Sunday, 22 August 2021

Lockdown in Lower Hutt, NZ: A photographic essay

Lockdown in Hutt City, NZ

The whole of New Zealand is under Level 4 lockdown that is supposed to last until Tuesday, although everyone knows it will go on - given the narrative the government has painted itself into, in perpetuity.

I have been sent these photos with comments.

I shall add my own observations in bold type.

This is High Street in Lower Hutt, which, although it has already been all but destroyed as a busy shopping hub usually has a lot more activity than this!

Strangely quiet for a normal bustling Saturday

Local 'Mad Butcher' and adjoining fish shop closed. The lockdown is hitting butchers hard - fresh meat needing to be refrigerated or disposed of, and the mostly low income folk  who shop here denied affordable meat for their families. 

During the last lockdown butchers and vegetable shops were forced to shut down while the supermarkets, practically given monopoly rights, became the only places for people to shop along with some boutique shops that cater to the elite.

It looks as if this is being repeated this time.

On to the local Countdown supermarket. 

Again, quiet for a Saturday

People are not allowed entry without a mask.

Then off to the hospital  - deserted with hardly a soul to be seen in this normally bustling place.

We went on to check the Covid testing centre behind the 24 hour urgent pharmacy that was there last time. 

In our 2020 lockdown we had a testing centre there, with a queue of folk lined up and going right around the corner waiting to have a nasal swab.  

The testing centre is gone

Instead, it has been replaced by this drive-in COVID testing station,  on the very river carpark where we normally go to the weekly farmer's market.

Not much activity, late morning!

 Where is everyone? 

Aha - there's a queue of people lined up along the footpath leading to a Community Vaccination Centre on High Street. 

I put a mask on before getting out of the car to take a photo. 

I feel uneasy, because at least 6 cops have joined to the back of the queue and are talking with some of the younger people.  

Ok. Got a pic. 

More observations

I checked the website for the Hutt Valley District Health Board.

There are no indications as to whether operations for the seriously ill are going ahead (they were put on the back burner last time round).

So the health authorities say they are rescheduling planned procedures
Maternal care is an essential service - fair enough.

But abortion services?!  They are an essential service but operations for people with cancer are not?


The local cafe we go to every weekend to buy our weekend bread is closed because of government regulations.

Yet, across the road this boutique food outlet is open for business on a Sunday morning.

But, "stay safe, be kind!" (comrade Jacinda's slogan)

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