Tag Archives: FML

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

16 Jun

ADiaryofaPandemicMaster

June 16th,  2020

Day 1 (Again)

Despite the sometimes acerbic tone some of the entries in this diary have taken, I am, at heart, not a cynic. The fact of the matter is that for my entire life I have pitched my tent in the unruly, but happy camp of the romantics. Hafiz lives one tent over and Basho somewhere across the way. I consider myself in good company and would not change a thing. That being said, at this moment in time, writing in bed with Goldberg’s Variations playing in the background and the last minutes of this unique and irreplaceable day slipping into history, I am gobsmacked and the cynic in me is laughing and laughing.

Earlier in the day I’d made a run down the 309 and into town for supplies for the pathway that is my current project. I was loading thirty bricks and three bags of bedding sand into the back of my car at PlaceMakers when Bopper, a genial yardman there, came up and asked if I’d heard the news. Bopper always has some tidbit of gossip or chatter on the jungle telegraph to relate so I humoured him and asked what was up? He proceeded to tell me that we had two active cases of Covid-19 on the books and that it happened because somebody was let out of quarantine to attend a funeral in Wellington. Bopper being Bopper, I took everything he had to say with a grain of salt, finished my supply run by strapping two 4.8 metre retaining wall boards on the roof rack, paid my bill and raced home to crack my computer, log into the Ministry of Health to see if he was right.

Here’s what the numbers say…

 

AAAAAAAJUN16NZCov

So here we go again… 2 New cases. Zero Recovered cases. Ratio of recovered cases to active and probable cases and factoring in 22 death is…¬†Sorry, but you’re going to have to do the math yourselves. I can’t wrap my head around it.

 

AAAAAAAAmath

 

After 24 days of no active cases in the entire country, we let two women fly in from the United Kingdom via Australia, placed them in a ‘managed isolation’ facility for 14 days but then let them out to drive 642 kilometres in a private vehicle to Wellington to ‘comfort’ a relative after a death in the family. ‘Compassionate exemption’ was the term used to describe it on the government press release. An entire country with five million souls free of Covid-19 and totally out of lockdown and we decide that the ‘needs’ of two people outweigh the possible consequences of spreading a highly contagious virus among an unsuspecting population. A six hour journey and they had no contact with anybody? Right. Who the hell made the decision to let them do that? It beggars belief.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/121851190/coronavirus-our-expectations-have-not-been-met-says-pm

The early press release was couched in wordy bureaucratese to make it sound as though everything was under control, but things were clearly were not. Ever hear the phrase that an elephant is a mouse built to government specifications? Well that press release was the government version of somebody saying, ‘it sounded like a good idea at the time’. Several hours into the news cycle and already the powers that be are stating that, “No more exemptions will be allowed”. You think? It’s tantamount to them announcing that, “Several dozen horses have escaped from our stable but don’t worry, we’ve closed the doors now”.

The contact tracers that have been sitting idle for 24 days are hot on the trail of everyone who was on the flight, all of the people in two international airports in two countries, the staff and other people in the managed isolation facility, every person at the funeral in Wellington and anyone that anyone might have come in contact with these two caring but selfish knuckleheads on their journey by car from Auckland to Wellington. Details are few and far between this early in the story and I cannot wait for the finer points to be revealed in the coming days. There will doubtless be more tap dancing from the powers that be as this unfolds. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has got to be saying, “They did what?!!” to anyone on her staff brave enough to go near her while all over the country a feeling of dread is beginning to replace the cautious optimism we had during the past three weeks.

 

AAAAAMaybe swearing

 

It is said by the wise that there is very little difference between Saturday night and Sunday morning. That’s kind of where we are now. The process of tracking and tracing and isolating (this time without any compassion, I hope) will ramp up to full speed. Sweden will say, “We told you so”, the threat of lockdown will loom again and everyone will be watching the numbers once more and furtively checking their supply of toilet paper.

As for me, I am officially over it. If it all goes south and I end up taking a long dirt nap would someone please mine these pages and cobble together the story of my end of days? I’ve chosen the title and put together the cover below to save you some work. Thanks.

 

AAAAAWEll that didn'twork

 

Cheers, D.