So it's been just over a week since NZ went into a government mandated lockdown. We joined a bunch of other countries already in this state, and a heap more have since undergone the similar restrictions. We hope everyone out there in our community and all your families and friends are safe and well.
We had a couple days notice to figure things out, trying to sort out which businesses were staying open as they are essential. After a long conversation and much agonizing over it, I was finally able to convince our PM Jacinda that despite being the only professional underwater hockey supplier in the country, we would have to scale down our activity during the lockdown. Obviously she was gutted at the impact to this flagship industry, but there are more important things than essential uwh supplies during this time.
Unfortunately NZ was not immune to the panic buying of all sorts of stuff from supermarkets.
All the food was gone, but we managed to get all the salt and pepper shakers. So we are in good shape!
Of course with pools closed all over the world, the coming Worlds which was to be held on the Gold Coast in July has been postponed with a replacement date still to be announced.
Immediately this sent underwater hockey organizations, federations and teams scrambling all over the globe. All the sponsorship agreements and big money endorsement contracts suddenly had to be re-negotiated! With a potential recession looming, how will underwater hockey ever survive without all the big money from sponsors, the lucrative broadcast deals and the support of all the professional leagues? When sport eventually emerges after the pandemic (touch wood!) will we see a new normal? We may have to.
Closer to home, at our place our 6 year old has already pranked her mum with a full cup of water on top of the fridge door. Conflict lurks over the horizon.
We have managed to continue producing gear, and although we aren't sending orders out until lockdown lifts we can continue to take them. We will have a massive YardSale as soon as we are able to send stuff out again, as I've been making up some gear specifically for it, unique gloves that we wouldn't normally sell.
We have been able to make some masks and face shields using our 3d printing capability, though we hope that kind of supplementation of PPE isn't needed here in NZ. But at least that is an area we can try to help, if supplies start getting stretched.
It's been a strange week, and hopefully it's not the calm before a storm that we have seen in other countries that have felt Covid before us. It feels a little like a game of hide and seek, with no surprises. And no seeking.
When my sister and I were little, my Dad once told my sis that if she weren't careful he would give her a hiding with the wooden spoon. Later that afternoon he disappeared and she finally found him standing in the broom cupboard holding the spoon.
I find myself feeling both like my sister must have, wandering about wondering where everyone is, and also like my Dad did, just waiting in the cupboard for 2 hours holding a spoon.