Life of Pi

We’re awaiting our fate at 4pm. Although we’ve had enough spoilers to kill any climactic announcements. Even the kids are asking about daily numbers, whether when we’re going to plateau, and whether Jacinda really means it when she says a couple more weeks at the strictest lockdown level. I’m not alone in my reaction to this outbreak. Enough already!

In the mean-time we’ve evolved swiftly into locked down creatures. Ruby’s been learning about circles. And although I can wax lyrical about the importance of a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts, it’s hard to argue with an 11-year-old (who’s future job hasn’t been invented yet) when she says she’ll ever really need to know about Pi.

Meanwhile Sophie’s pitching a short film concept based on dangerous swans attacking dog walkers on the beach.

I’ve been running. Not just for lockdown sanity. I’d signed up for a marathon this month, raising funds for our Cancer society whose fundraising campaigns have also been locked down with the rest of the non-essential population. It’s hard to run with a mask. In fact, the PM says you don’t have to wear one if you’re moving along fast enough. And yet there’s a strange etiquette that prevails in Level 4. Runners see each other from a distance, diverting to the tarmac or soggy berms to keep a solid two metres distance from those passing. One day we’ll look back on this jolly and confusing dance of avoidance with amusement.  

Not everyone is happy though. A car crept past me at an intersection, side window down. I could barely make out the barrage of abuse above my ear buds but the message was clear. The woman was waving a mask out the window with one hand, a fist shaking with the other. Maybe she has a point. Even the statues have masks. But 28km into a long run and I was speechless.

I’ve been wondering about what’s essential too. Long lines outside West Liquor stores and sales on homewares. Computers available on contactless delivery but you can’t buy books. The library returns slot is blocked by hazard tape. But the greengrocer is stocking sweet buns from the bakery, the butcher’s doing contactless home delivery, and we managed to replace our electric toothbrush with ease. Hoping those essential heroes are keeping safe. These are very strange times indeed. Till 4pm we wait.


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