Life in a bubble

Daniel Hutchinson
From The Hutch

Hmmmm, very quiet outside. Too quiet.

Mrs Hutch has just left for work but not before telling me how essential she is – for the third morning in a row.

Rest home health care assistants – underappreciated and over worked.

Now they are in the upper echelons of society. Vital cogs, ‘essential’ in fact.

The same could be said of supermarket workers and garbage truck operators and all those unseen people in the bowels of the city infrastructure, keeping the  gurglers going.

I stood on the deck and watched her disappear down an otherwise empty road, waiting expectantly for the spotlights, the sirens and loud speakers to hone in on her.

They don’t so I wander back inside and look for something else to do.

Ah, I’ll write the column.

Journalists are essential too by the way. I can already feel the eyes rolling back into people’s skulls as they process that piece of information, looking for the logic.

I can guarantee, if there is one group of people who will not be fondly referred to as heroes at the end of all this, it will be the news media.

However, in the defence of news – there are many hundreds of people working on gathering information at the moment who are worried about their jobs. Some of them don’t even have jobs for much longer because when the economy sneezes, the media industry catches a cold. When the economy gets a virus this bad, it’s anybody’s guess.

So, even if I’m the only person in the world to do so, I want to say a massive thank-you to all my colleagues here and around the country who have put aside their personal circumstances and remained focused and committed to the cause.

Don’t shoot

And please, don’t shoot the messenger.

And I don’t mean that figuratively because gun sales have sky rocketed in the lead-up to the lock-down. Thankfully gun shops are not considered an essential service so if you didn’t get a gun, you’re too late, sorry.

I’m really not sure how much hunting you can do in your backyard but there were queues of people seen lining up outside Gun City in Auckland following the lock-down announcement.

Now, as you may be aware, this newspaper is not going to be publishing until it is feasible – probably in three or four weeks. So, like a lot of people, I’m going to be taking a bit of leave here and there.

I like to plan my holidays and go somewhere a bit special if I can.

And it doesn’t get more special than the compost heap. I’ll spend a full day at the compost heap, although I’ve heard the flies can be terrible at this time of the year.

After that, I’m intending to head up onto the roof for a few days. I never got around to painting under the eaves at the very top of the house and it’s been on my bucket list for a few years.

While I’m there I might as well see The Leaning Chimney. The rivets are a bit loose so I’ll screw down everything in sight before heading over to the Sea of Corrugated Iron.

This is an ancient structure and starting to show signs of wear and tear. In fact rumour has it, the Dripping Ceiling and the Sea of Corrugated Iron are linked, but no-one has ever traced it to its source. This expedition could occupy an  entire week.

The Olympics

Obviously I won’t be going to the Olympics. One of the most inevitable things about this virus was the cancellation of the Olympics. I mean, the five rings even look like a grouping of viral particles.

However, given that most people, especially very fit people, get only minor complications from the virus, they could have simply had categories for how sick people were.

I mean, nobody shares poles at the vaulting and the Kenyans always make sure there is plenty of distance between them and the others anyway.

Personal space

One of the great things about this new way of life is that people have to stay away from you.

I’m not a big hugger, so these rules are not going to affect me the same way as it will the cuddly ones.

I feel for these people but at the same time I’m looking forward to my first shopping experience because people have to respect ‘the bubble’.

There won’t be any of those couples that park their trolley in the middle of the aisle and strategically take up the space on either side.

Those people will be sprayed with disinfectant, shrink wrapped and rolled out the door under armed escort.

No, we must respect the space and I just can’t imagine what that will be like.

Anyway, stay safe people. Respect each other, enjoy the little things and we’ll be back soon.

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