26 March – Day 1
We began our LOCKDOWN at midnight with New Zealand showing a total of 283 cases of Covid-19. Still no deaths here, which is great, but it’s inevitable. I have been following the worldwide statistics on https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ and it is not great reading.
There is still so much confusion around what is an ‘essential’ service and how to be in lockdown. Wording and use of language becomes such an important tool. In order to not leave things to chance but to explain in simple language is an oxymoron. It must be hard, for every contingency you think of there is an exception and I don’t envy those tasked with making the decisions on what is and is not allowed during this time.
Day one saw a lot of discussion over whether butchers should be allowed to open and resulted in a decision that they would be closed. Liquor stores too, not deemed essential services, but an exception made in West Auckland where liquor is still not able to be purchased in supermarkets due to local licensing.
We can walk ‘within our neighbourhood’, but we can’t swim, surf, hunt, fish, use a boat in case we need emergency services or have an accident and we must stay 1.5 or 2 metres apart – depending what source you use. And then there are more stringent rules if you are in ‘self-isolation’, ie. you have returned from overseas or been in possible contact with the virus.
The Government has made it quite clear that we must use the https://covid19.govt.nz/ website for accurate information. I think they have done a good job so far with communication. I can find most of the answers I need on this website, and it is being constantly updated. As things change and questions are raised I just check back there to find out what is truth for today. So, I’m trying not to get caught up with misinformation, but it’s not easy.
A few days ago I did a couple of pages in my art journal about how I was feeling about the imminent pandemic. This was while we were still on Alert Level 2, but we had already pulled Mitch out of school as I was starting to get nervous. I was feeling scared for our family, especially knowing that should Mitchell get it that his chance of surviving it would be very low. So I did a couple of pages to put my emotions somewhere – you purposely can’t read some of the journaling as it’s not all peaches and cream, but by writing in layers I got to get those feelings out of my head, and still share the pages here.
At home on our first lockdown day, Phil was working from home and he had a tough day sorting out who, how and what work each of his team could do. Some are able to work from home and they are going to be working 9-3.30 from next week, others are home but cannot do their jobs remotely. There are many decisions around wages and fairness, and it is not easy making these decisions in such a unprecedented situation.
I too, manage a team of 7 caregivers here at home and as we are not a business there are different rules around wage and leave subsidies. I am watching that space for now.
For my retail job I have been given an application form to complete so that they can apply for the wage subsidy. We can’t open as clothing is not an essential service. (Perhaps we should all run around naked). But they too, are communicating with as much information as they have.
Holly took her online lessons from 8.30 am to 3.15 pm, normal hours and cleared enough space in her room so that the webcam could not see the floor. We are working on that… maybe this month, there can be less excuses. But it is hard for her too, everything is cancelled. Our trip, her debating, trips out with friends, the model UN weekend. So much disappointment.
Apart from that and not being too hard on myself I am trying to do some cleaning and decluttering. My first project was the pantry. I forgot to do a before shot, but I did take the after shot.
Got to love Tupperware
Friday 27 March – Day 2
85 more cases today, bringing our total here in New Zealand to 368, and we now have 1 case in the ICU.
Georgia worked with us from 7 am-7 pm today and it ran pretty smoothly. We drove to the chemist and back for Mitchell to help with our sanity levels, it’s really tough not being able to explain WHY we can’t go out to Mitchell, but on the bright side, isn’t it fantastic that his FAVOURITE place in the whole world seems to be the chemist!!! Somewhere that we can ‘officially’ travel to. Mitchell had been repeatedly asking to go to the chemist, so it is super convenient that this is technically a place we can drive to.
Mitchell uses an i-PAD supplied by the Talk Link organisation to communicate with a software programme called touch-chat. Touch chat is an APP (of course) that works in a similar way to PECS. PECS is a picture exchange system used for communication when your child is non-verbal. We refer to Mitchell’s i-PAD as his TALKER. In short, Mitchell uses his talker to ask for what he wants by pressing an icon, and the word is said aloud for us. In one day, he can press the word Chemist about 50 times.
You may be wondering why a 16 year old would have such a fascination with a chemist? We have never 100% worked it out, but here is what we think. . When we lived on Stratford Road, in the Gardens Manurewa (from 2007-2014) I would take Holly and Mitchell out for long, long walks in the double buggy, and a lot of the time we would walk to and from the chemist. Walking was (and still is) a sanity break for me. For some reason, the route we take to the chemist along Hill Road seems to spark Mitchell’s interest. We have never figured it out, but on the corner of Claude and Hill Roads, Mitchell lights up, his hands start flapping and he becomes highly animated. Sometimes in a good way, and sometimes in a not so good way. I can’t explain it, and as he doesn’t talk he can’t explain it either. Suffice to say, when we go out anywhere, he always likes to drive home via this route – which happens to be a few hundred metres away from the chemist. So, it has become about driving TO the chemist – it’s not the chemist, but the route we take. I guess this quote sums it up.
I went back onto the Covid-19 govt site today and it is spelt out pretty clearly that we are able to walk or bike to keep active as long as it is in our neighbourhood. I was happy about this as although I am planning on taking a walk each day, and doing 30 days of Yoga with Adriene (on You Tube), I thought Holly might get out on her bike.
In the afternoon, I went out to the garage to get the Vibration machine for Mitchell. Mum had given it to us just last week when I visited and as Mitchell uses one at school I thought it would be a ‘thing’ we could do inside. But, I couldn’t find it. I checked with Phil and he said he had unloaded out of the car, so came out to look with me. Our garage is a BIG, BIG mess, so it was possible I could not see it. Unfortunately, it was not there. He looked around and realised that it was not the only thing missing. Now 18 months ago, the garage was burgled, and YEP, they have come again. Taken the bike, the fishing rods, the outboard motor and Phil’s power tools. We could almost just duplicate the list from last time. They left our golf clubs and a TV that was sitting there, but seriously, in the middle of LOCKDOWN, there are some unbelievably unkind people out there. (I did call them worse names than that, but I have censored myself).
So now, I have to do a police report and an insurance claim on top of everything else. Not feeling the love.
Aside from that I was a little bit productive and made some visuals for Mitchell’s roster board. I had purchased a laminator about a year ago and it was still in its box, so I managed to take pics of us and Georgia to make into visuals which I laminated and now we have up to date visuals of us for Mitch. A job done!
That’s about it, I got Mitchell off to sleep and Phil did the night shift as SO is only working 3 nights instead of her usual 4 during lockdown. Tomorrow I am going to try and figure out everyone’s pay.
And that’s all folks.