University staff now working from home #COVID2019

Ben is working from home starting today. After the Christchurch earthquakes, he was unable to access his office at the university for several months. This time he has had advanced warning and so yesterday he didn’t leave the office until after midnight because he was packing everything he needs to work from home. The earthquakes have prepared us for this pandemic in so many ways.

Ben walked home with his backpack in the wee hours of this morning, getting home around 1am. The backpack weighs 35kg and the university is a good 50-minute walk away. He should have taken the cargo bike to work yesterday!


Schools are still open here for now and I’m glad of that. They will probably close in the near future but I don’t think we should rush to shut everything down. These lockdowns will be long-term and if everything shuts prematurely then people may start to object and leave their homes which will only take us straight back to the starting point with transmission bouncing back to even higher levels. On the other hand, they can’t be left too late either because there’s apparently a two- to three-week delay from when restrictive measures are implemented to when a reduction in transmission is observed. It’s a tricky balance and I’m glad we’ve got lots of clever people figuring it out.

My usual weekly online shopping order has lots of substitutions and also missing items with no replacements. Things like chickpeas, kidney beans, and lentils are completely out of stock apparently. I still don’t understand why people are hoarding food. Interestingly none of the fresh produce I ordered has been replaced or sold out and that’s the main thing. We should be eating more fruit and vegetables because this is the best thing for our immune system.

The violin and guitar teachers have started giving lessons online. Elizabeth had her violin lesson using Zoom yesterday and Daniel will have his online today using What’s App. Another good tool for online meetings is Whereby. This is very easy to use and only requires a web browser.

Today I won a competition for a book from the ICE Bookshop (Institution of Civil Engineers).

To enter the competition I shared a photo of one of their books that I’m reading. I’ve got Designing for Cycle Traffic which is brilliant.

Now I have to decide what book to get next … This one [The Consulting Engineers: The British consulting engineers who created the world’s infrastructure] looks good.

2 thoughts on “University staff now working from home #COVID2019”

  1. Wow, Ben still has his backpack made by Macpac after all these years! I had to replace the interior harness in mine, although the exterior is still pretty much intact… They used to make things to last… When they were producing goods in NZ…

    1. Yes! That backpack is nearly an antique. He did have to have a part replaced at one time too but otherwise, it’s in great shape, just a little grubby now.

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