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That eerie silence

Written By: - Date published: 8:29 am, March 26th, 2020 - 69 comments
Categories: covid-19 - Tags: ,

Waking up this morning was a bit of an eerie feeling. The alarm went off as usual at 0700 (and the 0880 one just clicked over). Very little traffic noise. The quiet sound of the workstation and server fans was louder than the the remaining white noise from the traffic.

It isn’t like this place is normally particularly loud. The insulation in the walls is superb. The location is close to the centre of Auckland – 50 metres to the corner of Ponsonby and K Roads. We’re actually surrounded by commuter roads.  Have a look at the map to get an idea.

Where the servers live.

We and our machines live on the ridge that looks down the North Western motorway. But that is 250 metres away and is the blank wall of our apartment. Great North Road is about 50 metres away up on the top of the ridge. But it has a pile of high apartments and car yard between us and it.

We get most of our car noise from Newton Road which is 50 metres from us and is usually jam packed at this time of the morning – week days, weekends, public holidays – but not now. 

This morning, there are the odd cars going on all roads. But the server noise is louder. When the fridge starts up it sounds like an old DC8 flying overhead at low altitude.

Welcome to the first morning of the lock-down. Time to finish that coffee and for me to get stuck into work…

This post is here for you to share your first day under lock-down.

Update – it isn’t that quiet out the back door. This was a bit of video I did at about 0745.

 

69 comments on “That eerie silence”

  1. mac1 1

    Just received an e-mail from an old friend in Italy. He is in his fifth week of lockdown, and writes that he and his wife have not yet killed each other. So, lovely people, it can be done, with good grace and humour, hope and a good dose of the Internet……

  2. Sanctuary 2

    I only got married 26 days ago, so I am luxuriating in the pleasure of spending a month of waking up in a leisurely fashion with my new wife rather than dashing off to work. We took the hound for a walk at 5am this morning (sticking to normal wake up times) and Sandringham/Mt. Albert was almost completely deserted. We saw one person jogging and one car.

    Every cloud has some sort of silver lining, for me it is having a nice morning with my new bride for everyday for a month.

    Struggling with focus trying to work from home, but that is slowly coming right.

    • Incognito 2.1

      Ah, the honeymoon phase! Long may it last for you. Some manage to make it last for a long period of time.

  3. riffer 3

    Been working from home since Monday as I'm high-risk category (Type I diabetes). Set up my audio capture and my video capture and editing suite. Doing some interesting capture of experiences of older New Zealanders talking about their times in the war and post-Hawkes Bay earthquake. It's been good to hear them talking about getting through tough experiences. Gives me a bit of hope. Hope everyone else is okay.

    • Anne 3.1

      Here's a story for you – short and sweet:

      My parents arrived in NZ in 1930. Newly wed with a new-born, they settled on the outskirts of Palmerston North and all was well. Then along came the Napier earthquake. My mother said the surrounding hills were rolling all over the place. New-born was now walking and had waddled off around the outside of the house. Mother could do nothing because of the rocking and rolling. When it finally stopped new-born came waddling back as if nothing had happened. Mother never ever knew what went on around the side of the house.  

      They hopped on the next boat back to England and ventured out here again in 1939 just before the start of WW2. By that time they had 3 children and a few years later decided to have a couple more new-borns of which I was one.

      • riffer 3.1.1

        It's really important that stories like these aren't lost. I wonder what historians will think, in the future, of the stories of what people did during the lockdown.

  4. Carolyn_Nth 4

    We had a few tenants leave our small block of studio apartments before Christmas.  A couple of new tenants, a couple of empty units still.  The one below me has been being renovated in the last month. The last couple of days there's been a rush to do some work – very noisy some of the time.  Carpet laying, drilling in the walls.

    The house across the other side of our car park was sold as a do-up around November.  there's been on-going noisy work for months – building an extension, pneumatic drill to drill rock in the front yard, machines lifting the rocks and using it to build a wall.  They also had a rush of noisy work the last 2 days. 

    The property behind us has recently been sold and they had a circular saw going yesterday evening.

    This morning, all is still and quiet.

    But heard the 2 newest tenants drive out of the car park as usual this mourning – must be essential services.

    Loving the quiet.

    • Treetop 4.1

      I heard a conversation on a street while out walking recently.

      "How hard is it going to be to get a joint?"

  5. Cinny 5

    Miss 12 told me NZ cats and dogs will be so very happy because their owners will be home.

    Personally I'm feeling a strange sense of calm.

  6. I'm sitting on the deck with a coffee and it's so quiet I can easily hear an intense business related discussion from over the fence. The burglars who live next door are beside themselves. They can't easily rip off occupied houses and even if they raid now closed shops, there's a real chance they'll get pulled over by the cops while they're driving around.

