Variety keeps things bubbling

The Young family (from left) Erin, George (9), Joshua (6) and Evelyn (12) have managed with no...
The Young family (from left) Erin, George (9), Joshua (6) and Evelyn (12) have managed with no kitchen or lounge during the lockdown. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
For some, it has been almost a blessing. For others, it has been a challenge.

As the people of the South emerge from five weeks of unprecedented Level 4 lockdown conditions - and into the marginally less restrictive Level 3 for at least two weeks - they are reflecting on how they got through, or even made the most of, the difficult period.

University of Otago student Ali Higham said she and her flatmates had managed to keep cabin fever at bay by creating a calendar of events such as themed cooking nights, blind taste tests, blind drawing competitions, wine and cheese nights, a Singstar Eurovision song contest, an Easter egg hunt, an isolation ball, and one of the flatmates even turned the flat into an escape room for them to take part in.

"Alongside all of this, we have played countless board games, watched New Zealand films, and even managed to do some of our studies as well.

"Lockdown hasn’t been easy but my bubble has used this lockdown to have as much creative fun as possible."

For some, it has been a useful time to get household projects completed, such as painting the spare room, cleaning the garage or doing the gardening.

Tess Williams used the time to move her cake shop to a new studio in her home.

"My lease at premises runs out in a few weeks so I was lucky. Orders have started flowing back in which is a huge relief and exciting that everything is going to be OK."

But it has not been all fun and games for everyone in lockdown.

Erin Young said the hardest thing for her was lockdown struck right when her house was in the middle of renovations.

She said she had no kitchen and no wall linings in the kitchen, living room or main bathroom, rendering those spaces unusable.

"It’s pretty cold in the kitchen so the crockery and cutlery are in the garage, the microwave and water supply is in the laundry, the dining table is in the entrance way and the appliances are wherever there’s a spare socket.

"You get good exercise when you’re cooking."

For some others, the lockdown meant the cancellation of long-awaited specialist appointments at hospital, and quite a few complained of toothache and the short list of options to deal with it.

And then there were the people who were left just plain angry by the lockdown - like Moe Parata.

"The hardest part was trying not to be resentful when watching all the neighbours come and go 20 times a day, in and out for minutes at a time, and seeming like [they were] not taking any of it seriously.

"I’ve tried to stay positive and not judge or assume, but man, it’s hard."

Because of social distancing, it appears many people have been craving social interaction.

Vicki Crawford said virtual meetings and being able to Facetime people had been "a godsend".

"Just seeing them and hearing their voices, made you feel refreshed and rejuvenated, ’cause we miss them a lot - our friends and colleagues."

Janet Lang said life was so busy for everyone they did not have time to do a lot of the things they loved.

She said the biggest positive about lockdown was she had been able to spend a lot of time actually seeing things around her, for what they are.

"The beauty, especially with it being autumn, of the lovely garden that we have and those of others on our daily walks around our neighbourhood."


Ome thing my wife and I have noticed on our dog walks is a massive increase in the number and volume of dogs faeces on the footpath. We're guessing it is due to the numbers of people who are currently walking their dogs, often for the first time, and who aren't properly prepared. Please, you're giving long time responsible dog walkers such as us a bad name! If your dog does it's business on your walk, pick it up!





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