One of the routines we established when Milan decided that he would stay in his hostel during lockdown was that we would do a daily zoom call at 8:00pm every night to check-in as a family to see how he was getting on and for us to share our experiences for the day. Given the list hasn’t been overly extensive on some days we have decided to play a round or two of Codenames each night to keep the brain cells engaged.
Social distancing is a term which I had never really heard of but has entered the vocabulary of just about everyone in the world in the past few weeks. It’s interesting to observe how people around the world are putting this into practice. A recent trip to the supermarket felt like an unwinding of all the effort that goes into maintaining a safe distance the rest of the time. It will be interesting once we know the outcome, reflecting back on the approach Sweden has taken which has not demanded a lockdown but has focussed on isolating and treating the sick and a voluntary approach to social distancing. Being right in the middle of it now it’s difficult to tell the long term implications of the choices countries have made. Only history will tell…
Lockdown has meant that we need to be a lot more creative around how we connect and catchup with others. So far we have had a virtual dinner party, birthday bash, coffees and afternoon teas and catching up whilst out walking. Virtual drinks has almost become the new norm and the weekend diary is now starting to fill up as fast as the working day. It’s great to be able to be stay connected in this way and it means that everyone you know is now exactly the same distance away from you. The added benefit is not having to worry about who’s going to drive!
One of the things which has been quite impressive so far is the level of creativity and innovation which people have been showing within the constraints they’ve had since lockdown. ‘Kiwi ingenuity’ is within the fabric of our society and this is our first go at getting Nilay back into working out with an incomplete home gym setup. Incidentally these are the remnants of the home gym I had around 30 years ago and sat in storage the whole time we were in the UK and the 6 years since. One of the benefits of being a ‘hoarder’, you never know when something may become useful again! JR
I guess that one of the benefits of being someone who likes starting projects but not necessarily known as a ‘finisher’ means I have lots of WIP which means that I usually have all of the materials and equipment I need to finish the job without having to procure anything else. So the first project I have been able to ‘finish’ under lockdown was a shelving unit for Nilay’s room, a solution I’ve not been able to achieve for Nilay at home since we moved in at the start of the year. Believe me there’s plenty more where that came from!
We are lucky enough to have access to a beach for our ‘fresh air’ time, and reflect on those who live in much more confined and compact spaces. However, the longer term impacts of social isolation will only be known much later as we contemplate how long we may need to be in this situation. At the moment the official advice is 4 weeks, but it is already clear any move to anything resembling ‘normal’ is likely to be months. I feel for those in real ‘isolation’ and are encouraging innovative ways to keep connected virtually. So far we have had virtual coffees and a virtual dinner party.
We were lucky enough to grab all of our home working equipment in the mad rush to the lockdown deadline and quickly established our new home working setup. There wasn’t much time for settling in as online video work meetings and calls has quickly become the new normal as we are allowed into the homes and casual attire of our colleagues and schoolmates. It’s been interesting having insight into personas which would not normally be visible despite how much time we would normally spend with each other during the working day.
We had been deliberating on if we would spend our self-isolation period in Port Waikato. While we were at Level-2 I had thought that we would have a period of time (eg. a week or 2) before we moved to lockdown. Given the rapid escalation to level 4 it ended up being a very last minute decision to make the move given we had to be in our ‘home’ location by midnight. We rapidly packed 2 cars to the brim in just under 2 1/2 hrs, including food, clothes, work/study equipment and all other ‘essential’ provisions (like the coffee machine!) and headed south. Unfortunately we had to leave the washing machine and got to PW in the nick of time, reflecting how lucky we are to be in a situation where we are able to have choices like this.
Yesterday the NZ was ordered to go into ‘lockdown’. It’s all very unsettling and new right now and uncertain how this will all play out, so I thought it would be a good idea to start up our blog again for this period, however long it may last…
It’s hard to believe that its been over 6 years since out last post which signifies how long we’ve been back in NZ, but all of that now seems a bit irrelevant right now as all conversation, conversation, discussion and focus is on the impact COVID-19 is having on every aspect of our lives and the whole world around us.
In terms of blogging I think it will take a while to get back into the swing of things and the posts may get quite ‘boring’ as Nilay suggests, but keen to have a go. This time it’s less about sharing with others what we’re doing but more about a record of this extraordinary moment in our lives…
We travelled through five of the many states of India,
Seeing eight different places by aeroplane and car,
We also bought some things so hopefully not too much weight!
Riding on Elephants, seeing the Forts!
Watching the animals, and riding rickshaws!
To much to learn, Gandhi, Moguls and the history of the Forts!
Now we say goodbye to Cochin, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and finally, goodbye Mumbai,
It’s time to fly!