At sea they call it battening down the hatches. In the movies, you barricade the windows and doors. Way back in the day, you climbed high into the trees. A typhoon, a pack of wild dogs, those irritating zombies: always something to hide from. The game of tag, with origins not unlike the game of ring-a-ring-o'roses: one touch and down you go.
Turns out it doesn't work like that at all. The sun shines, the birds sing, more of them every year now, and we can stand and chat to neighbours over the fence. No one has to keep a wary eye out for anything, except when you say yep, we're all in this together and you have to curb the impulse to come closer.
The daily experience contradicts the reality. We've all spent the last few weeks in shops, on the street, shaking hands, pushing open doors touched by a thousand other hands before ours. It felt like the danger wasn't there, but it was. It is.
In the two days since I started this diary, cases doubled.
So now we're home. With our families, or maybe flatmates, and of course we love them all. But there's nothing about a family that makes them the best people to spend your whole entire time locked up with. OMG no. Families have a special licence to argue.
It can hardly be better if you're flatting with a bunch of people because you all answered an advertisement to live together.
Actually, the setup that must have taken quite a few homes by surprise is the one where a boyfriend or girlfriend is suddenly a permanent live-in. Using your bathroom. Watching your television.
Still, it's going to bring out the best in us all, right?
Endless proximity. We should take heart from Antarctic explorers and submarine crews. Sure, there are stories, it doesn't always end well. Mostly, though, if you think about it, it does.
Endless proximity with one cup of coffee a day, which apparently is now the rule in our household. Thanks team. I know, it would be lovely to think that was the extent of the hardship, but it won't be.
I suppose rules do help. Despite a great deal of getting it wrong, we've invented the Kiwi Queue. Back up a bit, dude.
Nobody's allowed to bring work kitchen habits home: deal with your dishes. And unlike an Antarctic explorer in a blizzard, we can walk away. Not to the pub, but maybe to the park. Have a bike ride instead of an argument. That's going to be my mantra, provided there are no blizzards.
Which is always possible where I am. I'm not home. We'd been away at the family bach, on the central plateau, when the rules changed, so now we're staying here. Is that bad?
A household of three, two with a compromised immune system, so we'd isolated ourselves anyway. Locked down now.
Meanwhile, in other news, Donald Trump thinks they'd be better off if everyone ignored this thing and just went back to work. Tunnelling for the City Rail Link in Auckland has shut down and staff are working from home. All digging their own little tunnels in the backyard, I bet, which will join up when the day comes.
People rushed their GPs, getting those sniffles that never go away checked. The SPCA reports there was a run on kittens and puppies: for a moment there, panic buying comfort pets was a thing.
Also, no haircuts for the duration. Who's taking a hair selfie every day? We all need to mark the progress of this thing one way or another, and you know social media will love you for it.