As Long as the Red Earth Rolls

8 Jun

ADiaryofaPandemicMaster

 

Jun 8,  2020

Day 79

Today I rested.

Early morning clouds hid the moon again and so the chance to duplicate May’s full moon photograph is gone. “Another time, Highlander”, growls the Kurgon somewhere in the back of my mind.

No quail this morning. Temperature is down into ‘see your breath territory’. Back to sleep for a while. Wake to beauty. Breakfast in bed. Sun streams through the bedroom window.

Valerie and I walked in the midday sun through our compound, seeing areas that need work and noting where a brush stroke here or there would add to the canvas. She inspected the neat double stacked row of foundation posts in the tiny hollow just off the drive and I showed her how I’ll be able to pull them one by one down through a gap in the trees to the worksite. A Tui sang crazily above us and we walked to the top of the drive and up the road for a while. The sun was bright and the sky a turquoise backdrop to the green ridges that frame our land. Back at the entrance to our drive I showed her where I want to build a cantilevered gate that will slide out of the forest on silent bearings when we want to keep the world at bay. We walked hand in hand down the drive cataloging the damage to the ponga done by the drought. We lost at least ten of the tall fern trees along each side, not to mention what has happened throughout the forest. I will harvest the trunks and use them somewhere along the line, honouring their life as best I can.

After lunch I cleaned dead ponga branches from the grove and removed spider webs from the interior walls of the entrance porch. The ease with which they can be seen is probably the only drawback of having black walls. I used a small paint brush and found it worked pretty well, but as I brushed I imagined of a battery powered rotary tool with a bottle brush on the business end…  And added it to the list.

Around mid afternoon Valerie checked the numbers and told me, “Zero new cases and you’ll be glad to know that the one person who’s been holding out has recovered…”  I let that news sink in as I reached for my computer to see for myself. Sure enough, today’s numbers tell the tale…

AAAJUN8NZCov

Zero New cases. One Recovered case. Ratio of recovered cases to active cases and probable cases plus deaths is 100%. Zero active cases.

WHISKEY. OSCAR. WHISKEY.

Bloody marvellous and while not a laurel to rest on, it is a milestone a long time coming and one to be proud of and thankful for. I think I’ll have a beer and raise a toast to us.

 

AAACOTRRRTR

 

So… Where do we go from here? The country is going to Alert Level 1 for the second time in history. What that means for us is that all businesses will be open with only minor restrictions. Gatherings can be held without regard to size. Social distancing will still be encouraged and the wearing of masks may be mandated on public transport and in certain other situations. Anyone coming into the country will be quarantined for a minimum of fourteen days while authorities examine options  and begin to sort out how to re-open the country to travellers from disease free nations. There will be many more details to iron out, some anticipated and others wholly unanticipated. It’s the nature of the beast.

 

AAAACATCORONA

 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wisely made it very clear in her announcement today that there will be more cases, but that what we have learned thus far will help us to find, diagnose, track and eliminate any new cases that show up.

 

AAASTORM

 

We are in a good place and things are only going to get better.

 

AAADOPI

 

All of which has me thinking that my subtitle, Diary of a Pandemic, is no longer appropriate, nor accurate. Especially since it looks as though, for the semi-foreseeable future, any dying I do won’t be because of Covid-19. That being said, I’m still glad I decided to write about it all. At the outset of lockdown the odds were good that it was going to be a serious Charlie Foxtrot and there was no way of telling how it would all work out. http://acronymsandslang.com/definition/7720898/CHARLIE+FOXTROT-meaning.html

 

I’ve learned a great deal in the past three months, not the least of which is that…

 

AAAAMOS

 

Nevertheless, I have no illusions that it’s over. The fears that started me writing what was, in many ways, my death bed testimonial still exist. They are founded on long years of experience and the events of the first half of 2020 have only strengthened them.

 

AAACHANCEST

 

The Pandemic is still on in the rest of the world. Covid-19 is probably out there for good now, unless smarter folks than I can find a way to put it back in the bottle it was let out of. New Zealand will have to bend like a reed as the storm continues to rage elsewhere.

No man is an island, as Mr. Donne so eloquently said, and that statement applies to islands as well. So we will watch and wait, hope and dream, love and laugh. And I will remember to be grateful for the miracles that I am privileged to see every moment I’m alive, and to thank those of you who have stood by me as I added a few more planks to my raft. It is all I can do. I hope it is enough.

 

AAAAThankyou

 

I hope each and every one of you find your way to the happiness you deserve. Breathe deep and know that no matter what happens to you or yours, this is not the end…

 

AAAAKIP

 

If the time comes when anyone wants to know more and I’m not around to ask, let it be said that…

 

AAATHISMAN

 

And that he wished for all to…

 

AAAAFAREWE

 

 

 

3 Responses to “As Long as the Red Earth Rolls”

  1. Justin June 8, 2020 at 5:51 pm #

    OK Highlander, I do hope this isnt the last time we have an exchange of conviction and a proper diatribe. Its been quite refreshing to hear your take on so many conceptions and observations. I will feel deprived of your expressive articulation, which I consider as a respite from uncertainty and fear. Its time to climb to tranquility, finding its real worth, conceiving the heavens, flourishing on Earth.
    Justin

  2. rochellewisoff June 8, 2020 at 9:32 pm #

    Dear Doug

    I smile as I envision you and Valerie walking hand in hand, making plans. I needed to read this peaceful, hopeful post and feel assurance that there is some tranquility left in the world.

    Shalom, more shalom and love to you both,

    Rochelle

    India Lima Yankee Bravo

  3. sustainabilitea June 9, 2020 at 3:56 am #

    “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” You have the best example for resting after working hard. 🙂

    The only thing I know for sure about common sense is that it isn’t common, unfortunately, and seems to be getting in shorter supply every day. Thanks for giving me a big smile by your choice of featured beer. It’s perfect in this context even though I’m a dark beer drinker. My beer of choice is Cashmere Hammer, which I can’t get here as it’s only sold in Wisconsin and the Chicago area. I did import quite a bit when we moved, though, essential services and all that.

    I do hope you’ll move on to a post-pandemic diary or possible a watcher’s occupations while watching. I’ve been deprived of so much lately that I’d like to at least keep this.

    Cheers!

    janet

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