Tuesday evening we were seated at the dinner table when Jeremiah read the news announcement—There was a single unexplained community case of Covid19 Delta variant in Auckland, so at midnight, the whole country would be entering 3 days of Covid lock-down.
The news didn’t come as a complete surprise. NZ had a travel bubble with Australia that had closed a few weeks before because of Covid outbreaks in Oz, and Kiwis were still straggling home on repatriation flights. The government had indicated that this time, if there was a community case, there would be a swift lock down, as to date only about 1/3 of kiwis have been able to get vaccine, and the Delta variant is so very contagious.
I sighed, thinking about the Rogaine I wouldn’t be doing on Wednesday night and the work trip to Nelson I wouldn’t be taking….but really, lock down isn’t that bad for us. Besides, we had plenty of flour and toilet paper already on hand, so the only preparation we really had to do was to run to the bottle store for some of our favourite Malbec….and queue up along with every other kiwi in Halswell, apparently!
Day 1 was really frustrating. The kids were “feral,” to use the kiwi term. Both Jeremiah and I were trying to continue working, which makes for a situation where I’m neither a good worker nor a good parent.
But by Day 2, the troops seem to have settled down nicely, playing independently and relatively civilly.
Government news announcement Friday afternoon confirmed that more cases have been found in Wellington and Auckland, with close contacts of those cases also in the South Island, so lock-down would last at least until next Tuesday. We kissed goodbye to the planned weekend at Hanmer.
It’s been 16 months since we had our last Covid lock-down in Christchurch, and we seem to have slipped resignedly into our lock-down routine much more smoothly than last time. This time I’ve not got the angst associated with being a “nonessential worker.” I’m still nonessential, but I can continue doing my non-essential role, at least partially, from home. And this time it feels more like a snow day to me—an unexpected and (we hope) short hiatus from regular life and commitments. A time to be treasured rather than fought against.