Freedom - A Morning Walk

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Footsteps, yarns and little fibs

The freedom of coming and going as I please and a reponse to shock-jocks.

Freedom - A Morning Walk

As long as it’s not raining, I tread the same path for my morning walk, and I try to walk on grass wherever possible, rather than the sealed footpaths because I like walking on it and have an unfailing belief that it’s easier on my knees. Maybe so, but we’re currently experiencing a drought, so walking on the grass doesn’t make much difference… but still, I persist. There are amenity trees along the way, so I’m invigorated by their oxygen, and from the grass… if there’s enough moisture to keep it green. The bonus of walking where I do, is that I miss most of the town’s vehicle fumes and traffic noise.

Part of my walk takes me through a secondary school’s sports grounds, where soccer, or if you prefer, football is played during one season and cricket during the other. We’re fortunate, people are permitted to walk in the grounds, not too many schools around the world would allow random folk walk through their premises. And that gave me cause to ponder on our freedoms… Freedoms, yeah, I saw commentary by a pommy bloke and another by an American woman going on about New Zealand’s loss of freedoms… they obviously haven’t been here, they spoke a whole load of codswallop! But I’ll come to that later.

Towards the end of my walk, I pass along a quiet suburban street where during the lockdown, four young primary school girls, two sisters from each side of the street drew pictures on the footpath, using chalk. Those pictures often made my day! Now things are back to normal, I never see the girls, but I do see their art. The young’uns from my side of the street, continue their drawing, and to my delight, the other day there were pictures of two ice cream sundaes, and a big birthday cake, with slices. The sign in neat printing read, ‘Please help yourself.’ I smiled at the humour and generosity in the minds of those young people!

Of course, there’s always the other side of the coin! The same day, someone had clearly left their brain in the bottom drawer of their bedroom dresser! As I strode around the park, I noticed obvious signs that someone had been doing wheelies with a wide-tyred vehicle. No damage occurred because of the drought, the ground was hard so the turf stayed in place. Approaching the road, I noticed something unfamiliar… a bulk, something grey. It was part of a mudguard and a headlight! I noticed the post. To stop vehicles gaining accessing the park, short posts had been installed with a chain stretched between them. One of the posts had been bowled over, which had taken the mudguard and light as punishment. It gave access, to the numbnut to perform his wheelies!

The park’s also part of a sports complex, so there’s ample space for vehicles to park in the shade of beautiful trees, and many park there when there’s no sport going on. They bring their takeaways and drink bottles with them to enjoy a meal in the pleasant surroundings. Apparently, it’s the perfect time to empty their car of rubbish and leave it where just a few moments ago, they enjoyed the beautiful environment! It doesn’t take much gumption to be responsible for your own rubbish! What’s going on in those heads?

Which brings me to the question of dog droppings. The polite term underrates it… after all, I’m talking about dog shit. Lots of people walk their dogs through the school grounds and in the park, and I chat with them when we meet. A small, white breed of yappers seem to be trendy just now and some of even bark at me from house windows as I pass. There are big dogs too and their owners also like to chat. Some of the dogs aren’t on a lead, some don’t have manners and some try to jump up on you… which rates as bad manners in my book! Most dog owners are responsible and carry those plastic bags… but too many don’t! Mind you I don’t fancy picking up warm dog shit… which is why I don’t own a dog! But here’s my conundrum, why pick up dog shit, and safely tuck it into a plastic bag, only to leave it beside a tree or gate post? Without the plastic bag, the shit would be better left to decompose… or be trodden on! The way those head-cogs spin continues to amaze me!

I’m out early on my walk to avoid the secondary school kids arriving. Parents bring most of them, so I’m avoiding the cars and kelele involved in dropping their kids off. There are some kids I meet on the footpath, some have to walk quite a distance to school, and now and then I meet two small sparkle-eyed Tongan girls who smile and greet as if they’re genuinely pleased to see me. I find it refreshing. And there’s the secondary school boy who at first found it difficult to acknowledge my presence, but now with a broad smile he’s happy to tell me how yesterday went and what he intends to do in the weekend. I find that refreshing also. So happily, I feel a sense of freedom and familiarity in my new environment.

Which brings me to the recent espousing of untruths by media commentators Alex Belfield, Laura Ingraham – and others. They’ve been spouting bullshit about New Zealand’s Covid response. They’ve been saying we have concentration camps where people are quarantined, nobody can enter or exit without permission, which is an infringement of their civil liberties. They say also that freedom of movement and speech have gone. They use inflammatory language describing people as being detained, and watched 24/7. They also say the press has been stifled and they’re not allowed to take pictures. Belfield claims we are putting people in compounds to keep an eye on them and stop them leaving and having fun. His attitude is that it’s ok to allow people over 80 to die so as not to impact the freedoms of the masses.

The thing to remember is, New Zealand is unique for its small population and its isolation. Also we have a left-leaning Prime Minister who has recently been resoundingly re-elected, which seems to make overseas right-leaning people irritable. New Zealand’s response to Covid has been on the advice of the Director-General of Health who shows no political affiliation, and the government has followed closely his recommendations. Other than special cases, we are only allowing citizens and residents returning into the country… their likelihood of infection is high. We have limited quarantine space. Those who arrive, face mandatory quarantine for fourteen days, after which, as long as they test negative they are free to leave. The ‘concentration camps’ where they are kept are actually high-standard hotels and their stay is at the expense of the taxpayer. The exercise areas, compounds, are screened to allow the returnees privacy, nothing to do with stifling the press. Once out after fourteen days, because New Zealand is in level one, they have complete freedom. If anyone can find a flight and wants to leave they can, but if they return, they have to foot the bill for their fourteen day quarantine. For whatever reason, some people try to escape quarantine; the idea of the quarantine is to protect the rest of the population, so if they try to skip, they must face the consequences. When there is an outbreak, those with close contact to the infection are put into a facility, of managed isolation, to stop the spread into the community – again at the taxpayers’ expense. Most people are happy with the arrangements to achieve the outcome of being back in a safe environment, compared to where they have come from. Of course some don’t like to be told what to do for fourteen days, so they bitch and moan, but still they have the right to enter. The rest of us might say, ‘If you’re not prepared to follow the rules, bugger off to where you’ve come from.’ But the government works through the issues with them and compliance is met.

International sports teams are pleased to quarantine to play here and the increased number of people wanting to move here permanently is a good indication that we’re doing ok. The good thing about the shock-jocks blather is, they might (hopefully) influence people of their ilk to avoid New Zealand, and we can certainly live with that.


Submitted: November 02, 2020

© Copyright 2020 moa rider. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Back in Black

High quality detainment is still detainment. Govt never does anything for your good. They do it for power...as a US Democrat official said " never let a crises go to waste "

Mon, November 2nd, 2020 11:00am

Author
Reply

Yeah maybe, and inflammatory language doesn't necessarily tell the truth. Returnurning Kiwi's know before to they buy a ticket what the process is. By far the majority of the population agree with the process and so do the bulk of the people returning. Usianguke

Mon, November 2nd, 2020 11:58am

Back in Black

I have no doubt people are dumb enough to imperil their own freedom...as Ron White said..." You can't fix stupid "

Mon, November 2nd, 2020 8:09pm

Author
Reply

Indeed you can't. Usianguke

Mon, November 2nd, 2020 6:10pm

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