29 May


May 29,  2020

Day 69

Four nights ago I started another entry in Diary of a Pandemic but had to stop when I realised I needed to find my passport so that I could trade in my Hawaii driving license for a New Zealand one in Auckland. The trip there was going to take all day and would be very hard on our heroes. There was also an element of stress as the swap had to happen and time was running out on the window of opportunity to do so. The passport search was a comedy of errors that mirrored my search for safety glasses earlier in the week, but I ended up finding it right where I’d stashed it. Since I was up I decided to wash the the windshield inside and out again and checked that everything was shipshape in the car. When I was done with I had four hours left before we had to get up and start driving so I gave up on the half finished post and went to sleep.

The alarm went off three seconds later and we dressed, ate breakfast, packed a lunch and took off on the two-and-a-half hour drive to Auckland. The universe smiled on us not for the first time and we sailed through the convoluted social distancing requirements at the licensing agency and were given priority treatment because we had come so far. I had all the proper documents and was helped by two perfect staff members and walked out of there with a temporary license after only an hour-and-a-half of standing in line. Valerie and I celebrated by going to a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet for a late lunch. We signed the contact tracing form that all businesses have to have at their entrances, ordered a large bucket and got the hell out of Dodge.

All the way home we watched as the way narrowed and the traffic diminished until at last we turned onto the 309 Road for the last leg of the journey. Through the gates and home in the gloaming. More chicken for dinner and a load off our backs, we slept the sleep of the righteous. The next two days we celebrated by doing nothing except listening to the rain fall and watching grey curtains of mist roll down the valley from the west.




When I finally came back to earth today and checked the Ministry of Health figures I could not believe my eyes. Four days has made a huge difference in the numbers…


Zero New cases. 7 Recovered cases. Ratio of recovered cases to confirmed and probable cases (plus factoring in the 22 deaths thus far which are part of the overall ratio but have not been a part of my percentages until now) is 99.93%. One active case left and we are homing in on nine out of nine possible zeroes on the board.




It has been a long journey and while it’s nowhere close to being over, there is a certain sense of accomplishment in where we find ourselves right now. It’s going to take a while to sink in.




May you all stay safe and well. Thank you for your patience and for coming along for the ride.






(P.S. Got the possum last night with the crossbow. He’d been having his way in the garden for a month, but no more. Rest in peace to him and a lease on life for the roses. Valerie is happy (and sad). Amazing woman. I get to take the trap out of the forecourt and pack it away until next time. Life (and death) in the forest…)

9 Responses to “One”

  1. rochellewisoff May 29, 2020 at 2:31 pm #

    Dear Doug,

    I’ve gotten so used to seeing your daily posts, I’ve felt a little bereft the past couple of days. Happy to see the stellar counts and you. Glad you found your passport and were able to get things taken care of in short order. Kentucky Fried Chicken in NZ? Whoda thunk it?
    Pool opens Monday with some restrictions. You know who’ll be there with fins on.

    Pleasant dreams, my friend. Love and hugs to the two of you.



    • rochellewisoff May 30, 2020 at 1:19 am #

      Make that hugs to you two heroes. 😉 ❤

      • dmmacilroy May 30, 2020 at 12:01 pm #

        And you are mine for helping me to simplify. Thank you. Happy swimming, Cheers, D.

  2. elmowrites May 29, 2020 at 2:42 pm #

    While you are at the end of phase 1, the rest of us are still in the middle of it. Most of us seem to be releasing restrictions just over the crest of the wave and I wonder if we are ready for what comes next. But then, we are also starting to witness the crises that come from extended lockdown so… what to do?

    The truth is, we are in the middle of history and only looking back will anyone be able to say with any certainty what happened now.

    • dmmacilroy May 30, 2020 at 12:10 pm #

      Dear Jen,

      And how are you faring in the confused seas of the Pandemic? Home schooling and laying low in a studied way? Have you found secret park places to drink in the open air and play? Are you relying on your youth to see you through? More power to you for that.

      You are so right about living through history. My worry, and even that is muted because I won’t be around to see it, is what will happen to the records of that history? Will it be written over by the victors? Will it be erased or rewritten?

      These are not times for the faint of heart. I think humans will prevail over all diseases and totalitarian governments, but first they have to be galvanised to action and in the interim the damage to the fabric of society will be terrible.

      Hmmm. Enough gloom and doom. It was good to ‘hear’ your voice, Jen. Thank you for writing. Stay safe. You and yours are needed in the world.



      • elmowrites May 30, 2020 at 7:24 pm #

        Here in Canada, the case numbers are relatively low, so I’m riding the wave of my own privilege (low case numbers, safe and comfortable home with garden, loving family, etc etc) but taking precautions for when it makes contact with the rocks.
        The boys are handling the ‘new normal’ like the little heroes they are, and it turns out homeschooling is not too far outside my wheelhouse. Like I say, we are lucky in the here-and-now, but the human world is a terrible place … I sometimes wonder if the disease has the right idea on the best thing to do with us.

  3. sustainabilitea May 29, 2020 at 9:26 pm #

    My first thought when I saw today’s post was thankfulness that you hadn’t disappeared into the post-Covid ether. Sounds like your day went as well as it possibly could, always a blessing and a half. And those number are so satisfying. Congrats on the racoon, too. They can be destructive critters!

    It’s hot, hot, hot here and more people are out doing things and going places, some with masks and still quite a lot without. Someone told me that the recommendation about masks changed again to only use them if treating C-19 patients, but I haven’t seen anything to that effect yet. I’m looking forward to spending some time in Wyoming later this summer. Should be pretty safe up there as it has the smallest numbers of cases and deaths in the US. Plus being up at 7,000+’ , outside a lot, and by myself quite a bit seems to check all the safety boxes.

    Sending a virtual box filled with love and hugs,


    • dmmacilroy May 30, 2020 at 12:14 pm #

      Dear Janet,

      I’m trying hard to both disappear and not, if you get my drift. It will be interesting watching the world to see how this pandemic will unfold. I hope your trip to Wyoming will be a tonic for you (and possibly cooler, too). Just stick to the plenty of elbow room plan and wash your hands and I think you’ll be fine. Opening that box now. Thank you times two.



      • sustainabilitea May 30, 2020 at 2:56 pm #

        I understand your drift perfectly, Doug. As for my trip, I’ll take all precautions: clean and sanitize surfaces at the motel (have to stay one night), disposable glove for gas pumping, hand sanitizer, the works. Hope you enjoyed the box. 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: