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  • Writer's picture5L

Day One of Shutdown

I feel like it has been a week of farewells.

The first was my 85-year-old father who I tried to get to come home with me before they shut the doors on visitors to his retirement village. Now we are in lockdown I can only walk along the road and wave to him from the footpath as he stands on his balcony and waves back. He seems so stressed when we talk but the daily phone calls are helping. I wish he had come with me.

On Monday, Grey and I drove 5 hours at night to visit our daughter and her family delivering supplies and saying ‘see you later’ for the time being. I admit I cried when we drove out of the driveway to return to Auckland.

Last night we had dinner with another daughter and said ‘see you later’ as she and her family left for their home before lockdown started. She is nine months pregnant and her birthday is tomorrow. There were more tears as her and I have worked together to get our business up and running for the last two years. We have seen each other most days and I have been with her as she has delivered her babies. This time round it is not an option and we both accept that.

Today, tomorrow and in the days to come we will watch more change happen around us as we, here in New Zealand face the biggest trial of our lives. I know New Zealand can do this well if we listen and are obedient to the instructions we have been given.

We are a family that likes to stay ahead of the game, so our preparations for times like these have been in play for several years.

As I reflect on how our family have prepared for this event there are a couple of things that have really worked for us.

1. Stay ahead of the game

Be watchful of events from around the world and refer to reliable sources for more information that can inform your own decisions.

2. Plan and then work the plan.

3. Act before you are acted upon.

We started preparations years ago by ensuring we had 72-hour kits and storage of critical items. Upon hearing about this virus in early January we re-grouped, checked the status of each of our immediate family’s preparedness and then encouraged our children to further prepare their families.

4. Continue to work the plan and refine it as you go.

For our family we used our government’s instructions and advice as our base and then we layered over what other precautions we needed to put in place for our family circumstances. We have a few members of our family that have respiratory problems plus we have three pregnant mothers all due in the next eight weeks. Each person and each family have their own unique situation they need to plan for. We managed to stay ahead of government announcements by doing the above. It allowed us to stay calm as we had prepared in advance.

Now that the preparedness part of our plan has been executed, we are now working through the next phase. Preparing for babies to arrive (another one of our pregnant daughters lives with us and is also due any day now), generally living through a lockdown and preparing for the bad and good times to come. We are a big family so we accept that we may not come through this unscarred especially since we have family members in high risk categories and others still working as part of the ‘essential services’ required. Above all else we are confident and optimistic of the future as we truly believe this time will pass.

I will keep you posted.

Post Note:

Our family use humour a lot to get through trials. Here are some of things our adult children have been laughing with each other about on our family chat.

Daughter 1: "They say it is good to create space for each other. Four out of our five children have achieved this by being sent to ‘time-out’ and this is day one. Lol"

Daughter 2: "I’m going to get the kids to self-isolate. Give them some time away from each other! I’m drawing squares. [Oldest son] can be down the street. lol"

Son: "Bahahaha leave my nephew alone"

Daughter-in-law: "I feel your pain!"

All children: Making comments to each other that have us all laughing

Daughter 1: "Should our children be worried about us? (If they could see this conversation?)".

Today in our household of 5 adults and one, two-year-old decided to start the day with a 30-day online beginners yoga class. We laughed so much for the first 15 minutes and pulled more faces trying to get into some of the positions that I don’t think we achieved much. I quit after my granddaughter climbed up on my back while I was on all fours and started to try her own yoga routine. Thank goodness no one was filming us. I’m not sure how long we will stick to the whole yoga thing, but it was fun.

An hour or so later we are grouped and had a scripture study class. This went well, and we look forward to doing more.

In between these things I worked in my office. This afternoon it is all work, but I enjoy work, so it isn’t a problem.

Take care everyone.

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