The best thing about scarcity is the period of time when you anticipate an end to the scarcity, and then the fulfilment when scarcity turns into availability. Humans’ very simple internal chemical mechanism for feeling a reward (a shot of dopamine) means that the hit when you get your needs fulfilled doesn’t last long – so enjoy every second while you can!
What about Level 2 excites me? The first thing I thought was, I can go to the garden centre. This tells you that I do not have any sort of business that is related to hospitality, a sector that is trying to come to terms with Level 2 requirements that only 50 people are allowed inside venues, and 100 people at a venue outside. It’s also going to be a bit weird at hospitality venues having staff in masks but patrons not in masks, though I’m sure we will get used to it. My excitement about the garden centre also tells you that my brain is hooked on gardening at the moment, because that’s what I have been doing a lot of. It’s funny, there was just a tiny bit in the back of my brain thinking staying in Level 3 is easy because I can just keep doing the things that I have been doing, rather than having to incorporate a whole new set of activities. My brain will quickly be overcome by the shiny possibilities of Level 2, but it is a rare human who doesn’t have some level of resistance to change.
I will have to wear a mask and stay 2 metres away from people at the garden centre but that’s fine by me, I go to the garden centre to see plants, not fraternise with people. It means I can buy vegetable plants to kick start my vegetable garden for the season. Soil temperatures are warmer than normal so I can get some green vegetables growing. I can also buy compost – how exciting! We quickly go through the compost we make in our large planting activities so I need to top up the vege garden with compost before planting.
The second thing I thought was, we can go see friends and they can come and see us. We have people planning to come visit each of the next three weekends, and now it will be possible. Luckily none of those friends were coming from Auckland. Which reminds me to deliberately feel empathy for people in Auckland at this point – it is one thing to be in lockdown with everyone else, but something quite different to see other people getting freed from prison and knowing you have at least another week in your cell.
And then I thought, yay, we can go skiing if there is any snow left in the mountains. I went and looked at the weather forecast to find that heavy snowfalls are forecast this week. Perhaps the snow deities are finally smiling on us this year; everyone felt they were laughing when the Level 4 lockdown was announced, just after a metre of snow finally fell on slopes begging for cover.
As a final point of interest on my blog-lite day, did you know that the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine got a ‘proper’ name when it moved from provisional to full approval by the American Food and Drug Administration on 25 August? It is called ‘Comirnaty’. Apparently the word is supposed to be a blend of ‘community’ and ‘immunity’. My thought was that, if Russian hackers can influence elections, they can certainly influence vaccine names.