Thinking Too Much?

7 May


May 7,  2020

Day 47


Aplease remove the idiots

People are back to barreling up and down the dodgy road into town even though the road maintenance crew hasn’t devoted any time to grading or spreading fresh gravel for over six weeks. It is slick when wet and dicey when dry and its back to business as usual now. Same in the grocery stores. I’m still the only person wearing a mask and social distancing lingers mostly in people’s memory. You can see them thinking about it when they get a look at me as I pause to wait for them to move or for a space to present itself so that I can go around them. The meanderthals (yes, still spelled with an ‘m’) are back in force, parking their carts on the opposite side of an aisle and then blocking the other half while they compare best values or wonder why they’re there in the first place. Only the checkers with their blue gloves and disinfectant wipes at the ready still hold the line against a complete return to the good old bad old days.

Latest buzz is that New Zealand will be moving to Level 2 some time in the near future. The news is full of stories about what that will look like for travel, the hospitality business, shops, salons, bars and bistros, but no one is saying when the move will take place. Gatherings of less than a hundred people will be okay but no more than that. Sports events will be held but without spectators. Schools will reopen but with some sort of social distancing enforced or implied, whichever turns out to be more practicable. There is still talk of opening the Tasman border so that folks from Oz can visit here and vice versa.

New Zealand has done well so far and more power to us, but I hope the powers that be are keeping a weather eye on the appearance of unexplained community transmission. There’s going to be a fine line between too much and too little control and I hope we err on the side of conservatism.


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Elsewhere in the world there seems to be a deadly fatigue setting in as countries, cities and communities try to come to grips with the fact that the cure (inefficient, poorly maintained and apparently unenforceable lockdown policies) is worse than the disease, literally. In those areas where first steps were not taken quickly enough and clusters of hot spots took hold and grew unchecked, most people seem resigned to taking their chances one way or another. They need to work and shutting down the whole country for the sake of the few young who will die, the larger number of obese people and the even greater number of ‘older’ people destined to lose their lives doesn’t seem to them, at this juncture, to have been worth it. They think all the hospitals know what’s in the wind if they find themselves in a hot zone and no one seems to be thinking about walking in the shoes of the health workers at the front lines of these battles. People are bored and broke, sometimes clueless, often conscientious, tired of being under the gun of Covid-19 and under the thumb of governments telling them what they can and cannot do. Never mind that what they’re being told to do is, on average, fairly sane policy.


Slow process\


In trying to find some clarity re lockdowns versus no lockdowns I found the following Youtube video on the subject. I am not buying into any of the conclusions made in it nor am I saying you should watch it. I only put it in here to show you the producers take on the two sides of this still flipping coin. I did read all 223 comments and found them to be most interesting. We are still in the early days.

Speaking of days, here are this one’s numbers…


1 New case. 16 Recovered cases. Ratio of recovered cases to active case is 89%. Two Zeroes on the board.






So what is the answer? Is it lockdown hard and make it work, as New Zealand appears to be on track for?


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Or is it what some might say is the more sensible, real world, solidly pragmatic Swedish approach?


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Which one you believe is more effective will probably depend greatly on your age and/or whether you have other traits that increase your susceptibility to the Covid-19 virus. I’ve been living the New Zealand plan and I like my odds, now and in the future. I hope for the very best for Sweden, but I have to wonder at the cost. As for the American plan(s), well, I’d rather not say.


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(Carol, Russell? You guys okay?)


7 Responses to “Thinking Too Much?”

  1. sustainabilitea May 7, 2020 at 2:08 pm #

    Sigh. In Arizona restrictions are easing a bit this week and next, but as so many weren’t already wearing masks, I wonder how that will go. When beaches are opened, people swarm to them and “swarm” doesn’t indicate social distancing. People do need to get back to work and businesses need to open. But if “as before”, we’re likely to get “as before” spikes again. Sifting good advice from bad isn’t easy either, even after discounting all the idiots, of which there seem to be a fair number. Reading comments? There are some interesting things about doing that, but most places it seems that people feel if they’re online and more or less anonymous, they can say whatever they darn well please and most of it’s nasty.

    Onward to my day, which includes a trip to Costco to hopefully pick up some meat for my parents.

    Best, as always,


    • dmmacilroy May 7, 2020 at 10:13 pm #

      Dear Janet,

      There are always tiny bits of wheat in the chaff of the comments (on YouTube). I was particularly interested in the ‘debate’ about whether NZ will suffer a larger spike when things open up more — or whether our continued quarantine of outlanders will serve to protect us as we ‘open’ up businesses within our borders and limp along until a (so far nebulous) vaccine is discovered.

      Good luck shopping and stay safe. As I said in my post, it’s still early days yet.



  2. rochellewisoff May 7, 2020 at 2:14 pm #

    Dear Doug,

    I love the word “meanderthol” so fitting. There’s so much in this post I agree with. The memes are great. I’ve seen the parachute analogy a few times…one of the best I’ve heard. The final meme–pitch perfect.
    Things are ‘opening’ up in Missouri and other parts of the country. I’m still of the mind that it’s too much too soon. Even though to my chagrin, the fitness center/pool opening has been pushed back from 14 May to 1 June. I’ll live…and be healthy. 😉 Meanwhile it’s time to throw another sheet of paper on the easel. Have masks, will wear when shopping.

    Take care and give hugs to each other in my name,


    • dmmacilroy May 7, 2020 at 10:08 pm #

      Dear Rochelle,

      So glad to hear your pool has a semi-solid (slushy?) opening date. Don’t overdose on your first day back:) Your hugs are distributed as I type on this beautiful sunny morning. Another miracle day.

      Thanks for your love,

      Love back,


  3. tedstrutz May 7, 2020 at 8:24 pm #

    Are you kidding? No way to remove Idiots. Look at this country. Look at our President. Look at the people enabling him. Oh well, one can hope. Wish we had some NZ way here.

    Doug… I am laminating paperback books for our library. I just did a nice NZ travel book with a great map at the back. Which island are you on, North or South? And what is the name of a nearby town that the idiots are barreling down the road to get to, so I can find you on the map.

    • dmmacilroy May 7, 2020 at 10:03 pm #

      Dear Ted,

      The answers to your question are in my May 6th diary entry. (North Island, Coromandel peninsula, 309 Road and Whitianga:) There’s even a picture of North Island from space, though it is oriented sort of off kilter. Should fit your world view though:) Can’t help smiling here when I think about you. What’s a library? And the only thing I can say about 45 is he got there because the alternative was no better. In fact, it was none too subtly insidious and far worse for the country’s future. That’s another coin that is still in the air, with the emphasis on flipping.

      I hope you are well and safe.



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