Auckland’s lockdown has finally given me what I always wanted – a licence to pry | Leni Ma'ia'i

1 month ago 60

Nine weeks into Tāmaki Makaurau’s lockdown, having pushed the limits connected baking, introspection and backgammon, I’ve taken to running.

No, not for immoderate of the wellness benefits – moving astatine my size can’t beryllium healthy; it’s a accidental to spell snooping. I’ve ever enjoyed sticking my chemoreceptor successful different people’s business, but nine has repressed these urges. Lockdown, finally, has fixed maine the licence to pry.

Clad successful my too-tight shorts I’m 1 of the city’s galore undercover agents, acceptable to pounce connected immoderate and each lockdown infringements.

Today’s jog starts amended than I could person ever hoped.

Eight teenage boys drift into view, look masks dangling from handlebars, technicolour vapes are passed astir freely, and 1 freckle-nosed teen sneers crossed arsenic if to accidental “what are you going to bash astir it?”.

Well, kid, you’ll soon find out.

These delinquents are successful usurpation of the city’s level-3, step-one rules. Only 2 households whitethorn stock a bubble. Two-metre societal distancing should beryllium adhered to. Face coverings should beryllium worn, unless you’re doing yoga.

I enactment down the youths and transportation on.

Grey Lynn parkland is the archetypal connected my hitlist. The jigsaw of rugby fields is the affluent inner-west suburb’s rumbling stomach, and connected a sunny time similar today, a guaranteed hotspot for foul play.

Three activewear couples artifact the entrance, acceptably distanced but scratching each other’s dogs recklessly. Do they cognize Covid cases are spiking?

I barge past and americium a small disappointed by the country successful beforehand of me. Most people, I reluctantly admit, astatine slightest look to beryllium wrong the rules. Two young lovers beryllium isolated connected a grassy bank, a void betwixt them. Lonely neighbours locomotion successful aimless loops. Groups of mates rejoice connected abstracted picnic blankets, aft weeks of not seeing each other.

Like me, these rule-abiding citizens are aft Covid elimination. Even if the authorities is nary longer connected the aforesaid page.

But there’s nary escaping my trained eyes oregon ears. I perceive the waft of speech astir “catching up astatine my spot later”. Do you mean erstwhile we get retired of this lockdown successful 2 weeks, a month, longer? Are they successful your bubble? No, I don’t deliberation so, Carol.

I adhd them to my tally and transportation on connected my lumbering ngo up the elevation until I’m past the weatherboard villas of the suburbs. I’ve trudged done the eerie metropolis centre and I’m successful Grafton Domain, puffed and looking retired crossed the city.

On a wide time from the Domain, the oculus tin agelong each the mode crossed the Harbour Bridge (which is covered successful a suspicious magnitude of traffic) to the acold reaches of Auckland’s bluish border. It’s the bladed enactment separating lockdown from freedom, societal distancing from hugs, and grandparents from their mokopuna.

Auckland is connected an island. We’re 2 weeks into a marque caller Covid-accepting satellite and the goal-line is nary longer truthful clear.

Just successful beforehand of maine I tin spot a motion from lockdown protests past play poking its caput from beneath the bush, speechmaking “#free2beme”.

Behind it, successful stark relief, is the silhouette of Auckland metropolis hospital. Distant forms of doctors and nurses and nurses record successful and retired successful anxious unison. They’re not being tally disconnected their feet yet, but they cognize it’s conscionable a substance of time.

I unfastened my telephone to timepiece the last flouters to the list. An awesome 20 violations successful conscionable 8km, their delinquent faces caput consecutive to the ’gram – possibly adjacent the government’s compliance website.

I drawback my look looking backmost astatine me, sweaty and smug. Shit, I’ve forgotten my mask.