax was perfectly fine, simply needing to be split apart, pruned back, and planted.

As I was doing the work (surprisingly easy, as the holes did not require to be large or deep), I spotted a ‘friend’ high over-head on a power-line studying my exertions:

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Perhaps in a few decades, when my ‘mini-Zelandia’ garden has become more mature, Kereru, Tui, and other native birds will choose to roost in branches that are only a few metres from my lounge.

How cool would that be?

Trimmed other trees around my property. Much needed, as they were over-growing a pathway, and entangling each other.

Went to ‘Repco” for car engine oil. The contactless-service was well designed; a table at the back of the retail outlet; roped off; masked retail attendant; QR codes well displayed; sign-in sheets filled with names and details of customers: a responsible corporate citizen.

Waited until after the 1PM press – more on that at the conclusion of this blogpost.

Phoned my partner. We chatted. Hoped that the North Island outside Auckland would drop to Level 2 this week. She had been gardening as well. If the nationwide lockdown lasted long enough, the entire country would have the most well manicured gardens on the planet.

Waited until 8PM to do grocery shopping. At this time, the supermarket was not as busy as usual, and social distancing was a simple, non-stressful matter.

A day where I managed to do the things I’d been meaning to do for months, but always managed to deflect my attention elsewhere.

Jarring note for the day, unsurprisingly, came from TV3’s Tova O’Brien, in an exchange that beggared belief. Ms O’Brien asked Dr Bloomfield this bizarre question about exemptions for funerals:

“Funeral directors are pushing for that because there’s this inconsistency where under Level Four, strangers can be socially distanced in a supermarket queue and they can be socially distanced on the waterfront, but they can’t be socially distanced at a burial outdoors at a cemetary.”

The utter incoherent stupidity of that question/assertion cannot be over-stated.

Firstly, it is not an “inconsistency”. Many businesses and services have either closed or been forced to offer reduced services.

Secondly, it defies rational understanding that Ms O’Brien compares a supermarket queue or people on the waterfront with a funeral service. Strangers at a supermarket, standing in a queue, do not – generally speaking – comfort each other in a heightened emotional state of grief. Strangers passing by on the waterfront, likewise, rarely grab each other for a ‘comforting’ hug.

Thirdly, comparing going to a supermarket for a loaf of bread with a funeral service where a family’s loved one is being buried or cremated, is offensive. Who makes such comparisons?!

As Dr Bloomfield explained – with the sainted patience of a teacher addressing a six year old:

“Indeed, one of the comments I would make and I know the Prime Minister has made it before, is that funerals and tangihanga tend to be places where people like to comfort each other and so its… that’s a very important consideration here where it may be more difficult for a whole lot of reasons for people to maintain physical distancing, but of course we’ll continue to keep talking with the funeral director groups. If the request comes through we’ll assess that on it’s merits.”

Ms O”Brien followed up with a loaded question that can only be described as appallingly bad taste:

“Do you support the arrest of grieving families at a ceremony if they were socially distanced?”

If she was looking for headlines, thankfully TV3/Newshub’s news-editors wisely decided against it. Little wonder that public irritation with some individuals in the mainstream media has increased throughout the covid crisis. And little wonder that social media lit up with outright disgust at her inappropriate line of questions.

Because most people with at least a modicum of comprehension realise how – during a raging pandemic – funeral services can be potential super-spreaders leading to more covid cases; more hospitalisations; more ICU patients, and ultimately, more deaths:

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I don’t know what Ms O’Brien thought she was doing, but it wasn’t journalism.

But to end the day on a good note, there were only twenty new cases today (same as yesterday); no covid viral particles detected in wastewater outside Auckland and Wellington.

And no one died.

There’s your headline, Ms O’Brien: no one died.

By Day’s End.

Current covid19 cases: 801

Cases in ICU: 6 (4 on ventilation)

Number of deaths: 1 (Total since first infection in Aotearoa: 27)

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

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References

RNZ: Covid-19 wrap for day 18 of lockdown      

Facebook: COVID-19 update – 5 September 2021 (video, @ 25:22)

BBC: Coronavirus doctor’s diary – A super-spreading funeral that led to three deaths

Fox4: Texas funeral becomes ‘super spreader’ event after 40 people contract COVID-19

ABC News: Health authorities fear Wilcannia funeral could be a ‘major’ COVID event as NSW Far West cases climb

France24: Fiji’s capital enters lockdown after Covid-19 ‘superspreader’ funeral event

Newshub: As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak –  Sunday, September 5

RNZ: Covid-19 update – 20 new community cases reported in New Zealand today

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  

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 3  

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 4 – Caretaker Leader Collins, another rare mis-step  

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 5 & 6  

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 7 & 8  

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 9 & 10  

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 10 (cont’d) & 11  

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 12  

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 13 & 14  

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 15 (@L3)  

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 16 (@L3)  

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 17 & 18 (@L3)  

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Acknowledgement: M David

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Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 17 & 18 (@L3)

5 September 2021 2 comments

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3 September: Day 17 of living in lock-down…

Day’s beginning.

Current covid19 cases: 736

Cases in ICU: 6 (3 on ventilation)

Number of deaths: –

It started of as a great day.

The covid lockdown was working. Yesterday there had been 49 new cases.  Today. the number was down to an an amazing 28 new cases. This would give the anti-lockdown cranks here and abroad (especially where covid is rampant; hospitals are failing to cope; and the corpses are mounting) something to get hysterical about.

There are plenty of covid-cowards who cannot abide our success at controlling this deadly disease. They would rather that we fail – as their leaders have utterly failed. It rationalises their own deficiencies.

