Lockdown: in Wanaka the most obvious change is the noise. It’s super quiet, eerie everybody says, and there is not as much hustle and bustle. No planes, tourist buses or minivans. No construction or “progress” either – economic progress that is. Everything’s been put on hold. Lots more bird life around in urban areas especially Fantails. Here in Wanaka and all over the world people are enjoying this. Venice seems like the best example, where the water is all cleared up and the fish are swimming around. Maybe the locals can go fishing because there are no big cruise liners bringing thousands of people each day to the city.
One of the things we’re really enjoying is having a garden. We can put energy into nature, see nature working and get that sense of wonder we have when we going into the mountains and see little edelweiss flowers growing right up the side of the mountain. They thrive where you’d never expect anything to live comfortably and they seem to be doing really well. We see the kea flying around in the mountains. So the garden is really keeping us sane. We are getting the last of our tomatoes and zucchinis and planting out a winter garden.
We’re also very lucky that we have lots of areas like parks, tracks and the lake that we still allowed to walk around. It would be really tough if we had a 10 meter square apartment which lots of people in Hong Kong have.
With this virus changing the way people behave, we are having to address our society because we can’t get away. People are stuck home with the kids because their children can’t go to school.All l the normal excuses of not having time and energy don’t apply. We have to address our behaviour, our bad habits and get to know our children’s moods.
Generally, in the middle of an adventure when the outcome is unknown there is an element of it not really being fun at all. We get anxious, can’t sleep, feel really vulnerable or exposed out there away from support. I hope people are finding support from others so that they don’t feel like that. However this uncertainty passes.
A huge part of our society, our community pulling through the lockdown successfully will be our ability to forgive mistakes and rally together, to do our best. I think we’re really lucky to have good leadership giving clear instructions here in New Zealand. On an individual level we need to forgive people for behaving badly or being stressed. The best analogy I’ve have would be when I pulled a hold which then fell onto a friend’s head while he was climbing unroped. He brushed it off as something which was inevitable on the type of terrain we were travelling through; it was all loose and perhaps we should have done something different, such as rope up.
As a community we need to keep helping each other out because that gives us a feeling of purpose and community, it’s all we can do. If people make mistakes we just have to keep rolling because there will be many more along the way.
I’m hoping that globally we’ll be able to think about how we can balance our needs with the impact we have on the environment. This pause in consumerism and constant travel could transition into ways of reducing our pollution.