Nearly 3 weeks into Level 4 response in New Zealand: no one has gone crazy. People are still polite, keeping their distance while walking on sidewalks or in parks, and not overshopping in grocery stores.
My AirBnB host delivered a bicycle to us a couple of days ago, and how wonderful it is to glide through the quiet streets. Very little traffic, glorious early fall weather, friendly people, big parks. While pumping up a tiny incline I passed a woman who encouraged me by chanting “Pedal! Pedal!”
Note to self — get back to exercising. No way should a footpath bridge arcing slightly over a 30-meter wide stream require any kind of adjustment in my pedaling.
Otherwise keeping busy with hand-crafted projects (embroidered NZ-themed bookmarks for readers in my family), reading (1/4 of the way through Little Dorrit, plus finished Evelyn Waugh’s Decline and Fall and Black Mischief). Satire for these crazy times, and surprisingly apt. Black Mischief gives us a remarkably incompetent ruler, and in Decline and Fall we find a truly dreadful English public school. One of its teachers, while in prison, learns something:
… one of the first discoveries of Paul’s captivity was that interest in “news” does not spring from genuine curiosity, but from the desire for completeness. During his long years of freedom he had scarcely allowed a day to pass without reading fairly fully from at least two newspapers, always pressing on with a series of events which never came to an end. Once the series was broken, he had little desire to resume it ….
I’m not exactly “in captivity”, but I certainly understand Paul’s relief at being out of the loop. It’s bliss.