Thank You To A Wonderful Cast Of Hundreds

I'd like to thank some people, if that's ok.

When the COVID-19 lockdown kicked off here in New Zealand on Saturday 21st March before coming into life changing effect with Level 4 on Thursday 26th I was left with zero income, a wonderful yet expensive new rental home, a lot of questions, quite some anxiety, and yet a sense of calm and peace that we were truly all in this together.

Like many in countries all over the world I started a #StayHomeNZ Activities document so we could all watch enlightening videos, learn a new language, increase our knowledge of the universe, and generally work our way through the boredom we all foresaw coming.

I never used anything off that list.

Almost nothing.

People got me through the initial New Zealand phase of SARS-CoV-2., here's my thank you.

In New Zealand there was ONE voice to listen to before it all kicked off and during the early days, Dr Siouxsie Wiles (@SiouxsieW). Without Siouxsie, and her Spinoff collaborations with Toby Morris (@XTOTL), I believe we would've had a mixed bag of reckons from many media pundits filling the void with their uninformed voices - Siouxsie and Toby headed all that off at the pass and enabled us all ONE consistent, scientific, and individually useful articles on what was happening.

Jacinda Ardern is a natural communicator in these circumstances, she as certainly had her fair share of emergencies from being made/accepting to become the Leader of the Labour Party 7 weeks before "inevitable election day wipeout", the Christchurch mosque shootings, the Whakaari / White Island volcano deaths, and now guiding us through the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic to where we are now. Thank you Jacinda for your leadership, calmness, focus, and here's to a quieter few years post the election win later this year.

On that note I would like to say thank you to the other New Zealand political parties for keeping out of the way during the height of it all - yes, even National did their bit most of the time. I particularly appreciate how the Green Party utilised the tech to bring communities together with webinars - I hope this continues and grows.

Like many I took to the Internet to fill in the days and nights of just sitting around ... those of us that had all our work go pfft that is, many others took to the Internet to discover they could actually carry on doing their work from their kitchen table. Initially I ploughed my way through full episodes of Time Team, and I thank them for making so many episodes available especially the ones with Mick and Phil. I discovered the joys of James May and his Toy Story episodes but mostly the boringly glorious The Reassembler. Then Acorn TV (free 30 day trial with code  ACORNTVNZ30) entered my life and my evenings could never been empty with Poirot seeing me through many of the Level 4 evenings.

I found routine with a number of people on YouTube, namely the wonderful Sandi Toksvig (@sanditoksvig) and her most awesome daily Vox Tox (now a weekly podcast), Sarah Millican (@SarahMillican75) and her reading of her book How To Be Champion (up to reading #62, how about that!), and Jimmy Carr's The Tiny Little Quiz which has stopped now. It was the routine I loved, like having a pop-in from an old friend. Thank you to all three.

I'd like to thank a number of Twitter people ... and that number is currently 222, the number of people I follow ... for consistently bringing humour, information, and often a challenge. Talking of challenge there was the most awesome #FormalFriday popularised by Hilary Barry which I joined by having a shave ;)

I have a small yet perfect number of mates that have consistently been in touch, arranged Zoom beers, and checked in with each other - Hannah, Jude, Adam, La, Paul, Kath, Karen - thank you. Same goes for my family, firstly Meg my incredible daughter for her weeks here, my son Jack for being Jack, Betty my Mum in Wales, and Rob my brother in Stockholm. We've all made some great routines together consistently expressing our rituals of connections.

THANK YOU for helping me and many others get through, your work was seen, what you did was recognised, your voices were heard, and my heart was filled. Thank you.

Like every Academy Award speech there's many I'm sure I will bite my lip, kick myself, and generally be annoyed at having forgotten, I shall fill the comments with names as they come to me.


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