Less than an hour after I published yesterday's post, our prime minister announced a COVID-19 Level 3 Alert, with it going to a COVID-19 Level 4 Alert after 48 hours. At Level 3, I'm still considered essential services, but at Level 4 all schools and early childhood services are closed. Today we were open only for the children of those who worked in essential services. I can't remember the total but out of a centre that caters for over one hundred children in all its four areas, we had numbers in the single digits. There was not even one child in my area.
The place was strangely quiet. We did a clean up and turned everything off and quietly said goodbye. Unlike at Christmas time when we call out greetings and excitedly share holiday plans, today had a surreal quality.
We may see each other in four weeks' time but only if these quarantine measures are effective. This is serious business but unless everyone plays their part, and makes the necessary sacrifices, these measures may be ineffective.
Today DH and I drove back from a neighbouring town and wondered at all the 30km/hr roadwords where there were no "works". Long, l-o-n-g stretches where often only one lane was open. DH and I joked that it looked like they were setting up roadblocks and that it was "Big Brother". Except, that it may not be a joke.
It's serious. Life and death serious.
And perhaps what scares me is that New Zealanders have no practice whatsoever at being housebound. We love our outdoors far too much. And our freedom. We're never had a blizzard that's kept us confined for even a few days (even a severe storm or earthquake, has us outside again as soon as possible). We are too used to living the good life.
And now we're called to make a few sacrifices - sacrifices that are nowhere near those of former generations (think of all those young men who went off to war and never returned). Sacrifices for the greater good.
Can we do it?
I pray that we can because lives depend on it.
Did any of us realise when these photos were taken just over a week ago that it would be the last time we would be free to share such an activity as a family for at least a month?
But if not being able to see my loved ones is what it takes to lessen the risk to other loved ones (mine and yours), then it's worth the sacrifice.