20 April 2020

Day 26 of lockdown due to COVID-19

Actually, day 26 hasn't really started yet as I write this blog post in bed at 6am.

In my last post, we were in the middle of the Holy Week. I decided to take a break and spend the time with the family and also do some odd jobs around the house.

With the country under lockdown, travel was prohibited and all (save for essential workers) were housebound. But it's Holy Week, and really that's how I was taught to observe it when I was a kid in the 70s in the Philippines.

There was no cable TV back then, no internet, no mobile phones. Starting Maundy Thursday, broadcast stations shut down for the weekend. When you turn on the TV, you would see white noise and nothing else. We couldn't play outside because it's prohibited to make noise and laughter; the elders would say if we get injured, it will take a long time to heal. Come Friday, TV stations would start broadcasting, but only for the Seven Last Words, and also Easter programmes and religious movies. Sunday is when everyone celebrates. And for us kids, relief that Easter has finally arrived and that we can play and watch TV again!

As public gatherings were still banned, we celebrated Easter mass online at Vatican. This is actually the first time we have tuned in to Vatican TV, and we wondered if they are always broadcasting. We have attended online mass a number of times since.

We saw some Easter messages in windows as we took our midday stroll.

Easter egg hunts are a huge thing here in NZ. Kids took part in hunts held in their own homes. This is not a usual tradition in our home, so it's no surprise that we forgot to buy some when we did our groceries.

One of our more memorable walks is our night stroll. It was quite a lovely day with no wind and the evening wasn't too chilly. We tarried a bit so we started quite late but it made the walk quite different from our usual.

The number of cases here has dropped quite significantly. On a couple of days, we just had single-digit new cases. Yesterday was one of them, with 9 new cases. The downside is that the total number of deaths has risen to 12. Today at 4pm, the Prime Minister will decide whether we will downgrade the alert level to 3 mid-week.

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