Today’s recommended listening: Ashes to Ashes, to Ashes (to Ashes), from the DEADBOLT soundtrack, by Chris Christodoulou.
Today was a really, REALLY chill day. I headed over to my friend’s for his barbecue lunch – luckily I got picked up by another friend instead of having to walk, as 1) it’s a pretty long walk, and 2) it was bucketing down with rain. Not exactly barbecue weather! But it worked out ok – we all hung out inside while his dad tended the barbecue. Thanks, dad!
A couple of his old swimming buddies that I never really met showed up, but the majority was people we knew from high school (and a couple of partners attending as plus ones). Some of these people I hadn’t seen (or really talked to) for ten years! It was really lovely to catch up, hear what everyone’s been up to, and what they’re doing now. Friends I thought were living out of town, it turns out are actually located here now! It started out a little… down, though, for some reasons I’ll get into a little later.
Suffice it to say, though, it was really nice to just chat with everyone. I think that, more than anything, best shows the time that’s passed since last we met. We’re all so… old! Talking about doing washing, and the rising prices in the housing market, reminiscing about our old high school… One of them works there as a teacher now, so he was able to give us the scoop – turns out there’s a BUNCH more students there than there were in our time, and it wasn’t exactly empty back then! We chatted about how they’ve really been upping their sports support with some recent successes, we talked about some of the extracurricular stuff that wasn’t there back in our day (they’ve got a Fish Club now?!). Mostly what we talked about, though, was COVID stuff. No matter how many protocols you put in place in classes – there’s pretty much no way to have 2000+ students in one place without it inevitably spreading. They go back in a couple of weeks – and I think it’s just going to be hell.
And that brings me to why things were a little grey to begin with. Yup, it’s official – Omicron has come to town, complete with community transmission somewhere up in Auckland. Which means the whole country is going to Traffic Light Level Red as of 11:59pm tonight. Now, that’s not as bad as it sounds – there won’t be any lockdowns, I’m told, and honestly for places which require vaccine passes, I don’t think things really change that much. But… still, y’know? The announcement came out while most people were shopping for things to bring to the BBQ – and I think even then they were seeing some panic buying starting. With no lockdowns coming, it’s not like they won’t be able to go shopping later on – but, well, they’re panicked. What can you say?
It’s just… sad, I suppose. This is just the way of things now. “It’s expected the coronavirus will eventually become endemic in NZ”, is what the news updates are saying – much like the flu, something predictable and manageable that we just have to deal with. New boosters every so often, community protocols like this popping up now and then. I know I’m incredibly lucky and privileged just being in NZ, and on top of that someone who can work from home when needed, AND who likely wouldn’t be affected that badly even if I did get COVID. Really, when I look at it, I can’t complain. It’s just… draining.
Boy, that was light, huh? Despite all that I truly did have a lovely day – and it didn’t go on too long, which meant I still had time to come home and blob out on the couch for a while. Thanks for reading.