We are faced once again with the dogged determination of this COVID virus to insinuate itself into the fabric of our lives with the stealth of a stalking tiger. You cannot see it, or hear it, and yet here it is again to wreak it's havoc.
I'm all in a dither. There is comfort in knowing I'm not the only one. However, as a friend of mine in Atlanta used to say, 'Chin up brave soldier'.
We can do this.
Yesterday was the first full day of Level Three restrictions in Auckland.
Roadblocks, no leaving now.
The rest of New Zealand is at Level Two. We are the chosen ones here in Auckland because we have had outbreaks, evidence of community transmission, the dreaded eventuality we have managed to avoid for over 100 days.
And everyone says, 'But we have been doing so well!'
What did you do yesterday on that first day of another lockdown?
I was so dithered that I couldn't really focus on work so I decided to get outside (it was a beautiful day, reminiscent of the first day of the Level Four lockdown in March - calm, blue sky, bright sun) and do stuff.
I sprayed 30 Seconds all over the outdoor stairs, of which I have many, then I got out the water blaster and made merry on the slippery paths and decking while Betsy cat watched from the safety of the bush. Today I will probably do more because 'doing' is far better than 'thinking' right now. I go into quite the Zen state when I have the water blaster out, back and forth with the wand, watching the dirt and slime fly away, and then admiring the fine work afterwards. And I'd like to add that I have a tank full of rainwater for this purpose because, to add to the woes of our city, we are in a drought situation with water restrictions in place for those on town supply.
Doing chores gives me some control over something at a time when I feel as if I have none. It also takes my mind off things. It provides a respite from the relentless plague of uncertainty that surrounds us every waking minute: what will happen next, can we believe everything we're told, where will the next outbreak be, is that South Auckland cluster under control, the virus has hopped over the bridge and is now on the North Shore, it's getting closer to us, here on our peninsula, will it find it's way into our neighbourhood ... on and on it goes.
I took a break and sat in the sun with my walking buddy Pam who lives over the road. We had a cup of tea in the garden and some of her delicious home made cookies (with dried cranberries). She was pretty subdued as well. We watched the family groups out on their bikes and scooters again (something we hadn't seen much of since we emerged from heavy levels last time), more people walking dogs again and I wondered if Ernie would return to the beach front with his stuffed-toy friends, to provide some lightness and fun in this grim situation.
So I ask again - what did you do on the first day of Level Three in Auckland?
Did you happen to look in the mirror?
I did. After my water blasting, I went in to wash my hands and happened to look up at myself reflected there. I saw a face spattered with odd bits of unmentionable rubbish - mud, grass, dead bugs maybe, not sure - but I also saw a face that looked vaguely startled, as if it had been taken by surprise by something that it knew was coming, but had always thought would not.