A couple of months ago, in a pre-Covid world, I read an article in the Herald about how to get maximum holidays with the minimum of annual leave.
I felt ever so smug when my Easter leave was approved – 10 glorious days of holiday for just four days' annual leave. I was going to head up to the Hoki, catch up with friends for a big Easter Sunday dinner, read, tend the newly planted trees, do a spot of fishing – bliss.
Now, in the middle of our state of emergency, I'm not feeling quite so smug. My lockdown has only really begun.
For the past two weeks, I've had the privilege of going into work, so life has had some degree of normality. My alarm goes off and I shower and get dressed – to be fair, I'm lucky it's radio. Hilary Barry has set an alarmingly high standard with her formal Fridays and immaculate hair and makeup, while I look like a nun from one of the more austere religious orders but, nonetheless, I'm up and dressed in clothes, not pyjamas. I have the luxury of talking to people other than those in my bubble – both in the office and on the radio. I have a routine and structure to my day for which I'm grateful.
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Now, however, I'm well and truly stuck in my bubble. And no, I won't break the rules and head north.
It was disappointing to see so many people Clarking it and heading for their holiday homes over the break. That sort of arrogance and self-centredness is the exception, not the rule, thank heavens, but it's that sort of behaviour that will see us stuck in our bubbles for longer than we need to be. And what is it about public figures that makes them think the rules are for the little people, not them? Our health minister, the Scottish chief medical officer, the New South Wales arts minister – all of them guilty of egregious breaches of the rules they expect everybody else to abide by.
Anyway, that's them. I'll be sticking to the rules but that will mean I'll have to find hitherto untapped reserves of self-discipline and use the time to better myself, instead of filling the hours eating, drinking and endlessly scrolling through social media enjoying the clever Covid memes. I have set myself a list of things to do while I'm on holiday – I intend to start the day with my government-mandated walk or run. I'd like to learn bridge and I'm sure there'll be lessons online. I have a set of exercises my trainer has given me for the week and a friend has set me up with a blog, now that the New Zealand Woman's Weekly is no more, and I'll need to do some writing to provide content for that.
And I shall enjoy the opportunity to be still. Because once Level 4 is lifted, we're all going to hit the ground running. And let's hope it's lifted sooner, rather than later, so people can get back to work.
We're all in this together and it's only by working together we will find a way out of this extraordinary time in history.