Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Plague Diary Season 3 Week 20

Day 14+7+86+27, December 29. 46 in Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Rotorua, Tairawhiti, and Canterbury, (linked to a previous case.) 0 in Nelson. Re. Omicron, the media, or the Ministry, used a weird expression today: total Omicon cases are 71 today, up from yesterday's 49 (stuff.co.nz) or 54 (radionz). 77% of population and 91% over 12 double-jabbed. 
 
We went to a couple of stores to get what's needed for more of our projects; I've now been to four stores I believe should have asked for my vax pass that didn't. But tonight...
 
An Omicron case was out and about in Auckland on December 26 and 27, visiting bars, restaurants, and a shopping area. There will be an announcement regarding this at 11AM tomorrow, but from what I read so far: 
* The person, fully vaccinated, not a New Zealand citizen, arrived from the UK via Doha on December 16.
* Current NZ rules are for all arrivals to stay at managed isolation for seven days, (during which time this person tested negative three times,) and in self isolation for three days. The case tested positive on Day Nine, which would be December 25. Nobody else on the same "flight" (singular, so presumably Doha-Auckland) tested positive.
* The person was notified on December 27 and brought to managed isolation on the same day. Whole genome sequencing was done on the same day, clarifying it was Omicron. 
* The government had earlier changed the rules to extend the initial managed isolation to ten days starting December 23. 
* The Ministry does not believe the person was highly infectious at the time. 
 
So... Good luck to us.
Day 14+7+86+28, December 30. 60 in Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Lakes, Tairawhiti, Canterbury, (linked to a known case;) 0 in Nelson. Omicron cases, 6 new, 54 in all, one case announced released. 77% of population and 91% over 12 double-jabbed. 
 
Aotearoa's first "community" Omicron mentioned yesterday turned out to be a UK DJ who came to take part in a New Year's Eve concert. He stayed self-isolated until his tenth day, but the government said he broke the rule because he did not wait until he received the result of Day Nine test, (on Day Twelve;) this was his third trip in a year, so he should have known. His case is not genomically linked to any known cases here. 
 
There is another Omicron case who was in the community, an Air NZ crew who returned from Sydney on December 24. This case was identified during "routine surveillance" on December 27, (flight crews have different rules,) linked to three other cases on the same flight, and is now in managed isolation. No info on when/where they were. And at midnight tonight, all but Northland will move to Code Orange. 
 
Today Ben worked some more on the outside table, and touched up orange chairs he painted last year. I cleaned the fridge and the dinner set on the shelf above the fridge. When I broke up this year's kitchen cleaning tasks into five parts, I thought I could do almost any two in one day, and Ben can keep sprucing up our outdoor furniture. Wrong! I almost didn't get to the freezer. Amazing to think Ben and I used to clean the whole kitchen in one day every year, years ago. 

I like fridge magnets, but fridges, I prefer naked. I predict negotiations coming up.
Day 14+7+86+29, December 31. 49 Delta community cases in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Lakes, Hawkes Bay; 0 in Nelson or the rest of the South Island. Omicron cases, 10 new at the border, 88 in all, and so far no community transmission. No locations of interest for the Air NZ crew. The Ministry now assumes all border cases will be Omicron and will prioritized sequencing these. 77% of population and 91% over 12 double-jabbed. No updates tomorrow.

Insomnia has been out of control for weeks, but one benefit is I managed to read during the quiet hours. I've been trying to read more printed books, but found it hard to stick with them. Earlier in the month, I cleaned out boxes under the bed that housed all the books I started this year but hadn't finished; there might have been three dozens. Except young adult novels; I love them, they are inexpensive, quick, plot-driven, authors don't lie or trick you, and there are always likable characters I can cheer for. The picture shows all printed books I managed to finish reading this year, (yeah, dismal,) excluding two I borrowed, also for young folks.
 
What's with all the Nigellas, you ask? Well, I read cookbooks cover to cover as reading material; I have many I read but never cooked from. But if I can find the ingredients, (not always possible in little old Nelson,) I can manage the "complexity" of Nigella's everyday recipes, (i.e. they are not difficult,) and so I've cooked quite a lot from her first two books. Ben's found a couple of used ones for good prices in subsequent years, but around the time we went into lockdown, he decided to get me all the ones I wanted. Because when I read Nigella, I cook Nigella, and she has a lot of chicken dishes, Ben's favorite, so we had a whole lot of new chicken dishes during lockdown and since, one most definitely a regular item now. Reading Nigella is an on-going project; we bought her books in order they were published, and I'm reading them in that order, of course, so I have a few to go before we look for her latest she wrote during her solo lockdown. I hear that's supposed to be a bit of a game changer, although it might just be a promo thing. 

