Most New Zealanders faced the first lockdown with a keen sense of duty and a firm purpose of amendment. We took the negatives and turned them into positives. We embraced fitness, bread making, and being kind. People from all walks of life rose to the challenge for their country, families and themselves. We became stronger as individuals and closer as a nation. In short, we excelled.
Lockdown 2, not so much. As far as I can tell we've pivoted to goon sacks, white death, instant coffee, reconstituted fish products and zero home maintenance. All of which are great options. We should be just as proud of these lower-rent choices as we were with our nerdy ones the first time around.
With bottle stores and supermarkets open nationwide, those who still have money in the bank could be tempted to buy something nice to drink. Don't do it. This lockdown's wine match is a boxed dry white. We've been on the chateau cardboard for 13 days at my house. Delicious. #GoonLife.
Lockdown one was a festival of high-end baking. Instagram was crammed with impressive yeasty creations. Kiwis jumped on the opportunity to reacquaint themselves with the means of bread production.
Sandwiches became a source of pride; the ploughman's lunch made a comeback. It was an absolute joy, but once you've yined, you want to yang. The lockdown two bread de jour is white death.
Cheap, heavily processed sandwich slice out of a bag. Surgery, salty, preservative rich and low in nutrients. A treat best served caked in margarine and wrapped around a tom sauce soaked pre-cooked sausage.
With cafes closed in lockdown one, New Zealanders longed for barista-made coffee. Some took matters into their own hands. A friend of mine started a domestic roastery. We became a nation of brewers, grinders and percolators. Not in lockdown two. A tablespoon of instant, three sugars and a dirty cup is this lockdown's caffeine change up.
RECONSTITUTED FISH PRODUCTS
Kiwis created inspirational meals in lockdown one. As a nation, we set culinary challenges for ourselves. Boeuf bourguignon, paella, salt-crusted fish and turducken was the order of the day.
Food preparation at this level couldn't go on forever. As Tolstoy wrote: "True life is lived when tiny changes occur." This time around its spaghetti on toast and frozen in the middle fish cakes.
ZERO HOME MAINTENANCE
March through May we repaired everything. A nation of DIY superstars. We couldn't get the parts we needed, but we gave it ago. I attempted to fix two doors, a dryer, a heat pump, a dishwasher, a lawnmower and catflap. In lockdown two I haven't even vacuumed.
This lockdown is nearly over—a huge relief for those of us in level 3. With two days to go, we have an essential choice to make.
Do we be the best we can be? The people we were in lockdown one. Do we listen to the wise words of Seneca the Younger and "Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life"' or do we take the easy option?
As a proud family man who loves this great country with all his heart, I know what I will be focusing on over the next 48 hours: goon sacks, white breath, instant coffee, reconstituted fish products and zero home maintenance.