Here’s my personal recount of my experience during COVID-19. I write this so I can look back on it in the future and think wow, that sh*t was cray. I am so, so pleased it never happened again.
In the first blog, I covered until approximately lockdown. Lockdown in New Zealand means that only essential services are open, essential people work and essential post gets delivered. Basically, supermarkets, chemists and petrol stations and not much else. Level four lockdown was initially imposed for four weeks. Stay the f*&k at home is the gist of it.
As I explained last time, my father is very vulnerable to the virus and we live rurally, both of which can add levels of complexity to everyday things. For instance, the grocery store won’t deliver rurally, yet we can’t visit as it is too much of a risk. We can click and collect, but the line to go into the supermarket goes right in front so there’s still quite a level of contact. We have been having the items delivered to my brother who is staying in town, he drops it off and we don’t touch it for three days. Of course, we maintain social distancing with him too at all times. It is odd when we are all standing out on the driveway after he’s delivered something and we can’t go near each other.
Aside from the supermarket, we have found some items that can be delivered rurally, thankfully. We found a local farm for produce and eggs and I found a unique wine-distributer (yep alcohol is considered essential) from Wellington who stocks beautiful natural wines. The first wine order I made took two weeks to be delivered! Everything is just that much slower, as can be expected.
We ensure our gate is open for these deliveries, so there’s never any chance of cross-contamination. Anything we can access gets picked up with gloves (be it just mail or food), and put aside in quarantine for three days. We leave out bags of apples, passionfruit, and other produce that we have in excess for our wonderful delivery drivers – we are so thankful to them!
Lockdown itself has been… interesting.
- The first time the groceries were delivered, it was so exciting! Firstly, we got to see other humans from outside our bubble. Then there was all the food! Which of course we couldn’t touch for three days. Anything that had to be frozen or chilled was transferred to another bag then put away for three days.
- We ran out of bread pretty quickly so we’ve been making fresh bread daily, which is obviously wreaking havoc with my diet! Actually, I can blame my Mum for that too – I’ve had to ask her to stop feeding me as I have little self-restraint and they have so much delicious food here! I love the veggie garden and make as much as I can from the produce we have grown.
- I work remotely for my part-time gig and I’ve been working hard to launch RMH Consulting (my marketing and business consultancy) in New Zealand. While I initially lost quite a bit of work, things really picked up and I’ve been slammed between it all. Luckily there’s not much else to do!
- I cook as often as time allows and often have to come up with unique ideas as we often don’t have all the ingredients required. Weirdly we can’t seem to get our hands on any pork mince so dumplings have been off the menu, much to my dismay. I have also had difficulty finding black vinegar – which is perfect with said dumplings.
- I’ve definitely been drinking more in isolation. It seems I am not the only one, with reports of alcohol sales and consumption up across the nation!
- I’ve also been exercising more. Well, I’ve been doing more concentrated workouts but I have to make an effort to get my steps up – there’s very little incidental exercise working from home. I usually do 8-10k steps each day. Here I am lucky to clock 5k.
- Learning to live with my family again hasn’t come without its challenges either. I’m sure we’ve all frustrated each other at some point, especially at the beginning when it was fairly stressful and we weren’t used to lockdown or the procedures that came along with it. This is the longest time I have spent at home for over ten years.
- This is the most nights in a row I have slept in the same bed in many years. I usually travel most weeks. It’s the longest I haven’t been on a plane for a long time and the longest I haven’t been in a car!
- We make an effort to get dressed up sometimes and we also host happy hours every few days.
I am definitely looking forward to the end of lockdown and of course looking forward to heading back to Australia! I’m hoping I can head back in late June – only time will tell and I’m definitely thankful to be here in the meantime.
I hope you and your loved ones are all safe and well.
Please note; I am incredibly grateful to the essential workers and front-liners who keep our nations going. This is a tough time for so many people and I aim to cause no offense, this is a personal recount to look back on when COVID-19 is something kids learn about in history.