Monday 23 August 2021

Cases are increasing, lockdown has been extended

 We are on Day 7 of lockdown and yesterday, after the Cabinet meeting, our lovely PM announced the following:

  • lockdown in Alert Level 4 for NZ would be extended until Friday at 11.59pm with information provided on Thursday at 1pm whether that 
    • needed to be extended, 
    • could be reduced in level, 
    • would be regionalised based on risk profile of particular areas of the country
  • lockdown in Alert Level 4 in Auckland where the biggest majority of cases currently are (we had 107 cases as at yesterday morning's count, and 7 of them, I think, are in Wellington, with the remainder in Auckland) is extended to Tuesday 31st August, with information provided after Cabinet on Monday afternoon, whether that
    • needed to be extended, 
    • could be reduced in level.

David and I are unsure what will happen in the rest of NZ, but we are fairly sure that Auckland's AL4 will need to continue.

As Jacinda (world famous PM) and Ashley Bloomfield (DG of Health) both stated, the peak of infections is still to come, even though we locked down hard and early. Last year, in our first surge of COVID-19, we had up to 89 cases a day at one stage while in AL4 before the case numbers started to drop. There is no reason to suggest that the delta variant, which is much more transmissible, will deliver fewer cases! 

I am interested to read in British media that our elimination approach is being slammed (by Nigel Farage and others of his ilk) as unrealistic and is making NZ an unwelcoming place because we are only letting NZ citizens and residents return to the country. My use of 'interesting' is the English variety, i.e. it means I hear what you say but I think it is absolute bullsh*t. 

Because of course, the British response, most particularly the response in England, has been so inordinately successful, hasn't it? Remind me how many deaths in the UK?

Harsh but reflective of the Farage, BJ and Rees Mogg attitude, I think. Yes?

And before anyone says but NZ is a small island with a small population, and it's remote and at the bottom of the world, I acknowledge all those things are true.

But here's the thing: we have a similar sized population to Scotland, and the First Minister of Scotland has invoked tougher rules on the Scots than in England, and yet sadly Scotland has lost 10,000 people to COVID-19. NZ lost 26. Until this delta outbreak, we had fewer than 3000 cases, and I don't know how many Scotland had or currently has. And our grandsons live there and it makes me anxious.

So I will stand by our response of going into lockdown hard and early, and we will be getting our second vaccinations tomorrow, and I will be out exercising (walking, I am 70 after all) wearing a mask and making sure I stay more than 2 metres away from others, and I won't be panic buying toilet paper. 

I'm an energy saver - I walk, not run ..


One of the rhododendrons in our garden - just starting to flower. We don't usually see this happen, because we are most often in the UK on the boat at this time. And we are also seeing the most beautiful magnolias in bloom around the neighbourhood here in Waikanae.
This kereru (native wood pigeon) was in a tree across the road the other day when I came back from my walk - it waited patiently while I took lots of photos, turned obligingly so I could get a variety of shots and then flew away when I walked into our driveway.  Lovely!

And I won't be moaning about an extension to lockdown if/when it occurs, because I am fairly sure that we will stamp out this outbreak. And if another one occurs later, I will support the government's approach because 

  • it is based on advice from scientists and health professionals, 
  • it is focused on the wellbeing of the country in terms of health and financial security, 
  • it has worked in the past, 
  • it has been refined and planned ahead for, and 
  • it will work again,
  • it will save lives, 
  • it will ensure our health system can cope, 
  • it will allow our economy** to recover quickly, as it already has from the first outbreak last year.

There may come a time when we have to live with the virus, but that time needs, for the wellbeing of NZ and our world, to be when enough people are vaccinated that the virus mutations are few because there are not enough hosts for it to develop and change in.

In the meantime, I am staying home, staying in touch with friends, looking after David (who needs no looking after but I enjoy it and so does he) and feeling fine!

