We passed the halfway point of the four-week lockdown last night.
There is very little chance we will get out of lockdown earlier and it is too soon to know whether it might extend beyond four weeks.
The decline, slow as it is, in the number of new cases of Covid-19 gives reason for hope that four weeks might be enough to eliminate the disease, or at least get the spread so low it can be contained and the likelihood of that would be increased if all new arrivals are quarantined.
National launched a petition on Monday calling for mandatory quarantining at the border and it had an unprecedented response:
. . .With the large number of cases overseas, experts, like epidemiologist Professor Sir David Skegg, say a blanket quarantine is needed to ensure Kiwis with the virus don’t return to the country and nullify any success our domestic lockdown measures have had.
Likewise, the National Party leader told The AM Show that implementing a mandatory quarantine was about making sure the four-week lockdown wasn’t in vain.
“As we make sacrifices as New Zealanders, as dads can’t see their babies in hospital, as people can’t go to their loved ones’ funerals, let’s do some of the things that really matter,” he said.
“We know where COVID-19 is coming in from, it is offshore, that is where most of the cases are. This is urgent.” . .
Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield also appeared supportive of tighter border control on Tuesday.
“I agree with what Professor Skegg was saying, that, actually, if we’re going to go for the elimination approach, which is our extended keep it out, stamp it out, and for when we move down out into Alert Level 3, we need to be very confident we are not letting new cases into the country at the border,” he said. . .
In the meantime, business not as usual goes on.
The regular newsletter from my MP, Jacqui Dean is usually full of what she’s been doing around the electorate.
The latest one is different as she is working from her lock down base.
She, like other electorate MPs, has been busy helping people in need of support, information and advice.
She has also had time to notice the good things people and businesses have been doing:
A pop of positivity
I visited Desiree and the team at Cardrona Distillery last year. It’s a wonderful family run business and I was impressed (but not surprised) by their offer of free hand sanitizer to locals who need it.
We humans are social creatures and The Prince Albert in Wanaka has come up with a clever idea to keep their regulars connected. They’ve moved their weekly quiz night online, something I suspect could be a highlight on many social calendars in the coming weeks.
Bringing out the books
Geraldine’s new bookshop The Page and Post Booksellers has been offering a daily story time session through its Facebook page. Cromwell Community Board Chair and Goldfields School Principal Anna Harrison has done something similar by reading children’s books and posting the videos on YouTube.
Whitestone Taxis have offered to deliver Meals on Wheels to people in Oamaru without taking payment from Waitaki District Health Services. This news left me in no doubt that there are some absolute gems in this electorate. What a kind and generous offer.
Frontline supermarket staff all deserve a round of applause at the moment but I’d like to give a special mention the owner-operators of supermarkets in our small towns who are going above and beyond in taking orders and delivering groceries to those who need it. I started to compile a list of the towns where this is happening and it just got too long – a wonderful reflection of community spirit.
Here’s a quote from the Waitaki District Libraries website that couldn’t be more appropriate in times like these:
“Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.” ~ Anne Herbert
Their buildings may be closed but libraries are still there for you either on the phone, via email or social media, and you get your good reads using the digital platform.
When so much in the media is bad news, it was refreshing to read this pop of positivity and there’s plenty more.
Riverstone Kitchen chef Bevan Smith is live streaming cooking demonstrations.
Cucina chef Pablo Tacchini is live streaming cooking demonstrations too.
Netball NZ is offering free online fitness classes – Netfit.
Otago Museum has a range of activities including online jigsaw puzzles and Te Papa has online jigsaw puzzles too.
If you can add to th epop of positivity, pleaes do.