A time for keeping in touch

By Roger Childs

Coronavirus bubblesI have two friends who are partners, having many years ago lost a wife and husband respectively.  They each run a household 4 km apart and are now confined in separate bubbles. However, they’ve devised a novel way to meet up – they walk to Paraparaumu Beach, sit at each end of a table and chat for 30 minutes before returning to their homes.

dog walkingKiwis are resourceful and enterprising people, and are overcoming bubble isolation by meeting “accidentally” while walking the dog, going for a run or getting out on the bike. Pam and I met a couple of self-isolating friends out for a walk earlier in the week before the lock down. They stayed in their Otaki electorate, but we were able to converse with them from our Mana constituency with just the Wharemauku Stream in between.

Getting the news and updates

This is definitely a time to get in touch by phone, text and e-mail.  I spent 20 minutes yesterday morning talking to a friend on the phone and I had done this with other friends on Thursday and Friday. I think I’ll keep the habit going.

Our Outlook Express has been running hot, and plenty of family and friends are getting in touch to see how we are and catch up with the news. This sort of communication is always welcome in these restrictive lockdown times.

Getting the exercise and plenty of greetings

I’ve been out running and biking, and there have more people around than cars. Those I’ve passed, without exception, have been warm and friendly and even from across the street I’ve got waves from folk I’ve never seen before. Many are out with dogs and these people may find themselves getting fitter by the day. All the canines have had smiles on their faces knowing that with the folks grounded for four weeks there is no excuse for not taking up the leash.

Bondi BeachIt’s good to be able to get out walking, running and biking. I spoke with an Auckland friend yesterday and he regularly swims off the North Shore beaches. He hadn’t heard about the ban on that activity and didn’t understand what I was saying! Let’s face it, what’s the problem with experienced swimmers ploughing a few kms up and down the shoreline?  Obviously the authorities don’t want the crowded Bondi Beach scenario over here, but that’s not happening.

Your editors were annoyed that the retiring Police Commissioner, with a checkered past, said on television that people can’t drive then walk or run. But you can do that!

Go Bears!

This is a common cry from fans of the California’s Golden Bears Football team in Berkeley. It’s now being picked up by kids in New Zealand.

Coronavirus bearsPutting bears in the window is great and started from a campaign originating in the UK. Our two teddy bears now feature in top storey and bottom. So if you are not yet in on the act and have windows visible from the street, put a smile on the faces of little kids going past by locating a bear or any stuffed animal you have in a visible position. Our two bears are grateful for having new roles. It’s good to see Jacinda getting in on the act.

Social interaction

It’s obviously restrictive in this lock down period, but there are ways and means of doing things at a distance.  Obviously phoning, texting and emailing are key elements, however out of the house when exercising or shopping opportunities do arise – at a safe social distance of course!