What’s going right now around the world (and at home here in New Zealand) is so mind-blowing, that I feel compelled to diarise it (Old School Blogging if you will) for NO other reason but to document the day-to-day developments of the virus and its effects on the Kiwi way of life for my kids – and whoever comes after them.
This is it. It’s happening. T-2 hours until New Zealand shuts up shop and stays home for 4 weeks.
In the space of one week life has changed.
Since the weekend life is barely recognisable. I wrote this on Saturday and didn’t publish it (or finish it lol) so I might as well include it here as it sums up what I was feeling then;
Sunday 22nd March 2020
So these posts aren’t going to be fancy, you won’t be entertained with aesthetically pleasing pictures, or probably any pictures. I just want to record these strange, strange days before I forget them and the boys forget them. They are living in a bit of a bubble*. I mean that’s our job as parents right? Nixon is 6. He doesn’t need to see the visuals that are coming out of Italy right now. Row after row of ventilated patients, struggling for breath with strange, plastic bubbles over their heads.
That shit is terrifying.
As is all of this Corona Virus business.
Yesterday our Most Epic Prime Minister, Jacinda Adern, addressed the nation (FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER), all proper from behind her desk a la American President but not orange. She announced the New Zealand COVID-19 alert levels, stating that we are now at Level 2, with Level 4 being the most severe.
Not going to lie. This put the fear of God in me. You know that instant icy cold, stomach drop feeling? Yes, that. And a quiet wee cry.
Dave, Ethan and I sat and watched the address at lunchtime. Nix was out scooting around the neighbourhood with his boy-gang – these kids have been rubbing their germs all over each other at school every day, the collective-Mum-conscious deemed this weekend of socialising outside posed them no greater threat than their classroom and communal toilets at school.
But I digress.
I am prepared. I’ve been taking this seriously from the second the first report out of Wuhan hit the news. Like I said on Instagram, I’m very much a pragmatist, a realist, with slightly glass-half-empty tendencies. I have been slowly collecting activities, educational resources and some new games for Nix in the event that schools will close. I very much feel that they will…….*How strange I used the word ‘bubble’ to describe the boys oblivion as it has now become a bit of a catch-phrase here to describe how we are to live in order to protect those in our ‘bubble’.
Well, look how that turned out! I went to F45 at 6.40 am on Monday with a feeling that it would be my last class. I called Dave on the way home and told him to keep Nix home from school. Ethan had already left for the day as he had an NCEA English assessment he wanted to complete. The week prior we had become used to watching the midday address from Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Director-General of Health, keeping us up to date on Covid-19 and how it was tracking in NZ. He did his usual stand-up job, throwing a shout-out to the front-line workers, totally unflappable and patient with the shouty reporters. But then he announced the Prime Minister would speak at 1.30 pm and the dread settled in.
I popped up to the dairy for a bottle of milk before Jacinda spoke. What is the most normal task in the world has now ironically become the extent of any further excursions from the house for the near future. I think we all felt the alert level was going to be raised to 3. The alert system announcement via the national address on Saturday was a well-timed soft intro to what was coming and the clues were there – “this could change at any time – and it could change quickly.”
Tomorrow we are in lockdown and can only leave our homes for essential supplies and services. I’m sure many Kiwis were devastated today by the news that visiting at The Warehouse did NOT constitute essential shopping but Westies were cheered by the news that liquor stores would stay open due to the Trust’s weird licensing laws. Will peeps joyride from around Auckland to buy a bottle of Jack? No doubt.
West is best.
The kid’s schools have been amazing. Nixon’s had online learning rolled out less than 5 hrs after the announcement on Monday, complete with work for the week and the promise of a vlog from the teachers each morning to give the kids a little bit of facetime and familiarity. He was up with the birds yesterday, clamouring for ‘Home School’ to begin at 6 am (fml), and slept in today until after 7 – that’s pretty much a Nixon record as long time lurkers will know. So I think the novelty of home-based learning wore off after the first day!
Yesterday was a bit of a rollercoaster of ups and downs, complete with nasty, negative people IRL and online but today was pretty great. E took Nixon outside for an hour-long game of basketball (PE Lesson thank you!), I did my 2nd day of solo F45 – hereafter referred to as Jack45, wonderful friends dropped off a squat rack/ chin-up bar and some kettlebells for the home gym, Nix and I had playtime on the tramp and in the garden, did a live-streamed kids exercise class, Dave played Uno with Nix and a friend and his daughter via Houseparty and we had a drink with friends on Facetime and watched trashy tv.
Not every day will be like this. I’m straight-up ready for this to be one of the hardest periods in my life but I’m also optimistic about what this time means for our family and our way of life. This period of enforced slowness reduced economic frivolity and mandated family time will be life-changing if we can keep positive and ensure our bodies, as well as our minds and spirits, stay healthy.
And that’s the goal shared by the entire human race right about now, isn’t it?