I also finished maybe 15 audiobooks; the experience is interesting because sometimes I just listen to the voices like they are singing and nothing of the story stays with me except maybe a vague impression; other times, I take in so much it's almost as if I experienced it.  

So in the coming year I have a promise to myself, resolution if you like; I'll try to finish a book before moving on to the next shiny one. That is not to say I'll finish come hell or high water; Ben said about 20 years ago I'm wasting my life reading books I don't like and I don't owe anyone anything. I used to take it so seriously back then, finishing, and it was a revelation I was allowed to move on. I might even tell you about some. 

And with that, let's hope for a quiet, little more predictable year next year; see you on the other side. 
Day 14+7+86+30, January 1, 2022. Well, hello! No Ministry updates today. I decided to take an online sketching course a while ago, but I wanted to start it today. (We're allowed to access the material for one year from the day of registration.) I feel great about the course, and about the year; how can I not when I opened the landing page to see I'm drinking water from the same glass as the teacher? 
 
And drinking water I did. I woke up with a lower back pain yesterday, and as usual I stretched several times, but it didn't work well. At 2.30AM, while reading about witches and pilots, I thought kidney stones. I should have rung the 24-hour 0800 health number then, but I waited until 11 this morning; the nurse (?) agreed it sounded like kidney stones; recommended I take a pain killer if I needed one; agreed I don't have to go to the hospital unless it worsened; said I wouldn't want to go near there on New Year's Day if I didn't have to. The Internet told me to drink 2l of water, preferably with lemon juice, so I did. 2.5l of it. And it was better by bedtime. Kitchen cleaning was slower with change of plan, but I kept at it.  
Day 14+7+86+31, January 2. 105 Delta community cases in the last two days on the North Island, none in Nelson or the rest of the South Island. 33 cases at the border; Omicron 2 new, 90 in all, and so far no community transmission. 77% of population and 92% over 12 double-jabbed.  

Ben finished treating the coffee-roasting table and touching up the orange chairs. I kept working in the kitchen, slower because it's been so hot, but progressing. I managed a little less than 1.5l lime water. Ben evacuated the pumpkin on top of finished weaving, next to the ironing pile, but no ironing happening in the foreseeable future.
Day 14+7+86+32, January 3. 27 Delta community cases on the North Island, none in Nelson or the rest of the South Island. 24 cases at the border; Omicron 0 new, 90 in all, and so far no community transmission. 77% of population and 92% over 12 double-jabbed. They'll have to start adding the boosted numbers, don't you think?
 
So hot, so humid, today was disgusting from the moment I woke up. But kitchen looking like this for days, I had to keep going. (The last couple of evenings we had sandwiches made with deli meat, salad leaves in bags, and supermarket rye bread, but they're all gone.) 
 
Because we don't have a lovely purpose-built pantry like many Kiwi kitchens, part of this year's "cleaning" is amalgamating "pantry space" within our cupboards in this post-lockdown living-with-Covid era. We went to the hardware store to buy fancy build-to-measure shelving we planned to get 12 years ago, but after an hour of looking for the right sizes and negotiating configuration, I remembered the back/far wall of the cupboard is a flimsy board and can't support the heavy setup. So we came home with a cheap flat pack. It's not great, but we got rid of the temporary plastic trolley we bought for our Auckland rental that's been disintegrating for a couple of years.
 
I broke this year's kitchen cleaning schedule into five daily bits, but I'm not sure if I'll be done tomorrow. "Reducing" isn't going great, but magically the dishes and glasses aren't as crammed on shelves as we think they used to be, so we're good. I haven't reached 1l of lime water yet today, but also, I almost forgot I had a lower back problem; kidney stones don't pass this quickly, do they?
Day 14+7+86+33, January 4. 31 Delta community cases on the North Island, none in Nelson or the rest of the South Island. 29 cases at the border; new Omicron genome sequencing has not come out yet, 90 in all; a family member of the Air NZ crew tested positive and was relocated to Managed Isolation. The UK DJ will not be charged as the police, as has been their usual MO, worry charging him may discourage future cases from cooperating with the health authorities. 77% of population and 92% over 12 double-jabbed.
 
Today was not as hot or humid as yesterday, but for most of the day I scrubbed pots and baking dishes, so I was just $@#)^&(%!* hot. And I need a couple of more days. One reason the kitchen is taking longer in recent years has to be we have. more. stuff. We gave most of our delicate Japanese ceramics to charity a few years ago, (too delicate for us and our current life,) and that freed up some space, but we still have too. much. stuff. This afternoon, I added four items in the charity box, but took one out because Ben makes souffle in it, and we have nothing similar. So, yeah...

Ben took a wee detour with his projects, and finished a quick one, but one that packed a punch, making a tiny part of our place look very cheerful. I'll show you tomorrow. And I just found this on his office floor. We're exhausted tonight. 

LOL.

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