Lockdown of Covid-19 busier than ever for some
Working from home during the lockdown can free up time for a little DIY, a touch of gardening, an occasional walk around the block, or more time with the kids.
But for other workers, it’s business as usual, if not busier than ever.
Lepperton dairy farmer Mark Hooper hooks up his spreader to his tractor and prepares to take advantage of the sunny weather to sprinkle urea on his tired pens.
Hooper, who is president of the Taranaki branch of Federated Farmers, said the lockdown came at a busy time.
“We’re calving into one of the busiest times of the year in terms of manpower needs, so people have been headlong and very busy and the days are full anyway. So in terms of normal farming operations, no change. “
Hooper said a typical August day begins at 5 a.m. with the milking and feeding of the calves.
Then it was off to bring the newborn calves and feed them before doing the maintenance of the paddock before the afternoon milk.
There was little time for outings with the children.
“No there isn’t and I guess we’ve seen a bit of that around and maybe in a way the farmers don’t appreciate the opportunity to relax a bit or do some extra activities.
“It was very busy on the farm. It’s the busiest time of the season.”
At Egmont Seafoods, the filleting knives were out of focus to process the last catches.
Managing Director Caleb Mawson said his small fleet was operating as an essential service.
“At the moment we have about four boats operating for us. They are a mixture of longline, trawl and set net fishing methods.
“As long as they stay in their bubble – they only have three or four people on a boat – so they can make sure they keep their distance and do the right thing.”
His team had 300 online orders to fill and were preparing fish for supermarkets in Auckland and New Plymouth, and a small amount for export.
Darren Rogers was on the floor, he’s an ace with a filleting knife.
“We just filleted and boned some snapper and a little lemon fish and tarakihi and whatever this order needs.
“I’m just skinning it up and grabbing it and shaking it. The skin is peeled off and he’s going to bone it… and do it a hundred times over.”
He wasn’t too worried about being at work.
“Oh, it’s okay and we’ve already had a few days off and I don’t really mind coming in to work. It can get a little boring around the house. Yeah, it’s okay for me.”
It was business as usual for Waste Management driver Ravinder Singh, emptying wheelie bins in New Plymouth.
He was a philosopher about it.
“Well, somebody’s got to work, you know we’re the front line workers so the industry we’re in is more essential. The priorities. You know it’s quiet on the roads and easier for we.”
But not everyone is of working age yet.
Retired Jim Sullivan lives in the village of Lepperton.
He took confinement in his stride.
“I didn’t notice any difference except the cafe can’t open and it gets quite busy during the week.
“Other than the cafe not opening nothing else has really changed, people can still go to the dairy and get their newspaper and get their milk and whatever they want to get.
“You can’t go sightseeing that’s all, but it doesn’t matter you can say hello over the fence.”