Patrick Lam

Thoughts and travels of Patrick Lam

July, including a vacation

I’m between trips as I write this. Tomorrow morning we are flying to Invercargill at the end of the South Island and, if weather permits, continuing to Stewart Island/Rakiura. (I’ve learned, however, that we often need to be flexible with these plans, as weather can be from slightly to extremely unfavourable.) Two and a half weeks ago we came back from Christchurch and the West Coast. I noticed that I promised a writeup for Charleston last month.

Level 1 June

This month started in Charleston where I went climbing with Elliott. Writeup to come. As I write this I’m going to the Heaphy Track tomorrow morning. We chose to delay for a day due to weather. The number of active cases in NZ is now 21 but that is a misleading number; all of these cases are in quarantine “at the border”, i.e. found in returning New Zealanders in managed self-isolation.

May, moving down the levels

It’s astonishing how quickly things have returned to almost-normal in this country. Since May 14 (3 weeks ago already!), we’ve been in Alert Level 2, where most things are open. Physical distancing, capacity controls and mandatory contact tracing remain for now, although there will be another decision next Monday, June 8. The number of known active cases is 1 and the last positive reported case was on May 22. Haircuts I had been planning to wait a few more days, but I was walking down the street and noticed a barber open with no line, so I’ve had reasonable hair since May 17.

A Locked-down April

I’m writing this on April 30, a day after we were originally scheduled to leave Wellington. But that was no surprise to month-ago me. Most of April has been under NZ Alert Level 4, although we’ve been in Alert Level 3 for a couple of days now. We’ve been in Wellington since March 20 and not in a car between March 25 and April 29, which is some sort of record for me.

The Longest Month

My notes say that I bought tickets to Athens on March 1. As if things would be normal in two months. The first nine days of March, which I wrote about last time, did seem completely normal. Then we went to Queenstown/Wanaka and Taranaki. As we were at Taranaki, things quickly became not normal. The last 11 days have been a whirlwind, and only in the past few days have I been able to get some research done.