Today two things happened in New Zealand regarding Covid-19. New Zealand's one remaining active case was declared recovered. For days there's been no new cases, one active case, no new cases one active case day after day. And today, New Zealand has no known active cases. It might be there, of course, in the country, silently infecting, but they've tested a lot and haven't found it. The second thing that happened was that it was announced we would go back down to level 1, basically all remaining restrictions on social gathering and distancing are removed. Our borders remain shut. That happens at midnight, in 44 minutes.
When our borders shut I went for a walk and wrote a blog post. I wrote a few more blog posts. I walked every day. It's been a strange, connected/disconnected time. There was a bend in the path and our family is walking in a different direction, not a u bend. not back the way we come, but definitely different.
Maggie started walking every day, or cycling, scrambling. Pockets full of rusty things. Shoes always wet, walking through streams and finding clouds, sunsets and old weed filled cars. Alex made sponge cakes. Joe created and executed a printing project called The Lockdown Alphabet. He finished a few days ago, 28 prints, the letters, the ampersand and a cover page. He's started printing it on good paper and I've helped by setting it up on his website.
I turned 50. After a bit of not knowing how many people we could have visiting us, and umming and aaahing, I finally decided I didn't want a big party but I did want the very front garden to be a little patch of native forest so I held a gardening bee and invited about 20 people, and it was lovely. I did garden, and hardly talked but saw lots of people, and now I have a wee baby native forest in my front yard. Joe has started building steps. It was quite a wonderful transformation, with rocks and paths and a lot of mulch and cardboard boxes I stripped of their plastic tape to use as weed mulch. About a week before my gardening bee I started gardening. and it's been a week since, and besides today I have been gardening and gardening and gardening, something I have never really done much of before. Our family, Joe, Maggie (14) and Alex (11) finished watching Stranger Things. We rewatched Cumberbatch's Sherlock, we instituted a taking turns to decide what we watch or do for the evening but it always seemed to end up being Alex's turn. We played anarchy (card game), Settlers of Catan, Splendour, and something else I can't remember. The kids have been having sleepovers.
While New Zealand has been holding its breath about case numbers, the United States exploded.
Two days before I turned 50, George Floyd, a black American, unarmed at the time, was kneeled on the neck, for 8 minutes by a Minneapolis police officer, and died. Someone took video on their phone of it, of the officer kneeling and George Floyd saying I can't breathe, Please stop, I can't breathe. The video got shared and then the protests started. Black Lives Matter banners, and I can't breathe banners. The whole country is aflame with it. There was looting and random brick throwing, my friend C, says piles of bricks will suddenly appear at protests, cars on fires. donald Trump said, when the looting starts the shooting starts. Donald Trump called in the homeguard, but today recalled it. Donald Trump called for Antifa (anti fascists) to be declared a terrorist group. Sometimes the police have en-masse kneeled down to the protestors to show their solidarity and joined in the marches. Sometimes the marches have protected police officers isolated from their teams. There are rubber bullets and tear gas. And face masks. And dancing, And chanting. The media is getting targetted. From police and protestors. From talking to C, it seems there is heady mix of genuine political torment rising in people, and random crazy people, and looters and white supremacists and things on fire. People are saying it's the end of the US experiment. I haven't read it in detail but I see a headline today about disestablishing or defunding or replacing the Minneapolis police force where it all began.
So many years of brutality.
There have been solidarity protests in the UK, and Australia and here in New Zealand. Other countries too. Sometimes they go against all the covid rules. In the UK a slave trader statue was brought down and toppled into the sea.
Two million Coronavirus cases in the US, a million still active, 112,000 deaths. People still in lockdown. In April unemployment was over 15% it has dropped down to 13%.
At my house everyone's in bed except me. My garden growing outside. The fire almost out. Gosh, all the people we didn't lose.
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