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 Category:  General Non-Fiction
  Posted: March 29, 2020      Views: 60

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Following on from the world-wide acclaim and rave reviews for my first book, I am pleased to announce that I have sufficiently recovered from the jet-lag suffered to attend all those book signings and have started work on my second masterpiece, "Fort - more...

He is a top ranked author at the #92 position.

He is an accomplished poet and is currently at the #95 spot on this years rankings.

The Seal of Quality committee has rewarded him with 1 seals.

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Facing the pandemic in New Zealand
"Kiwi Lockdown" by kiwisteveh

Day 4 of New Zealand's total lockdown. The lockdown is currently planned to go for one month, but will be re-assessed at that time. Every New Zealander must stay at home with the exception of essential workers. Schools and all shops are closed except for supermarkets, pharmacies and service stations.

My wife Anne and I are quite happy in our little rural retreat with our dog, Womble, and our two cats, five chickens and three goats. We have plenty of food to last us, and we have books, TV and computers with unlimited internet access.

In other words, life in lockdown is pretty much as normal, except that I won't get called to go into work (as a substitute teacher) and so I can sleep in a little if I want to, as long as I can withstand the reproachful looks from the cats, chickens and goats. The dog doesn't care; he likes a sleep-in too

Sad news today - we had our first Coronavirus death in NZ today - an elderly lady who had an underlying health condition.

Our tally of cases has been going up steadily and now sits at 514, going up over the last few days at about 70 or 80 per day. The good news is that nearly all of those are directly related to people returning from overseas. We now have a few cases of community spread.

Other good news: of those 514, only about 12 need hospitalisation and only one is in critical condition. That lull has given our hospitals and medical services precious time to prepare for the almost certain surge still to come. Preparation includes stocking up on PPE and cancelling elective surgery to free up beds.

We have a short TV briefing every day at 1PM It always follows the same format and gives clear, succinct information about the number of cases and their status, plus what the government wants Kiwis to do and why. The briefing is usually led by our top health official, although today our PM stood in to deliver the news of that first death.

Our briefing is a stark contrast to what I see from the USA. It is short, focused and down to earth. There is a lot of attention paid to key messages - hygiene, stay home and above all kindness and looking after the elderly. It is followed by a Q&A session which usually revolves around the details of new cases and clarification of the lockdown rules.

There is general approval of our government's handling of the crisis. They acted relatively early and made decisive moves which were communicated and reinforced to the public. We are told that in another ten days or so, the number of cases should plateau. To accomplish that, the lockdown has to be successful. So far, so good!

I'll finish with good wishes to everyone who reads this, in all the different sets of challenging circumstances you may find yourself in due to this unprecedented pandemic.

Kia kaha! (Maori for "Stay strong!")


Author Notes
This may be the first of a series. Let's see how we go.

Instead of reviewing in the normal way, perhaps you could just tell me what your situation is in relation to the virus e.g. location, restrictions on movement etc.

The photo shows our three goats who escaped from their normal paddock yesterday and decided to help us trim the wisteria. The woolly white one is Bobby, an Angora. The fat black fella is a feral goat named Timmy and the Black and white is a Saanen milking goat. The two chickens are our new layers, Petunia and Bluebell. I tried to get Womble into the shot too, but he was too skittery.

Cats nowhere to be seen, as usual unless it's feeding time.
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