We usually go out for Saturday breakfast with Gary, Bruce, David R, John and Leith, but we cannot at the moment. So I made a Saturday breakfast for us at home. I had spinach and cheese omelette, breakfast potatoes (cooked with garlic and salt) alongside a solitary mushroom and tomato half - you will see why I was rationed when you look at the next photo ...

See David's vegan brekkie platter: multiple mushrooms and tomato halves, plus, red onion, spinach, capsicum and potatoes - I forgot to put the corn kernels on. But don't worry because they got added to the Mexican tomato and bean soup later that day!


** PS I know there are sectors of our economy that will struggle to survive this - tourism that tends to rely on high cost experiences for overseas visitors is the main one. In the hiatus that we had (over a year since our first outbreak back in March 2020 with only 2 minor outbreaks until last week) NZers have been exploring their own country instead of travelling overseas. When our tourism operators come to the realisation that NZers, even when overseas, do not spend the kind of money that overseas tourists do here, and reduce their prices to make them affordable and attractive to NZers, then once this outbreak is over, even more NZers will be out and about spending money seeing and experiencing this place. (Sorry, that last sentence is clumsy in its construction, but you get my drift.)

OK, rant over. 

Some things to make you smile while I recover my equilibrium ...

This look is the one I use on David - but somehow he doesn't notice it so I am making a headband and a sign on a stick that says FO-IR. I'm sure you can work it out...

Dogs are so clever...

This made me smile!


Our son Tim and his partner Dana had the boys and dogs with them on a holiday somewhere on the south coast of England.  It wasn't that warm apparently - so not a bad summer not to be on the boat, I gather.

Olek (16.5 years old) and Storm

Karol (11.5 years old) with his paddle board

Kai and Storm at the beach in England - Storm now has a poorly tummy because she will eat whatever she scents ...

Now it's time to make a veg curry and cauliflower rice for dinner - if I do it now the flavours will have time to percolate nicely through the veg. I've already baked two loaves of sourdough this morning so it hasn't all been ranting ...

Even though I am grumpy at the moment, never forget that this is true. Mxx


Anonymous said...

I'm impressed that most New Zealnders seem to be doing what Jacinda demands of them, luckily.
However we have many stupid people here who selfishly do whatever they like.
I dread to think what our future may become with all the 100s of illegal immigrants turning up on our beaches every week wanting our care.
Also we have airlifted over 6,000 folks from Afganistan, so far!
Can our tiny island take any more of this I wonder. I'm in dispair.
All we can do is carry on maskwearing and looking out for ourselves, family and friends.
Lovely pics of your Grandsons, you must be very proud.
Sending virtual hugs,
Ann and Keith xx

Unknown said...

Good to hear David's treatment regime is completed. The lockdown is a pain - your planned trip might be further delayed because Covid is in Wellington and your step down from level 4 will be delayed while we continue to bask in the virus-free South Island :-) Chris

Jennie said...

Hi Marilyn and David - here I am having a catch up again! We are so pleased to hear that David's treatment is over and the PSA reading so low/non existent. Also that it was all done and dusted before you went into lock down again. As you know things are just all over the place here - why they abandoned mask wearing I have no idea. We still wear ours, but each time you go out there are less and less people wearing them. Interestingly in Waitrose I reckon 95% are wearing them whereas in Morrisons it is more like 50%. Almost certainly due to the fact that average age of Waitrose shoppers is far greater than that in Morrisons. We are just trying to get some sort of life back, but carefully. Take care both of you. Jennie xx

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Thank you, Ann, Chris and Jennie for the good wishes.
Ann and Jennie, we are always thinking of our UK friends and family - and we worry. Read my new post in a couple of hours for our latest concerns (it's about to be written).
Chris, we are interested to see what is going to be announced at 1pm today re lockdown and any changes. I am really pleased that there is no covid in the SI - given how many people left AKL and went south before lockdown commenced and in the 48 hours afterwards, that is a bit of good luck!