The last couple of months has been a wild ride. The world (and I mean the whole actual world) has been turned upside-down by Covid-19.
I’ve been trying to write this post for a while, and I just haven’t known where to start…
I’m in my seventh week of working from home – since March 23rd. What started as a small viral outbreak in China in December has swept the world and was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on March 12th. Today, the stats look like this:
- Worldwide cases: 3, 525, 116
- Worldwide deaths: 243, 540
- Highest deaths: USA 61,906; Italy 29,079; UK 28,734
It’s mind boggling, sad, and not about to end any time soon (although death rates are now slowing in most countries as they restrict movement of citizens).
New words and phrases have entered the lexicon – lockdown, bubble, flattening the curve, Zooming.
The New Zealand government put the country in full lockdown – Alert Level 4 – on March 25th. All but essential workers were expected to stay at home except for food shopping or exercising in our local area. All shops were closed except groceries and petrol stations. This ended on April 27th.
New Zealand is currently in Alert Level 3. This means that everyone who can work from home should do so, and everyone is expected to stay at home unless they are travelling for work, exercise or shopping. I’ve only left the house for walking/running and grocery shopping since March 20th. It’s the complete polar opposite of my regular life!
I’m looking forward to Alert Level 2 where we may be able to go out a little more often – businesses can open as long as they can follow some rules around maintaining physical distance (1 metre) and contact tracing.
At the moment, Alert Level 1 seems a long way off. That would mean the resumption of ‘normal’ life within New Zealand, but no travel outside of New Zealand.
My Level 4 bubble has been me, Stephen and Bronwen. We were excited to extend our Level 3 bubble to include Megan, Isaac, Antony, Wyatt and Arlia. These are the only people I get to have close contact with until Level 1.
Flattening the Curve
New Zealand, along with many other countries, has been focussed slowly the rate of transmission of the virus so that the health system is not overwhelmed with cases. New Zealand has been very successful at this – I think amongst the best in the world. We locked down early, stayed that way for a long time, and most people complied with the rules. That meant that we had a spike of cases followed by a gradual reduction over the last few weeks. It looks like this:
Weirdly and suddenly, Zoom has been part of my everyday life. When we first started working from home, my team was using Skype. Then out of nowhere, Zoom appeared. Now I’m using it to connect with all kinds of people – colleagues, friends, family, community groups. I admit, I’m pretty Zoomed-out at the end of most days.
What my everyday looks like
I’m working from home, playing at home, everything at home.
Some days it’s a grind – I find it hard to stay focused and just want to get up and walk away. Lots of micro-pauses is the key – I take small breaks to have cups of tea, do a bit of crochet, watch a YouTube clip, or just sit in a chair in another room for five minutes.
I haven’t been able to go to the gym, go shopping (except for groceries and a bit online), or do any community work. This last one is hard! I’ve been a community busy-body for so long I hardly know what to do with myself!
But there is also a peace in staying at home – I’m safe and warm and being (fairly) productive. It’s starting to feel normal.