I will start with the hard stuff and move on up from there. Those who are feeling grim can skip to the middle.
Our response to COVID-19 is really shining a light on inequity and privilege for me. Showing up the gulf between those who can afford to stock up on food and supplies and those who cannot. Those who had the internet connection, friends overseas in hotspots and time to research and saw what was coming, and those who were overwhelmed with working several jobs who don’t have internet at home or smartphones, or time to scroll, who did not.
I worry about those living in tense households, in lockdown for four weeks. In times of tension, domestic violence stats spike and NZ’s DV rates are abysmal to start with.
I am sad for all the single parents who have had to bubble up with their kid’s other parent because of shared care and it’s the right thing to do for their child/ren, instead of bubbling up with someone they chose.
I am disappointed at the edict about the one person only edict for supermarkets on Day one of NZ’s lockdown. I understand the reasons why but there are single parents who used precious petrol money to get to the supermarket and had to leave without the food they needed because they had their child/ren with them and were turned away. If they are the sole adult in their bubble, these parents have no-one they can leave the kid/s with. And they are with the strong message that the world is not made for families like theirs and the added financial pressure of having to find services that will deliver. We’ve shut the country down with 48 hours warning, so I am sure there will be tweaks that need to happen, like the launch of anything. Yes, we are all making sacrifices and all have our stories about how we are are affected but some things are basic needs everyone has a right to. I hope we see the one-person in rule adapted soon.
But I am so grateful that we have the government we do. I was ready for a lockdown a week before it was called and am relieved we are doing this. Our Prime Minister has impressed my socks off. I first heard of her through friends years ago who know her. Now I see what all the fuss was about. Angela and Leigh, I will never doubt you again. We have wage subsidies even for freelancers and charities, extra funding for social services at this time, mortgage holidays for those need them, rent hike freeze, our heroes, the nurses and other medical staff, health care providers and police, food producers and suppliers, fire crews and frontline supermarket workers all appreciated as they should be. They are all putting their health, and their families at risk for the greater good. I am in awe. I know there is discussion about whether it’s the right thing to do and I’m not engaging in that, but at the very least this lockdown gives us space to decide what is next and to continue to prepare our health and essential services. It will save lives.
I look to the US, where I used to live, at that clown of the president in power at the moment and am fearful for what is unfolding there. Our leaders could not be more different.
Stay home everyone. Get out for your walks, runs or bike rides but 2m away from others not in your bubble, and otherwise, be on home ground. Be kind. Give yourselves slack to grump around and throw your toys but just not AT anyone.
Then look for the opportunities. We might as well. To wallow in the mire for four weeks isn’t going to lead to anything good. I live in a remote area with a teenager, the amount of eyerolls directed at me daily would surely fell a lesser being. My point being, if I can focus on the opportunities, you can too. We’ve decided to set a goal or two or three a day and keep each other accountable. As I type, there are 32 minutes until the end of day one and only one goal ticked by one of us, but it’s a start. And it was a good day. Lots of talk about what we’re missing but there was gratitude, boardgames and laughter, the sharing of memes, good conversation and a gluten-fest of lemon tart and homemade pizza.
This is a hard thing, but so is what is coming. We need to keep numbers of those needing medical help to capacity – protect our elders, immunocompromised and vulnerable. Staying home is the least we can do for all those leaving theirs to work in essential services. Our job is to stay home. And try not to eat all the chocolate. Surely we can do that.
We are all in this together, apart. You know what I mean.
With all this time freed up from daily life out and about, I’ll be back here with a series on the blog, pulling together cool stuff and links for you, and the kids.
Thank goodness for the internet!