Lockdown — third wave

We had another —third so far—lockdown in Auckland from Valentine’s Day’s midnight, but luckily it lasted only three days as initially stipulated.

Auckland went from Level 1 to Level 3, 4 being most restrictive. The rest of New Zealand stayed at Level 1.

Emergency phone alert for third-wave of lockdown in Auckland.
Emergency phone alert for third-wave of lockdown in Auckland.

I was stressed not because the lockdown was abrupt but because it aggravated my ongoing low spirit due to sluggish progress on the two big, long-term plans for 2021 and beyond. Plus, it also upset the plans I had for my weekly off days.

But in the end, we eased one level down by Wednesday midnight, and further down to Level 1 by last night.

I see a small number of Covid-deniers and conspiracy theorists in this country, which is scary because what starts small can expand. On the bright side, border workers are getting vaccinated from last Saturday, which is great!

I am still wary, continuing to scan the Covid-tracer app even before this latest outbreak. I am avoiding large crowds, keeping a safe physical distance from people, and being mindful of hand hygiene. I stopped wearing a mask, though.

Overall, things are stable in this little part of the world under the sensible and stable political leadership we elected recently.

Timeline continued…

  • 11:59 pm, 14-Feb-2021 Sunday

    Auckland goes from lockdown Alert Level 1 to 3.

    Rest of the NZ goes from Alert Level 1 to 2.

  • 3 days

  • 11:59 pm, 17-Feb-2021 Wednesday

    Auckland goes down to lockdown Alert Level 2.

    Rest of NZ goes down to lockdown Alert Level 1.

  • 5 days

  • 11:59 pm, 22-Feb-2021 Monday

    All of New Zealand is at Alert Level 1 – and a return to mostly normal lives – from midnight tonight.

  • Hope the normalcy continues…

Auckland Anniversary Day

In 2010 I first landed in Auckland and instantly fell in love with the city. So much that I applied for permanent residency right in that first week.

Like any worthy endeavors, some effort, some uncertainty, a bit of drama, and a lot of luck helped me realize my dream. In the end, it all worked out in my favor. In about 18 months since my first landing in the Auckland International Airport, I gained my permanent residency and eventually citizenship of this beautiful country, which helped me make this lovely city my permanent base.

I’m not too fond of large crowds, and I don’t feel safe in large cities. Although Auckland is NZ’s largest city, it is still small by the standard definition of a large city. It is of just the right size to my liking. I believe it has just the right amount of everything that makes a lovely, liveable first-world city where I am fortunate to live and raise my family.

Moving to Auckland is one of the best decisions of my life, one that enhanced my living experience for the last eleven years and counting. I love traveling, but the feeling I experience every single time I land in Auckland is marvelous!

I feel grateful every single day to have realized my dream of where and how I wanted to live my life. I never took my privilege for granted and never will.

To this lovely city that enriched my life, a very happy anniversary day today!

I voted today!

I voted today! This is my fourth time voting in this country since 2011.

Having voted once in 2009 in a third-world country amidst lot of unwarranted drama and hassle, I decided not to vote in similar situation again. But just after a year, in 2010, I got lucky and extricated myself from that corrupted environment. I have since enjoyed hassle-free voting at every possible opportunity in this wonderful country that I am fortunate to call home.

Looking forward to the results on 6th November.

Lockdown update: back to freedom after 56.5 days

I’m so glad that we as New Zealanders could contain the second wave of Covid-19 in 56.5 days since the last outbreak. Auckland will join the rest of New Zealand at Alert Level 1 at 11:59pm today (Wednesday, 7 October).

While that’s great news, this time I am cautiously optimistic. There is still COVID-19 in New Zealand; as of today, there are 37 active cases, albeit in managed isolation and quarantine facilities. That number is much smaller than many other countries, but it only takes a little bit of complacency to push us all into another lockdown. It may sound obvious, but it is called a virus for a reason: it goes viral and we wouldn’t know how!

Meanwhile, I urge everyone, wherever you are in the world, to practice three Ws:

  1. Wear a mask.
  2. Wash your hands.
  3. Watch your distance.

And use whatever COVID Tracing app your government prescribes!