    I really feel for them.

  7. Ad 7

    My own company has gone so HUT-HUT! it's like we're actually enjoying martial law.

    We are required to keep logs for ourselves and our staff of what we are working on.

    We are keeping a full operating rhythm of meetings from 8am, and using Zoom for group social gatherings.

    We do Skype individually with our staff at a specific daily time.

    All these records are far above what we would normally have to do for timesheets – but I suppose the insurers might request them at some point once our claims go in.

    Still it was great to run this morning with almost no cars and just the birds waking up .

  8. Andre 8

    As an introvert living alone, this whole lockdown thing has definite upsides.

    • Ad 8.1

      Well you sure ain't an introvert on this site, so good on  you for engaging every day.

      The Otitori – Park – South Titirangi – Woontons – Titirangi Beach Road – Otitori – Wood Bay circuit was excellent with no cars this morning …

      … also at 7.10am the Manukau framed by Kauri and Nikau forest was really, really out and the whole of the harbour was like a great golden disc of complex patterns and whorls and wrinkled folds among the shining remains of tide.

      It's not an ugly place our neighbourhood.

      • Andre 8.1.1

        Here I'm dealing with a device, not actual people.

        https://dilbert.com/strip/1994-02-19

        And yeah, no airport noise, no f#$%& personal watercraft on the harbour, no buses or cars on Sth Titirangi Rd, lots of loud birds … glorious.

        • RedLogix 8.1.1.1

           … I like people, I'm just not very good at them …

          Good linky. I could never choose between Dilbert or Wal as my role model devil

        • mac1 8.1.1.2

          Andre, so you like to be left to your own devices? Couldn't help that. But, yes, the traffic noise on SH1 has hugely diminished, just the sound of gas guns firing in the distance and that will cease after grape harvest- so glad that is continuing. 

          I heard the grapegrowers CEO Philip Gregan on the radio saying how they had to be very stern with grape growers who don't step up to the mark regarding protection from the virus. One can spoil it for all.

          One outcome from this time might be that we all recognise our social interdependence, and act accordingly in the future.

        • Paaparakauta 8.1.1.3

          Wellington airport is busy with aircraft taking off at regular intervals and the corner diary/news/lottery agent locked down and peering grimly through perspex to accept payment via sliding draw from customers and lottery addicted desperados.

      • swordfish 8.1.2

         

        It's not an ugly place our neighbourhood.

        Compared to Wellington it's little more than grotesque.

         

        • Ad 8.1.2.1

          The best view of Wellington is from the Days Bay ferry at the end of each working day: seeing it recede. The Kaikouras frame it well in deep winter snow through the heads.  

          You'd be welcome to be toured through Titirangi's forests if you are up this way. Otherwise, I'd encourage you to look at the concept of beauty with a little generosity.

           

  9. observer 9

    I live not that far from Lprent, near K Road/Queen St intersection.

    I've looked outside when I hear voices raised (normally lost in the traffic and general hubbub). Most of the people I've seen from my window this morning have looked familiar: local homeless.

    They sit on their usual benches, in groups of 2 or 3, nowhere to self-isolate. Selfishly, I want them to move out of sight/mind, but far more importantly – they are at serious risk.

    I don't know what the answer is (and of course we want real long-term solutions to homelessness), but it's a worry.

  10. Lindsey Rea 10

    On the other side of the NW motorway from you Lprent, I can confirm that the traffic started at about 5.30am as usual, but at a weekend volume, rather than the weekday. There were a bunch of trucks early, and then it slowed right down – so instead of the morning rush being constant, it was quite variable. In our street, my tenants upstairs are all working from home, and most of the neighbours are in lockdown. The only movement is from the essential service workers, we have at least 3 households with health service workers, and a vet.

    • lprent 10.1

      Yeah I remember your place across the gully..

      Just had a 'stir crazy' ride (I have been at home since tuesday last week). Down the north western cycleway, off at St Lukes and up the hill on Tuarangi Road to Grey Lynn. Pinged by the speed display for riding at 48km/hr on Williamson Ave. Up to Ponsonby Rd and the  back home.

      Duration 17 minutes of fast riding. Carefully avoiding the pedestrians – including the one on New North Road shared path who, as she read her phone, meandered over the most of the wide pavement as I was approaching from behind. 

      The crippling bit is when I have climb the 5 flights of stairs (carrying the bike battery) to my partners eyre. She swears it will add years to my life. Personally I think that the post-ride cold drink and the daily heart pills might stave off the evil day that I have to go into a living death ( ie learn to like golf)…

  11. joe90 11

    Ventured into town very early this AM to help my SO do some work stuff. Headed home at 9am and the city centre reminded me of a Sunday morning fifty years ago but with a noticeable police presence talking to a few youngsters on foot.

