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Maree’s musings

July 6, 2020 July 2020 No Comments

CLUSTERS … GETTING TOGETHER

 Some time ago, which feels like in a former life now, my musings were focussed on how we all like to collect things together in groups. We have an innate desire to organise stuff and create collective names for the various conglomerations we have amassed.  Well, this went viral during the  long lockdown of days (there you go) with a resulting invention of a whole new language. Well, not quite, but it did create a gamut of unfamiliar terms becoming the words on everybody’s lips. Providing you could find someone to talk to, that is.

For starters, bubbles used to be blown up and burst; instead they were keeping us confined. Talking of clusters became the height of fashion. In past times, a flattening of curves involved going on a diet, instead it became about a crunching of numbers so our Ash, who became NZ’s current choice of poster boys, could organise the tracing of graphs; which also required a tracing of contacts and one’s journeys into the world beyond the bubble. The average mortal’s knowledge of algebra went exponential at the same time, it seems. The division of time, which was once B.C. and A.D., became B.C. followed by A.C. After Co-vid, that is. Bring it on! 

There was an urgency of stockpiling. This led to a panic of purchasing resulting in a dwindling of supplies – remember the paucity of toilet paper – and a very long snaking of supermarket queues which tried the patience of saints. And later, with more queues at Maccas. a slowness of fast food. At least there was the absolute bliss of take-away coffees, and at last, the joy of a sit-down scoff at your favourite café.  

A number of solutions to save the world from this tiniest of nasties were proposed. One was an allocation of resources for needy people, some with a pre-existence of medical conditions. Golly, we all have those, surely? Masks and PPE (we all know what that is now) became statements of fashion. There was a veritable pandemic picnic of teddy-bears. More useful perhaps, the avoidance of closeness of encounters .. of any kind, but much less delightful. 

Our researchers and front-line staff (bless!) worked tirelessly to get to the bottom of the problem. Unlike some. The entire world was subject to a tweet-stream of inanities from a certain leader of the free world, and downloads of Facebook mock-up photos of him wielding a spraybottle of Dettol. Then later, braggings about his irresponsible ingesting of drugs. At the risk of a total battering of the language, what a Co-vidiot.

The risk of temptation to reach for a bottle of something more tasty, however, was OK at the time, I reckon; despite it involving taking the advice of the merchants of doom with a grain of salt. Needs must. A Quarantini, anyone?

All this splendour (seriously??) of isolation led to a blurring of time and a monotony of lockdown days. However, with a shutting down of what seemed like almost everything, we learned to be masters of invention which had to be a Good Thing. And all our efforts did a power of good! As we now know so well, the alerts were slotted into Levels. Every day we needed much crossing of fingers that we kept going up (or is that down?), and obediently continued the making of sacrifices. 

The famous author, Charles Dickens, who knew all about the difficulties of deprivation, had this to say .. ‘[It was] the best of times, the worst of times.’ When all this is over and we’re back to at least some semblance of normality, let’s just remember the best ones. Together.

Due to a glitch in the system Maree’s Musings was missed off the June issue. We apologise to Maree and readers who missed her column and worried that it had been discontued. We can assure that Maree will be continuing to share her thoughts with us.   Mike

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