Here is the full NZ lockdown timeline:

  • 11:59pm, 25-March-2020 Wednesday

    New Zealand moves to alert level 4; the entire nation goes into self-isolation.

  • 33 days

  • 11:59 pm, 27-Apr-2020 Monday

    NZ goes down to lockdown alert level 3.

  • 16 days

  • 11:59 pm, 13-May-2020 Wednesday

    NZ goes down to lockdown alert level 2.

  • 26 days

  • 11:59 pm, 08-Jun-2020 Monday

    NZ will move to alert level 1 – and a return to mostly normal lives – from midnight tonight.

  • 64.5 days

  • 12:00 pm, 12-Aug-2020 Wednesday

    Auckland returns to lockdown alert level 3.

    Rest of NZ returns to lockdown alert level 2.

  • 42.5 days

  • 11:59 pm, 23-September-2020 Wednesday

    Auckland goes down to lockdown alert level 2.

    Rest of NZ goes down to lockdown alert level 1.

  • 14 days

  • 11:59 pm, 07-October-2020 Wednesday

    Auckland joins rest of NZ at alert level 1 – and a return to mostly normal lives – from midnight tonight.

  • Hoping this is the end of it! Knocks wood.

    A third, but luckily shorter wave timeline here.

Definition of Expert


Found and liked this definition of expert in James Clear‘s newsletter.

The physicist Niels Bohr on what it takes to be an expert:

“An expert is a person who has found out by painful experience all the mistakes that one can make in a very narrow field.”

The oldest source I could find was “Dr. Edward Teller’s Magnificent Obsession” in LIFE magazine. September 6, 1954.

Lockdown returns

Last night I woke up to this emergency alert:

Auckland returned to lockdown alert level 3 since this noon: 12 noon on Wednesday 12 August. The rest of New Zealand moved to alert level 2.

I was shocked because last night I went to sleep planning to make the most of today, which I took off from work for working last Sunday. I wasn’t following news and had no idea of events leading up to this second lockdown. So having to wake up in the middle of my sleep to the emergency beeper of my phone freaked me out.

We decided in the night that we are not going to send our son to school. We woke up and found that schools are closed for the rest of the week anyway.

I also woke up to see the appaling trollies in this tweet:

 and the nonsensical claims of the leader of the opposition.

It took me a few hours to get over all this and come to terms with the situation. I feel much better compared to when I woke up.

It sucks to have to lose the freedom to move freely, but there is inevitably another wave of virus infections. I told myself to accept the reality and stick to the usual stuff that we have accustomed so far in 2020: stay home as much as possible, maintain physical distance when outside, wash hands regularly.

As always, I feel lucky to be living in Auckland and beautiful New Zealand. I believe in my team of 5 million country people. We are going to do it again. It wasn’t a problem getting food and essentials even during level 4 lockdown, so not worried about toilet paper in level 3 lockdown that we are in now. Supermarket visit can certainly wait.

I chose to keep my positive habits. I ate reasonably well today, did the second of my three weekly workouts (I am yet to miss a week of workouts this year), setup Sharesies to get started with long-term investing, spoke to my mum on an important family matter and spoke to a close friend. Now I am looking forward to tomorrow, and eventually getting over this lockdown. Just like we did a little over a hundred days ago.

This tweet from Giapo is timely and sums up my feelings:

37

Seven days ago I turned thirty-seven.

I took the day off in lieu for working the previous Saturday. My wife took off from her work too.

My wife and son surprised me with a couple of gifts, one of which is my favourite organic dark chocolate from a local co-op. Given the current world events, I did not feel too excited to venture anywhere outside our lovely neighbourhood.

I spent the rest of the day with my wife and son, chatting together, playing video games, and eating out at our favourite places. I also spoke to my parents, brother, sister and an old friend, all from afar overseas.

I had a small and simple celebration.

I feel fortunate and privileged for everything in my life and being able to live how I envisioned. I have several ambitions to pursue, and that is probably a life long endeavour. But at this point in life, I don’t wish my life to be any different. For that, I am very grateful.