The COVID-19 (Novel Corona Virus) which started in Wuhan China late December 2019, forced New Zealand in to lockdown on Thursday the 26th of March. Prior to this I started working from home on Monday because I had a laptop and was not involved in any face to face training that week so I could. News of the lockdown came on Monday afternoon, so I raced to the supermarket before the inevitable panic buying set in leaving nothing for me to buy on the shelves. I’d seen videos of other countries and the awful behaviour of people buying up all the toilet paper and desperate people punching each other in attempts to get at least one pack.
Luckily when I got there I only had to wait in a queue of about 10 people and only took 10 minutes before I got in to the supermarket. It had a strange surreal feeling about it, people behaved weirdly and one lady with her friend going up and down the aisles at the same time as me constantly commented loudly so everyone could her how virtuous she was, on how they were only buying just enough to get buy on and shame on all these other people. However she wasn’t virtuous when it came to the 2 meter distancing rule coz she constantly got way too close to me, which made me speed up my shopping but as luck would have it, she ended up right behind me in the checkout queue. I gave her the death stare but she was too busy bragging about her minimalist shop to notice. Her trolley was overflowing – how many people live in her house?
My supermarket had plenty of toilet paper but no bread!
While heading back to my car a slight panic attack set in as I thought the stress of the world closing down had got to me and my car looked strangely different. It had changed colour and one wheel was all rusty (had I driven through some rusty coloured puddle?). But then the car parked next to it backed out revealing MY car.
What are the chances eh! I never see any other cars on the road like mine, it’s not really very common, it’s a bit old now.
On the drive home it felt like the world was ending, everybody was driving like maniacs, far too fast and doing strange things like U-turns in weird and dangerous places and like they were the only cars on the road. It felt nice to get home and close my garage door shutting out all the madness. And so started this blog post, I thought there would probably be many more strange events that would fill a blog post and be a reminder to me one day when I can look back at all this, and think oh yeah – that’s right, that did happen.
The underpants incident.
One morning while getting dressed for working from home, after putting on boxer shorts and a tee shirt I had this random thought that the black boxers looked just like shorts and who would know or care if I didn’t put shorts on today. Even if I attended a video conference for work nobody would ever see or realise I wasn’t wearing shorts. However that is not something I would do, so I put some shorts on and laughed to myself how much the shorts really did look like the boxers, just a little bit longer.
Later that day I went to the mailbox… just as I got to the end of the driveway having walked past several people and houses I had a terrible thought – I wasn’t wearing any shorts!!! I did a very weird kind of maneuver as I tried to pull down my tee shirt to cover up this fashion disaster, in case anybody was looking. A moment later I remembered I was indeed wearing pants and I could breathe normally again.
The Bush is Closed.
One Sunday morning halfway through lockdown I set off for my usual bushwalk, really looking forward to seeing the beautiful huge trees and getting out for some fresh air. As I approached the path that takes you in to the bush I noticed a man staring at the track and I thought he better hurry up coz I don’t want to come too close to him while entering the track. But he just stood there and soon enough I caught up to him. He told me it was closed and sure enough there was a brand new fence blocking our way in to the bush! Shortly a very fit jogging lady turned up and then an elderly couple came walking down the hill. We all just stared at each other and then turned around and headed back the way we came from, all in different directions. I guess there are parts of the bushwalk that would be impossible to get past someone without entering their bubble, so they had to close it to keep us safe. I’ve never seen that many people headed for that track ever. I’m always alone!
So I went for a longer walk along Onewa Road. It was strange to see no cars on the road. Onewa Rd is one of the busiest roads on the North Shore.
I usually go to the supermarket on a Sunday evening, but with the lockdown I know this is not the best time to go and now that I have to make my lunch every day, it’s important to go while they still have cooked chickens available so I can eat some kind of meat for lunches during the week.
So I have been keeping a very close watch on the Google “popular times to visit” chart.
I rushed out when I saw there was a dip in the chart and it turned out to be very wise as there was only 4 people in the queue and I only had to wait about two minutes. I managed to get a chicken no problem, but shock horror I could not buy any wine or beer!!! How did I not know this? I drank up all my wine last night happy in the knowledge that I would be able to replenish my stocks the next day. But no – all the alcohol was trapped in cages, like animals in a zoo – only to be looked at but not touched!
Things I missed the most while in lockdown:
- Buying my lunch
- Mitre 10
- The TV Guide
Things I learnt while in lockdown:
- I can make my lunch every day and be creative if I have to.
- You can’t buy wine or beer from a supermarket on Easter Sunday.
- I am on a lot of emailing lists – including every single chemist I have ever brought restricted medication like Voltaren from.
And now New Zealand has moved from Level 4 lockdown to Level 3, we were in level 4 for 4 weeks till the 28th of April – but I’m still working from home and living in a bubble, so it doesn’t feel any different to me. I still can’t get hugs or go shopping in Mitre 10 and I still have to make my lunch.