Got my first Covid vaccine jab today!

Today, on the tenth day of the current lockdown, I got my first vaccination jab done! We just walked into the local vaccination centre, and they have spaces!

My age group wasn’t eligible to book until this week. When I tried to book my vaccination earlier this week the latest slot I could book is six weeks away. After booking my slot, today, I got a message saying I can book the vaccine. Clearly, something is off with the booking system.

Despite booking for October, we decided to try walking into one of the two vaccination centres in the neighbourhood. The closest centre displayed a sign that walk-ins are not allowed. So we drove past to the next one, and it turned out they had some spaces!

The rest of the process was smooth and effortless. I am afraid of needles, but I did not even realize they jabbed on my left arm! The staff were very professional, friendly, and nice.

Despite the great success we had with the Covid response in 2020, I must say as a country we floundered on the vaccination program for whatever reason. It took the deadly delta variant to appear in our community to expedite our vaccination program on a war-footing. I feel like we dropped the ball somewhere when we were Covid-free in the six months before the current lockdown: an example that past performance increases confidence more than ability. We should have continued the same 2020-level of rigour into 2021 on both eradicating and vaccination fronts.

Anyhow, I am glad to get my first jab done today and looking forward to booking the second jab in three weeks. Some clicks to commemorate today:

Level 4 lockdown anticipation

With a community case detected this afternoon in Auckland, the Level 4 rush begins, for which I’m contributing as well.

The roads and supermarket aisles and check out lines are busier for a Tuesday afternoon.

(This post is brought to you from the supermarket checkout line with a moderately full trolley.)

Fingers crossed, we won’t have a lockdown. We will know in a few hours.

Thoughts after the fourth lockdown.

Today in Auckland, New Zealand, the Prime Minister announced that the fourth lockdown we entered into from 6 am last Sunday (27th February) would be lifted at 6 am on the coming Sunday (7th March).

I am cautiously rejoicing the news. This is the fourth lockdown since the main lockdown started in March 2020. The second one after that, in August 2020, was surprising; my phone got an emergency alert when I was sleeping, and that really shocked me!

Two more mini lockdowns later, I am now convinced that another lockdown could hit anytime! Even this current one, which is announced to be eased down in about 30 hours, can be prolonged if we find even a single community case between now and then. I think that’s a good thing. We have employed an elimination, not a mitigation strategy in this country, and I love it! It is inconvenient and is hard work, but it saves lives!

I have been in the fortunate bunch of world population that isn’t affected by Covid. I don’t take it for granted. I have been able not just to survive but thrive in the last 12 months since the world is infested with Covid. More than I deliberately planned anything, I have been lucky!

From now on, I decided not to take freedom (from lockdowns) granted. 

I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic. I plan my activities while trying to be realistic and assuming that lockdown can hit anytime, as I learned from the last two lockdowns.

Timely Advice for Lockdown 4

Earlier this afternoon I realized today is day 2 of Level 3 lockdown 4 for the 1 community case we got on Saturday evening.

Yes, we got into Level 3 lockdown again since 6 am last Sunday. The lockdown was announced on the Saturday evening, literally within an hour since I was roaming in the city center, peeked into a few bars and restaurants and felt everything was just great and lively! I dropped by the Giapo store, ordered Nothing Else Matters ice cream and then while I was enjoying it, I heard the news of the lockdown. I decided not to worry too much because, after all, I am having Nothing Else Matters ice cream!

On Sunday morning, I was reading The Daily Stoic which offers 366 days of Stoic insights and exercises. And guess what I got that day!

As the author quotes Epictetus in the next page:

Don’t set your heart on so many things. Focus. Prioritize. Train your mind to ask: Do I need this thing? What will happen if I do not get it? Can I make do without it?

Thinking about the answers to these questions is how I chose to wade through this lockdown week. So far it’s working well.