N.Z. in lock down: DAY 7

Yesterday was DAY 7 of New Zealand in lock down as we try to fight the COVID19 pandemic.

This is a somewhat shorter post today as much of what I have been thinking about in the past 24 hours has been about setting priorities for the next few weeks. In the last three days at home I have been largely concentrating on my university study and assessments. So, I thought I would give you a students perspective on the shut down.

I was meant to be going to a block course next week on campus at Massey University. Two weeks ago, when the Government imposed restrictions on gatherings of more than 100 people, it was no longer feasible to proceed with a block course for 82 students, plus tutors, plus guest lecturers, the block course was cancelled. Shortly after that departments started moving to on line teaching to minimize the contact and subsequent spread of COVID19. Then before the end of the week, with an announcement of a lock down now a question of when, the assessment schedule started to get pushed back.

By the time Monday last week rolled around, Massey was effectively shut, or shutting. It was really now just a matter of seeing what the Government of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern would do. We got our answer on that same day – a 1.PM announcement that New Zealand would be in compulsory lock down from 2359 on Wednesday. For many students though, study was the last things on their minds as they tried to get their domestic lives in order before everything except essential services stopped working.

In two chaotic weeks, Massey had gone – and I suspect other universities were the same – from functioning near normally to completely closing its campus, moving everything on line and cancelling exams in favour of other assessment methods. The two weeks in which thousands of students had not got much study done and in which class conversations had switched from course material to COVID19, were written off by the University and everything put back two weeks.

At this stage no one knows what Second Semester will look like.