Not in lockdown diary.

Today we moved to level II, under some laws which are, frankly, draconian. But there are other issues that mean that some businesses remain closed, such as building strength.

To give you context, H and J Smith is the main department store in Dunedin, and it is where I bought my boys’ school uniforms. Yes, schoolchildren have school uniforms in New Zealand, and they cost between a thousand and 3K for each child — girls generally more, as they have a kilt and a blazer. Schools reopen on Monday, and most shops have opened today.

A sign on the door of Kmart said it would remain closed for “an additional two-week period whilst we work with Meridian Mall on seismic strengthening upgrades that are required to the mall”.

H&J Smith chief executive John Green said the Dunedin store was set to open for “the beginning of the recovery” after the Covid-19 shutdown but company leaders had to make a late, dramatic call to stay shut for a little longer.

The business received a copy of a report from the mall last night and that information would be reviewed before any decision about reopening.

“We have a responsibility to evaluate the information we’ve now been given and understand it,” Mr Green said.

Staff were informed last night and Mr Green said they would be looked after.

Fulfilling school wear orders remained a priority, he said.

Customers have been encouraged to continue using the company’s website and phone calls have been diverted to Invercargill.

As part of this, people are being encouraged to return to work, and their offices. But one can, as far as many things, be more efficient if you are at home. You won’t be as crowded and you won’t have to use vectors for infection such as subways, or fellow workers, particularly as places with massive office blocks and public transport, such as London and New York, have had many cases of COVID 19.

But now, as the pandemic eases its grip, companies are considering not just how to safely bring back employees, but whether all of them need to come back at all. They were forced by the crisis to figure out how to function productively with workers operating from home — and realized unexpectedly that it was not all bad.

If that’s the case, they are now wondering whether it’s worth continuing to spend as much money on Manhattan’s exorbitant commercial rents. They are also mindful that public health considerations might make the packed workplaces of the recent past less viable.

“Is it really necessary?” said Diane M. Ramirez, the chief executive of Halstead, which has more than a thousand agents in the New York region. “I’m thinking long and hard about it. Looking forward, are people going to want to crowd into offices?’’

Carlos Slim’s blog

In short, not everyone will return. Central Business District Rentals cost. You have to show a marked increase on efficiency to justify this. Control and micromanagement are not the end here, but profit for the corporation. The policies of many corporations, however, work against this. The only reason I can see for the office is that remote working does make us more likely to be cruel, and let our pride virtue signal. It is much harder to do this directly to another’s face.

For years, I attacked people online with glee. I wanted to hurt feminists, beta males, journalists, fat women, and many others. I wanted to make them reconsider their horrible views and behavior. I’d write articles or send tweets about them, believing that I was making the world a better place due to my actions when I was actually making it worse by adding anger, invective, and resentment. If anything, I solidified the positions of those I was attacking, since practically nobody changes their mind due to someone yelling at them. I needed to change this bad habit.

After I turned to faith in early 2018, I made an immediate improvement when it came to committing bodily sins. In a moment of pride, I actually thought I was almost sinless, but I still continued my awesome takedowns of people on Twitter. I would highlight the wrong ideas or behaviors of a random somebody in a tweet and then inspire my followers to send that person dozens of negative comments with the aim of hurting them. The more likes my tweet got, the more successful I considered my attack. I truly wanted to hurt the other person, because they have hurt the world. I had done this hundreds of times in the past, and greatly enjoyed it, but it didn’t take long for my conscience to start bothering me.

Even as my developing Christian conscience gnawed at me, I fired off the tweets anyway. Why shouldn’t I do what I’ve always done? Inevitably, I began to feel guilty. Normally I’d feel good about hurting others, but now I felt bad. I may have ruined that person’s day based on my interpretation—whether right or wrong—about their moral character, along with the invective spewed by my followers. The person I attacked did not attack me directly and did not obstruct my faith, yet I personally attacked them.

I wanted to stop, but when you’ve been doing something for years, it’s not that easy. Many times I’d send off a tweet, initially thinking it wasn’t an attack, only to delete it minutes later. I had to re-learn how to share things on the internet in a way that didn’t unleash my anger or feed my pride, and I struggled with it for many months.


I removed this temptation from my life by killing all my social media accounts. Roosh’s checklist is still of use for bloggers, but the terseness of the tweet enforces not as much wit as brutality and virtue spirals.

What we are seeing is a disconnect between the official policy of micromanagement and contact tracing and the populace, who are treating these rules as a river treats rocks. They are something to flow around.

And that pragmatism may be our best hope.