    But on the way home we did see several police I cars so I reckon they'll be checking road users soon enough.

     

  12. Carolyn_Nth 12

    I am very aware we are living though, and a part of, a historic, and unprecedented time.

    In future, academics will research "the great global lock down"; uni students will write essays on it; school students will visit local libraries to find info on it for school projects; and many books will be written about it.

    And future generations will ask their oldies, "What did you do in The Great Lock Down?"

    • RedLogix 12.1

      True enough. And thousands of PhD proposals on the data science of epidemics are being penned at we read this. cheeky

      • Poission 12.1.1

        And thousands of PhD proposals on the data science of epidemics

        More entropy?

        As we said, when one deals with deep uncertainty, both governance and precaution require us to hedge for the worst. While risk-taking is a business that is left to individuals, collective safety and systemic risk are the business of the state. Failing that mandate of prudence by gambling with the lives of citizens is a professional wrongdoing that extends beyond academic mistake; it is a violation of the ethics of governing.

        The obvious policy left now is a lockdown, with overactive testing and contact tracing: follow the evidence from China and South Korea rather than thousands of error-prone computer codes. So we have wasted weeks, and ones that matter with a multiplicative threat.

        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/25/uk-coronavirus-policy-scientific-dominic-cummings?CMP=share_btn_tw

    • Treetop 12.2

      The world has changed, 180 countries are now affected. How much is unknown.

  13. mac1 13

    Started chatting to my neighbour. There's a good outcome from the lockdown. He's always at work. I said to him as he paint his bargeboards and prunes his trees, this is just a preview of what retirement is like……

  14. Kay 14

    Wellington airport is incredibly quiet. I'm actually starting to miss that 6am wake-up flight to Sydney 🙁

  15. Treetop 15

    On worldometer latest affected countries and territories is 198.

     

  16. RedLogix 16

    My partner's passport expired at the worst possible moment and by the time we got a fresh one on Tuesday afternoon, travel back to NZ became impossible. (If you aren't on the 'essential services' list you won't get on the plane.)

    Now we're stuck here in Brisbane until at least June I would imagine. In itself this is not a bad thing, we're in an ideal spot for a lockdown. But my father, brother and daughter are all in serious need of us being home right now. And of course all my contracting work has gone to zero. Still our problems are modest compared to millions of others.

    There are a lot of kiwis here in Australia who never had any practical option to return to NZ who are going to need support if they are going to get through this. A petition is being put together urgently to raise the matter to the relevant Ministers here in Australia:

    https://www.change.org/p/give-full-centrelink-support-for-kiwis-who-live-and-work-in-australia-covid-19?use_react=false

    • Paaparakauta 16.1

      An obvious solution is dual nationality. It involves jumping through a few hoops and some waiting time but nation states have their own ways of doing things and it can prevent a lot of angst and wasted effort if you qualify.

      Queensland and West Australian conservatives have a lot to answer for in my view.

      • RedLogix 16.1.1

        You need an employer to sponsor your application, and as a contractor that's just not available to me. Nor many others working here.

        • Paaparakauta 16.1.1.1

          I did that while working in Sydney and sponsorship never came up – as did my sister. I was aware the political climate in Australia was becoming more hostile due to increased influence of Pauline Hanson and the 'National' Party in WA and Qld. The employment issue never arose, but they have since tightened the legislation.

          I would like to think that a more open-minded government will change that stance. I remember bumping into Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke outside the Lido theatre in Wellington not long after they were elected. I also saw Gough on the overpass from Sydney University theatre over Paramatta Rd. not long before he died.  Those days can return.

    • Treetop 16.2

      June is a long way off. With some luck a defence force flight could occur. This is probably being organised at an official level or will be.

      Is there a place where there is a register were this to occur?

       

    • Ad 16.3

      I totally sympathize. 

      My Significant Other is looking after her mother and family at the other end of the country from me and we will miss our wedding anniversary for the first time.

      Maybe end of April or May some time we reconnect properly.

       

      • RedLogix 16.3.1

        Thanks.  We've had a sequence of Murphy's visit us this year, this being merely the latest. But for the moment we're safe and the internet is still on. cheeky

        But as you said a few weeks back, 2020 seems like a year with a lot of entropy about.

    • Muttonbird 16.4

      You harangue Tedros for not anticipating the speed of this virus but you yourself couldn't even anticipate travel restrictions back to NZ to assist your family.

      You can get a NZ passport in one day in NZ, probably 2-3 in Australia yet you weren't prepared for this despite asking all others to be prepared.

