Jess Nickelsen: Discombobulated
August 19, 2021 - Day 2 of lockdown


a puddly sort of daya puddly sort of day

Thursday. It’s 11:36am. Moo and I spent a good, what, at least an hour drawing all over a long roll of brown paper that we spread out over the dining room table. There are stickers, and weird things glued on, and strange patterns, and it was a lot of fun.

Even though I just want to sit at my computer and write and/or catch up on the news, I find myself thinking a lot about how Leila is spending her time, and worrying that she is on screens too much. Does it really matter though? As long as we keep checking in, and making time to do other stuff. I think I worried overmuch about this last time, and found the whole trying-to-do-school-from-home thing really stressful. As long as we get a bit of exercise every day, try to keep our minds active a bit, and do what we can to stay positive, does it actually matter what we do?

I have some Utopia work I need to do: some final stories to read and then write up my recommendations to the editors. I feel like I need to do this” first though, whatever this” is. Last lockdown (for us here in Wellington it was back in March 2020) I found I couldn’t read, couldn’t write. Things were happening and I had no idea what they were. It was really hard to process.

This time around it’s like, eh, we know what to do this time around. Of course the numbers (some are saying the Delta could have been in the community for two weeks before this first case popped up) are slowly climbing, and likely to explode over the next few days. Then there are the movements of all these people who were given 48 hours to get home…

I think we’re going to have at least a few weeks of nationwide lockdown. Otherwise how can you let the dust settle on this thing? Once we actually know where we stand, with real numbers, knowing that the chances of spread are severely reduced with people at home—that’s when we can go, okay, who can open back up and who needs to just sit this next couple of weeks out?”

It’s hard for Mum and Dad though, and I do worry for them. Mum has dementia, and the three-times-a-week activity days she goes to are a real lifeline for both of them. She gets confused really easily (more and more lately), and so they wind up sitting at home, watching TV. It’s not good for either of them, but there’s not a lot they can do. I’m talking to Dad twice a day on the phone, just to check in and hopefully let him vent a little. He’s got my sister over there too, plus another good friend who also has a wife with dementia. So I think it’s as good as it’s likely to get for them right now.

It’s about an hour until we get today’s briefing from Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Weird that he lives down the road. When we drive past his house we see his car in the drive sometimes. Oh, Ashley is home, we think, pretty idly. And then go about our day. When I think of him I really do feel for him. He must be getting very little sleep at the moment. And he always seems like he really wants to do a good job. You sort of want to make a little nest box for him by the radiator or something.

Oh man, I just went and looked at my blog archives page. Something’s all weird with the layout of the year, blah. Seriously, CSS is so boring to have to try and fix.

OK, I’m going to go work on Utopia for an hour before the news update at 1. Later.