There was hardly anyone at my kids' school this morning.
We'd thought long and hard about whether or not to send them today.
We live in Tauranga, so I walked up the Mount to escape at the weekend. It is my happy place.
It was quieter than I had seen it in years. It was like it was a decade ago before the population expanded so much that most days up there put you elbow to elbow with people.
I stood on the boardwalk and looked out to sea. It was as calm as it gets.
The sound of the sea grounds me.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
I am a notorious shallow-breather when stressed. The sea always seems to calm me, the sun on my skin comforts me, the fresh air and endorphins from exercise make me feel good.
I want to carry on doing things that make me feel good.
I was there to forget coronavirus.
I don't like to wear headphones on these walks because I want to hear the sea, unless it is really busy with people and their footsteps and conversations drown out the sea anyway.
Today, I could hear the sea all the way up.
The few conversations I heard were all about the virus. I tried to tune out.
I heard one person say they had been in contact with someone who should really have been in self-isolation.
I think I overheard another saying someone had said they might let their kids get it anyway because kids hardly show symptoms. I really I hope I heard that wrong.
I tried to switch it off. I was there to let go of it all, briefly, but it was all still there.
Like everyone else, I am prone to moments of panic.
At the supermarket, people are wearing masks and gloves. There are security guards and signs saying to only take two of some items. The queues are much longer than usual.
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I just went for my usual items I go for, but couldn't buy the way I usually do (online for pick-up) because the supermarket is so busy it has had to stop pick-ups.
There's a busy-ness, a jitteriness.
People don't make eye contact or smile. I try to smile at everyone, the same as I usually would.
I sway between panicking and telling myself everything is okay.
If it came to it, there 'd be someone who could do a shop for us, or drop off something at the door, just like I would for them.
Posts are appearing on our neighbourhood community page offering support for those who might not have so many friends or family, or if anyone knows anyone who needs any assistance.
Just like we learned after the Christchurch earthquakes and the horrors of the Christchurch shootings, life finds its way to go on.
Somehow, we all have to remember that most people out there are doing the right things, that the stories of carelessness are rarities.
People are looking out for their neighbours and friends.
Somehow, as hard as it is, we just need to keep reminding each other there is more good in the world than bad.
On my walk, I stopped for a moment to take in the view from the top. I could still hear the sea. It had been a very long time since it was quiet enough to hear that.
There was hardly anyone on the beach below. Usually-full carparks were empty.
In the distance, at the northern tip behind Motiti Island, White Island was still puffing away.