Even National’s Covid Spokesperson, Chris Bishop, found good cause to cheer from the sidelines:

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Greater Wellington had one of the finest days since… last summer. With a bright blue sky and not a single cloud in sight, it was the promise of summer to come. (Chillingly, little did I know as I took those pictures that dark clouds were gathering over Auckland…)

Along Oriental Bay, Wellingtonians made the most of this perfect Spring Day:

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Oriental Bay, looking north

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Perhaps the loveliest sky in the entire Solar System (Ok, with possible exception of Saturn, with it’s dazzling rings)

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Southwest, toward the city

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Mask wearing could have been better, as I estimated only around two thirds (?) bothered.

That afternoon, before 3pm, reports started coming over the radio: an incident at LynnMall in New Lynn, Auckland. People had been hurt, one person dead.

As events unfolded it became clearer. Aotearoa New Zealand had been struck by another terrorist extremist. He had attacked and injured six shoppers at the supermarket (later, it was announced there was a seventh victim/survivor).

He had used a knife.

Acknowledging the horror of this incident and the deep harm caused to the seven people; their families; and to supermarket workers – there was an immediate thought that crossed my mind.

Thankfully he had not the same access to firearms that the Christchurch terrorist had.

The contrast in blood-letting was staggering. The Christchurch terrorist had used firearms and shot dead 51 people. The LynnMall terrorist had only a knife, and had not succeeded in wounding more than seven. All seven are still alive (though three remain in Intensive Care in critical condition), and hopefully none will lose their life.

We can be thankful to this government that semi-automatics have been mostly (but not all) eliminated from this country; that gun licensing has been tightened up; and that this deranged individual was under constant surveillance.

On a day we should have been rejoicing and being insufferably smug to the rest of the world, it felt as if the rug had been pulled out from under all five million of us.

By Day’s End.

Current covid19 cases: 764

Cases in ICU: 9 (3 on ventilation)

Number of deaths: –

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

 

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4 September: Day 18 of living in lock-down…

Day’s beginning.

Current covid19 cases: 764

Cases in ICU: 9 (3 on ventilation)

Number of deaths: –

A day off. Have not gone out – I still take Level 3 lockdown meaning precisely that: stay at home.

Another beautiful day outside. Breakfast time: feed companion animal. Feed myself.

Watched ‘The Nation‘ on TV3. A Tauranga port worker interviewed, demanding his right to choose whether or not to get the vaccine. I wonder if the virus will offer him the same choice to be infected or not? I’m 100% certain the virus will respect his right to decline infection.

Viruses are nice like that. They ask permission first.

Tova O’Brien interviewed Associate Minister of Health, Peeni Henare. When the issue of the recent absconder from Novotel & Ibis Ellerslie MIQ facility was raised, Ms O’Brien suggested to the minister:

“Your focus also has to be on your constituents in Tamaki Makaurau and keeping them safe.”

Considering Minister Henare is not a police constable on-the-beat on the streets of Ōtāhuhu, it is unclear how he could have intervened directly to apprehend the absconding idiot. She might as well ask him why he can’t walk on water.

On a lighter note,  this exchange took place between National’s Caretaker Leader Collins and another Twitter-user on the social-media platform. A subtle ‘burn’ if I ever saw one:

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*Ouch!* That reposte would sting.

And worse still, the Twitter-user had more “Likes” to his post than the Official (Caretaker) Leader of the New Zealand National Party.

Some work to do around the house; a week’s worth of laundry (done); hang-out to dry (done); change kitty litter box (done); do dishes (done); have fun jousting with RWNJ trolls on Twitter who have been harassing another Twitter-user (done)…

The 1pm figures are released and it is more happy news – tinged with tragedy. My fear has come to pass; we have had a loss of life due to Delta, the first for this current outbreak.

We have now lost 27 souls to this pandemic and 27 families (if not more) are grieving.

The sadness makes the good news harder to appreciate. Only 20 new cases of Delta infections. Less than half the number from yesterday. I should be punching the air in triumph and giving a whoop of delight.

But we’ve lost a fellow New Zealander.

If the Universe is playing a joke on us, I don’t get the punchline.

By Day’s End.

Current covid19 cases: 782

Cases in ICU: 7

Number of deaths: 1 (Total since first infection in Aotearoa: 27)

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

 

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References

Stuff media: Covid-19 outbreak situation report – what happened today, September 2    

RNZ: Covid-19 case numbers – 28 new community cases in NZ today

Stuff media: Covid-19 outbreak situation report – what happened today, September 2

RNZ: Covid-19 case numbers – 28 new community cases in NZ today

Twitter: @cjsbishop – 89,000 new vaccinations – 3 Sept 2021

RNZ: Man shot dead at Countdown supermarket in Auckland

Stuff media: Auckland terror attack – Victims aged between 29 and 77, three still in critical condition

Stuff media: Covid-19 – Man who allegedly fled managed isolation was given ride home by friend

Newshub Nation:  Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare promises priority for Māori should COVID-19 vaccine stocks run low

RNZ: Covid-19 wrap for day 18 of lockdown

Additional

TVNZ: Covid-19 wrap for day 18 of lockdown

Other Blogs

Bryan Gould: A Grim Future for National

The Standard: Judith’s very bad two days

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell on the messaging to the vaccine hesitants

Previous related blogposts

Is Air NZ the Covid re-infection problem? Possible evidence points to national airline

Does OIA evidence confirm possible Air NZ link to recent covid outbreaks?

Team 5 million vs Covid: Aotearoa on Three Strikes

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 1

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 2

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 3

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 4 – Caretaker Leader Collins, another rare mis-step

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 5 & 6

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 7 & 8

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 9 & 10

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 10 (cont’d) & 11

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 12

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 13 & 14

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 15 (@L3)

Life in lockdown, Round Two – Day 16 (@L3)

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Acknowledgement: Guy Body

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