Elspeth lives in Florida, where the weather is turning warm. It's getting cold enough that we smelt woodsmoke last night and are discussing if we need to leave a car at the bottom of the drive because of black ice. The gyms will close soon. So, walk. Then read.
The latest push to self-isolate means a lot of people are currently finding themselves with a lot of extra time our their hands. Yesterday, our daughter reported that her coworker complained that, given the need to avoid the usual away from home distractions, it's unfortunate that he can't find anything worth watching on Netflix. He was promptly reprimanded that he can always read a book, and I totally agree!
The fortuitous thing about living where we live is that self-isolating in early March need not mean being stuck indoors. Fresh and sunshine are superb health tonics and we are experiencing that in spades right now, along with moderate temperatures and lower humidity than we'll enjoy a few weeks hence. I'm encouraging my kids and other people I know that taking long walks during this season can only serve your health, not endanger it.
Elspeth, Reading between the life
Note to self: there is no bad weather, only bad gear. Which means it is time for jackets. Two months earlier than usual. All meetings in NZ over 500 must end -- and as the PM notes, there are a lot of them.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says Cabinet has agreed today that gatherings of 500 or more people in New Zealand - held outdoors or indoors - will not go ahead.
Speaking at a media conference this afternoon, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the government's sole focus was protecting New Zealanders' health and economic well-being, and that was why the decision was made to cancel the mass gatherings.
"This applies to non-essential events such as festivals, fairs, sporting, religious and cultural events."
She said the new directive did not apply to schools or universities, but the Ministry of Education would be working to reduce these gatherings as much as possible.
She said there were more than 100 gatherings of more than 1000 people set to happen in the coming weeks.
"I know that this decision is hugely disappointing. I know it will have an impact on a large number of communities. I'm acutely aware as the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, the impact this will have on the arts sector, but we are making this decision in the best interests of New Zealanders."
Ardern said there would be further guidance on gatherings later in the week, and they should give certainty for events such as large weddings.
This is going to hit the bigger churches ... hard. Most of them have large services and use them for evangelism, while pastoral care occurs in small groups. The large services can go electronic, but... having done online and congregational services the congregation matters. Meeting together matters. It will get tighter.
Locally, the city is stopping all council celebrations with more than a hundred people in them.
This arrived in the mail today: Air NZ is apparently shedding a fair number of staff and cutting down its flights. Services to the USA are suspended.
I'm not flying, but (like many kiwis) I have a frequent flyer plan.
As you can imagine thousands of customers are impacted by the latest round of travel measures introduced by Governments around the world.
Our priority is supporting Air New Zealand customers with immediate travel needs first. If you are not travelling within the next 48 hours we ask you to please hold off from contacting us directly for the time being. We are doing our absolute best to manage the high volume of enquiries we are receiving, including boosting the size of our Contact Centre and Social Media Customer Care teams.
But I do need petrol. This is from Caltex -- who have well run petrol stations. In short, if you are sick, don't fuel up.
We understand the importance of good cleaning and hygiene for our customers and our teams. We have asked our retailers to review their cleaning practices in alignment with the ministry of health recommendations.
We are following the Ministry of Health guidelines to ensure we all help keep everyone safe, so when you come onto our sites, you can expect to see:
- Team members following social distancing practices. Social distancing means keeping at a distance that reduces potential for spittle to reach one another. Keeping 1 m distance is recommended.
- Responsible coughing etiquette. We all know that we all have moments where we cough for no apparent reason, if that happens to a team member, you'll see them use their elbow as per Ministry recommendation on good coughing etiquette. We've instructed staff that if they feel unwell then they should stay away from work
We will also need your support to keep our sites safe. We ask that you continue to use good handwashing and hygiene procedures, good coughing etiquette and to refrain from coming onto a Caltex site if you are feeling unwell.
And from the local supermarket -- who assure us that there is food in the shops and we should shop as normal: it is worth noting that I can drive to work in 15 minutes (without road works) and I'm still too far out of town for deliveries.
Our online service is experiencing high demand, and our personal shoppers and drivers are working very hard to provide a great service. If you're a first time online shopping customer, welcome!
If you're self-isolating, or you'd just be more comfortable with us dropping your groceries off at the doorstep without any contact, please let us know in your Delivery Instructions in the online checkout. We will leave your groceries on the doorstep and send you a text to let you know they're there.
Our teams are doing all we can to serve you during these busy and challenging times. We thank you for your continued patience and support.
We need to mistrust our politicians. Tova O'Brien works for Newshub, and generally supports our Red PM, but David Farrar is calling for a government of national (globalist) unity.
In the meantime, the green deaty cult is celebrating.
Climate experts say coronavirus could help the global fight to reduce emissions.
Social distancing, self-isolation and working from home could become the new normal, and that's seeing emissions drop worldwide.
Victoria University of Wellington climate scientist professor James Renwick said the global response to coronavirus could set a precedent for how the world reduces its emissions in the future.
"Some of the things we're having to do are exactly what's called for."