Day 30 – Living in Level 4

March 27th, 2020

We’re 2 days into the nation-wide State of Emergency or Level 4 lock-down and 30 days into our self-imposed isolation. 386 cases and rising fast now testing is being rolled out …

We have been very busy with work, which we are grateful for, but it has masked the impact of what is a new reality for many, many people.

Officially another 26 days of this but we’re perfectly sure we’re looking at 3 to 4 months & are prepared psychologically for it. You all know much has changed in a week since we last blogged – your world, the world, it’s changing by the hour. There is probably no one who can keep up with it all, except the first few stopped by the police who claimed not to be aware of the lock-down. It’s a testament to our police force that they were not summarily executed on the spot for stupendous ignorance or the plain affront to insult the officer’s intelligence.

Many heart-warming moments and many not so. Not so, the photo of the OLDER gentleman in the UK looking at his shopping list while surrounded by empty shelves. Heart warming and thoroughly deserved was the UK’s round of applause for the NHS staff. It has been a life-long held view of ours that to under-pay and under-value anyone in the medical profession is a mark of a failed Government and failed society. If our leaders do not learn to do better in the future they should be removed from office.

Top of our minds this week has been the idea of BV & AV – Before Virus & After Virus. The old world has gone and the new one, for those of us who see it, simply has to be different with different values. Already we have identified people from the old world we won’t be bothering with in the new. We get through this holding onto the hope that we will be free again to meet wonderful new people who value life after this. It has to be different; it has to clear-out the ills of the old one and reset. With most of our freedom gone we will take to it’s return with absolute abandon to live not just each day, but each hour like it’s the last.

To be clear, we fully support this hard shut-down. We wished for it long before it was implemented – simply because the sooner we are through it the sooner we are out of it and the more chance you, and we, have to survive.

Practically there are some big issues to urgently sort out – our army needs to get involved with food distribution because, despite the hard work of supermarket employees, the logistics skills of their senior managers are not up to scratch. An educated chap in the UK put it simply – it is unfair to expect supermarkets to manage rationing & for the public to self ration. It didn’t work in either of the World Wars & won’t work now. Up till now we have stayed safe by ordering food online but that system has crashed so we are forced to go out to shop. In other countries it has been identified as a way to spread the virus and risk supermarket workers and customers. If it means rationing and weekly deliveries … bring it on. Anything to avoid going out & mixing with the virus, or spreading it.

We’re abandoned Netflix to ration internet bandwidth. Us rural folks on 4G get a pitiful 120Gb a month to live off. Spark were kind enough to help early on by saying they would do F-all to support rural home-workers – use it all and lose it all. When this is over we’ll shove their caps where the sun don’t shine. Now we are video conferencing everyday and sucking up way too much news of the biggest event of our lives we have had to dust-off the DVD collection for that last 30 minutes of the day before crashing. Ashes To Ashes this week – as dose of Gene Hunt is just what the doctor ordered.

So, here we are in isolation listening to the radio each day and hanging onto news like the next meal. Come rush-hour the national broadcast gives way to regional traffic. The usual roads in Hamilton are busy with heavy traffic. And then we wonder why – aren’t we in a lock down? Do all our nurses and other emergency services clock off at 5pm? Of is it just a prerecorded broadcast set to report the same thing everyday, because in the BV world it was the same thing everyday? Then the adverts come on enticing us to events that are cancelled and sales in shops that are closed. Perhaps some people have listened and rushed out to buy that new washing machine before the deal is over.

But best of all the advert for a local real estate agent – ‘2020 – You couldn’t have picked a better year to sell your property with prices rising fast.’ Sureal, like much of this.

In the meantime we continue to write & record vocals. Incredibly unimportant in the scheme of things, but if we give up our art then the virus has won and we can’t have that.

Stay safe, Love OLDER x



Day 21 into self isolation

March 18th, 2020

CoronavirusMonths ago we decided to call our second album ‘Breakout’ little knowing we’d end up in the middle of a breakout of a pandemic that has changed the world more than any event for generations.

We’re going to share our journey, as much for prosperity as anything and maybe to raise some smiles.

Here we are, 21 days into our self-imposed self-isolation. Three weeks ago to the day we met and chatted for ages with someone at a party who had been on the same flight to NZ as the first confirmed case in our lovely country. It was only two days later we realised (as no doubt they did too). It was a passing encounter, the type we all have so many times. A stranger with engaging conversation, an interesting story, here only briefly, then due to fly out the next day. We had no way of knowing how close they had been to the confirmed case on the flight so we could only assume we were at risk.

No one would phone us to check; no one could trace that depth of contact. Three weeks ago at the end of February 2020 the world outside of China had yet to feel the huge impact of Coronavirus so no one in NZ really cared. We did though.

We made the simple call to stay at home for 14 days. It was easy – we are rural and work from home. Though we had never had home-deliveries of groceries, instead driving a 40Km round trip to town to stock up, we were amazed to find the Countdown van was happy to trundle all the way to us. Family and friends were asked to stay away and all understood.

We invest a lot energy trying to ‘stay ahead of the curve’. It’s not that tricky if you look at the world with the alternative lens we wear, and make sure to read lots of balanced reporting from around the globe. Small events extrapolate into larger ones. The world divides into those stocked up on fear and those laughing in the face of adversity. We sit in the middle –  cautious yet hopeful, trusting yet deeply cynical and always pragmatic. Life is a set of odds – we play hard and take a lot of risks in return for huge results on the wheel of fun but this event is not one that offers any reward for venture.

On day 21 we have decided to lock down and stay home for the duration. It could be months. Baring any accident or emergency we have no intention of leaving this sanctuary and only the fleeting appearance of a passing tradie or delivery driver will shatter our solitude.

The world has already, and will continue to change beyond our collective imagination. We will all come back to a new normal but it will not be the same as the old normal. We embrace change because that is what we must all do to survive, whether literally or metaphorically.

So here we are, Day 21, 20 cases reported, and the draw bridge is up.