I’m out of lockdown, so now you can buy me a coffee.

While the rest of the world is seeing continued growth of COVID-19 cases, I’m safe in my bubble in the South Pacific.

New Zealand spent 5 weeks in what appears to be one of the strictest lockdowns worldwide, a few more at what seems to be the most common version of lockdown, then 2 weeks open with social distancing. It was hard, but we did it. We eliminated community transmission before opening up, and eradicated the illness within our borders. We still have very strict border measures, only allowing NZ residents and citizens into the country at this stage, with a 2 week managed isolation/quarantine period.

In my low effort “Quarantine” (red dwarf episode) costume – Mister Flibble says you need 5 weeks WOO (With Out oxygen Outside)

There are, at the time of writing, 25 active cases in NZ, all on border quarantine centres. It’s been over a month since the last person with Covid-19 within the borders recovered from the illness. That was the day we returned to life as normal, with voluntary movement tracking.

Life has returned mostly to normal.

There’s a chance that we will still get a second wave, with people going as far as breaking windows and cutting fences to escape from the isolation facilities this last week, but so far we seem to have avoided a reintroduction of the virus into the population.

I’d like to say that I spent the weeks of “rahui” (isolation, as in a meditation retreat) resting, doing art, and recharging my batteries, but I didn’t.

We turned our sewing and craft room into a Zoom studio, and home gym, in addition to its existing additional use as massage, Reiki, and meditation studio. We renamed it “the holosuite” or “holodeck” to recognise how it becomes whatever we need it to be.

We dressed up fancy for dinner most Fridays. We had a 20s night, 70s fondue, a masquerade, a red carpet film premier, and a white tie dinner.

I took my 4 year old bubble mate to the park to ride her bike. I took my husband for a walk in the forest near my house, sat and did plein air paintings, and took photos to paint later. My husband animated our 9 year old “bubble mate’s” Lego creation, and the children’s mum made a short film.

At 1pm every day, we tuned in for the Ashley and Jacinda show, even when others were hosting, to get our update on infections, recoveries, and measures being put in place.

I did way too much. So I’m suffering for it now.

My 1920s designer handkerchief dress replica.

Post lockdown, I’ve been spending far more time in Rahui. I’ve been focusing on art, meditation, massage and Reiki practice, and sleeping. I also made a replica of a 1920s designer dress dress.

I’ve made amazing progress in my art skills. I’m even feeling confident enough to try selling some prints and take commissions.

I’ve set up a Buy me a coffee page, which is a bit like patreon, so people can make contributions to help support me, my art, and my writing. I am also selling prints of some of my paintings, taking commissions for portraits, and offering distance reiki sessions via their platform. I’ve set up memberships for anyone who wants to send money regularly, but I’m unsure about what I might offer as a member benefit… any suggestions?

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