• Max

On the Importance of Dancing while Washing One's Hands

Well, it has certainly been an interesting couple months, hasn't it?

Lockdown in New Zealand's Alert Level 4 (our highest level) meant that people were expected to stay at home outside of trips to the grocery store, doctor's office visits, or daily exercise. No takeaway restaurants could operate during its five-week duration, and police had set up checkpoints on various roads to make sure that travelers had an allowed reason for venturing out. Even activities like kayaking, paddle boarding and sitting on the beach weren't allowed, though people were allowed to walk or jog in close proximity to their homes. As a result, Natalie and I spent hours each day taking one or two strolls, which meant that days felt much longer even as weeks flew by. We recognize that we were quite blessed to be in a location where our surroundings changed fairly drastically on their own each day, going from high tide to low tide and back.

Our little slice of Heaven

In addition to our walks, Natalie has spent a good chunk of time since our last post working remotely -- work which she is very grateful to have, especially given the circumstances -- and I took on a challenge to self-teach myself the basics of how to program, which is something I've tried to do several times before without success, and I've had quite a bit more luck without many distractions. We enjoyed the simple things these past few weeks -- cooking a delicious meal, a hot cup of coffee, puzzling, happy hours digitally with friends or just ourselves, chatting with friends and family on the other side of the world.

Since moving down to Alert Level 3, Natalie and I have enjoyed two takeout pizzas from a local pizza joint to celebrate the reopening of restaurants (to-go orders only), but other than that we haven't changed much about our daily routine. With the relaxed restrictions, we weren't sure if numbers were going to rise after the viral incubation period set in. Fortunately, we've been in Alert Level 3 for 11 days now and we still only have a couple new cases per day, a very good sign.

Bacon = The best thing during quarantine

It remains difficult to be away from family and friends, but we've been videochatting with people more nowadays than we ever have before. We know that even if we were back in Wisconsin, there wouldn't be too much we would be able to do for our loved ones without further exposing them, and they are all healthy and well at this time.

We talk often about what if anything will change after life goes back to normal, regardless of whether it's sooner or later. It seems like it would be such a treat now to go to a football game or a show, or even just sitting in a restaurant, and I don't think that I'll ever take that for granted again. This is a powerful experience shared by almost everyone on the planet, and I'm so hopeful that it will unite us all when life resumes, and that collectively we'll be better able to prevent anything like this from happening again.

Like so many others, Natalie and I express our gratitude to those on the front lines and all essential workers. We stumbled across the sign above on one of our lengthy walks. We all owe a debt to those who stayed on their jobs and put themselves at risk during this time, and for those who went out of their way to help and check on neighbors, loved ones and strangers. We hope that these acts of bravery are returned to each of these incredible humans a hundred times over. Really -- Thank You!

Hopefully, when life inevitably goes back to normal, we'll all take a small bit of time to find the little moments in life--like doing a little jig while we wash our hands -- it provides a laugh, you wash longer, and it's a great reminder of the potential for joy in each moment of our lives.

We miss everyone back home. Let us know how you are doing!