Posts Tagged ‘lockdown 2021’

New Zealand is in lockdown again. I say again, because aside from Auckland which has had a few short lockdowns, the rest of the country has not been in lockdown since April/May over a year ago. We have been living in an almost pre-COVID, “normal” situation for almost 16 months now, and our economy has rebounded and is performing extremely well as a result, but Delta has brought us all crashing back to earth. Whilst the rest of the world laughed at us locking down with only one confirmed positive case (although that has increased now to 150 and counting), there were reasons. The first was that there was no obvious link between that case and the border (which is where people flying into NZ bring the virus from the infectious rest of the world), the second was because Delta is so much more infectious (and we can see what is going on at the moment in Australia, and around the world), the third is that our vaccination numbers are low due to supply issues (supplies first went to the countries with active infections and greatest need) , and finally, because, as a small country, we have fewer (relative to other OECD countries) ICU beds.

We are hopeful we can beat this. The combination of great government communication, detailed contact tracing and genomic testing, wastewater testing to a remarkable degree of sensitivity, and a largely cooperative nation (because we know the delights of success, and have observed the consequences of failure or of not bothering to try) all leave us convinced it is worthwhile doing this. We want to get back to our free and easy Covid-free existence as soon as possible, because as I mentioned elsewhere, we know our days of enjoying that are numbered. We heard today that China had no new cases today, so if they can do it, surely we can too? Anyway, I know the delta variant is a game-changer, almost like a new virus, so we are all watching our daily updates with interest and trepidation, as well as a degree of hope.

Our near neighbour, Melbourne (Australia), has just reached 200 days in lockdown during the pandemic, at least four times as long as Wellington. So I’m not complaining. Blogging, social media, online chats,  and zoom sessions will keep me in touch with friends (I had one last night to replace a dinner that was planned for last week but cancelled, a standing monthly chat on Sunday, and another one later this week), I have plenty of projects and reorganisation to do, and if I don’t get to them I still have some new recipes planned, I’m knitting a new tea cosy, and have some baking planned. Lockdown is a little easier in winter, though exercising is not.

Speaking of tea cosies, recent cosies I’ve finished are fantastic, if I do say so myself! The designs are brilliant, and I am amazed at the creativity of the woman who designs them, Loani Prior. But I’m not showing photos because the recipients don’t have them yet. (And I never know who might be reading this!) I was thinking about why I am enjoying knitting them. They don’t take too long to finish, the designs are fun, and with each one, I’m essentially learning a new technique. I love that. I’m having fun doing a new design that is double-sided and reversible all on the one needle. I have all the paraphernalia now – a huge bag of wool, and a large plastic container full of even more wool to hide under the guest bed, and many new circular needles, and even some plastic pom-pom makers (so much better than old-fashioned cardboard circles).

Sadly, the lockdown came at the beginning of two-weeks of frenetic eating in Wellington, as our August food festival (Wellington On a Plate) was kicking off their Burger Wellington events that were to run to the end of the month. We had several interesting lunches and dinners out planned, aiming at trying some new and sometimes exotic burgers. (Savoury ice-creams with burgers seemed to be a new trend). Wellingtonians look forward to this festival all winter – it is deliberately timed for August when we might otherwise be hunkering down from the elements at home. So the lockdown has put paid to that. Apparently, though, they have an online community where people are inventing their own burgers, and I’m inspired to try too (though I might cheat and copy other ideas). I might even back my own burger buns. Lockdown sometimes brings forth new inspiration. And, I guess it is saving me a lot of money! We don’t know how long we will be in this situation. I suspect that Auckland will have to stay locked down much longer than the rest of the country. We’ll be in it longer than the South Island, as we have a few cases. But we have given ourselves a chance to get back to our normal, and that’s worth fighting for..

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