      Through February and March while this was building you didn’t think to look at your passports.

      Righto. Must be nice in Brisbane.

      Perhaps you were listening to Scomo's soothing voice a little too much…

      • Incognito 16.4.1

        If you would like to exchange e-mail addresses, I’ll be more than happy to assist and let you take your conversations elsewhere and away from TS.

  17. Wensleydale 17

    I'm 'essential' so business as usual for me for the most part. Have to say, driving around Auckland right now is the best — no traffic, plenty of parking, a noticeable lack of arseholes in Audis, it's great. We've all been issued with special notices to hand to the police should they feel inclined to stop us and ask what the Devil we think we're playing at trundling about during lockdown.

    I feel a bit like Bruno Lawrence in 'The Quiet Earth'. It's surreal.

  18. gsays 18

    G'day from the Manawatu here.

    The road we are on is a main route from the saddle road/gorge/Pahiatua track to the Vinegar Hill road. It is very quiet, the odd service ute and that is about it.

    As a family unit we are lining the Versatile garage the father-in-law bought us. There are 6 ceiling bays that we need to dwang out, insulate and screw 9mm ply to. I figure 2 bays a day is enough to keep progress going without the others getting snarky at the foreman.

    In the arvo if weather permits, perhaps go for a bike ride. A motorbike ride on my beloved 1987 BMW K75.

    Thinking of getting a board game going, the likes of Shadows over Camelot- a co-operative game where the players work together against the game.

    Also we both have elderly parents nearby to look out for and support.

     

    • mpledger 18.1

      In other times I would have suggested the co-operative board game "pandemic".

      • Treetop 18.1.1

        No bull, I picked up a book in a box on a berm yesterday day "Outbreak the epidemic rages – no-one is safe" Author Robin Cook.

        As a balance I also selected "Bend in the Road" best selling author of "Message in a Bottle and The Notebook" Author Nicholas Sparks.

  19. bwaghorn 19

    So so glad to be a work alone shepherd.  

    Give me land lots of land and a starry sky above. 

    Dont fence me in . 

    Be nice to each other . 

  20. First time since Christmas I'm not the only one in the house, so the lock-down has its upsides.  Videoconference meetings from your couch at which you can turn off the video & mic so no-one can see you rolling your eyes and sighing are also pretty good.  

    On the down side, the funeral for my colleague and friend who died on Sunday was supposed to be at 11am today, and instead she got unceremoniously interred with only immediate family present in time to beat the deadline, which sucks a big one. Meeting finished by 11 so I poured myself a triple whisky, turned the guitar on and belted out a bunch of hardcore riffs that she would have absolutely hated, in her honour. (Also good – when you're working from home, no-one can tell when you're drinking on the job.)

  21. Paaparakauta 21

    78 new cases, and that's just today. No wonder people at Wellington Airport were looking worried ..

    Kia Kaha, Aotearoa !

    https://www.health.govt.nz/news-media/media-releases/78-new-cases-covid-19-new-zealand

    • mpledger 21.1

      It's most likely to continue going up for the next 7 days, or so, as those people were most likely infected before we got to level 4.   It's what's going on 10-14 days from now that's important.

       

      • In Vino 21.1.1

        Precisely.   I wonder how our morale will be – especially if figures don't do what we hope. Long way off yet – new experience for us all, I would think.

  22. adam 22

    Best sleep in ever. No car noise – what a difference. How bloody nice.

  23. Exkiwiforces 23

    If you think its eerie silence, I almost sit under the base leg for runway 29 at RAAF Darwin/ Darwin Airport. I hardy hear any jets, or bug smashers fly in or out Darwin atm or any of the big heavies fly over head either including out at my bush block. This yr is also when Ex Pitch Black is held as well going to be very quiet indeed.

  24. Rosemary McDonald 24

    Don't touch me, I won't touch you.

  25. Grafton Gully 25

    A revelation – no idea what I'd been missing.  Set up comfortably in the spare room, no air con with temperature beyond my control and odour from people farting in the corridor, no background noise, windows that open.  Went for walk, did 8 hours for a day's pay, another walk, then an evening to enjoy.  Bring back windows that open and minimise air con !  

  26. Dawn Trenberth 26

    Quietly at home.  Had a skype local board workshop on Tuesday.  Husband at home.  Daughter is working from home.  Reports on local social media about groups of children playing on the playground.  I believe neighbours have reported it.  Will take a while for everyone to comply.

  27. Played Roblox online with my nephew for a few hours. Went for a walk up Parnell Road and along St Stephens Ave to the rose garden, then down to Judges Bay. Really pleasant in the sun and nice to see a few other humans wandering about.

    “Ka ora pea au i a koe, ka ora koe i a au.”

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  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
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