I’m not sure about you, but recently I’ve been suffering from an overwhelming feeling that I’ve done all this before. This inkling of having previously experienced the present situation began last Wednesday when New Zealand’s Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield appeared on TV at 1pm and announced the latest Covid 19 figures. Since then, my deja vu has only escalated. Prime Minister Jacdina Arden appears on TV with Dr Bloomfield most days at 1pm, former All Black John Kirwan is interviewed reminding us to look after our mental health, I have to queue to go to the supermarket (which I’m still banned from doing), I’m now in need of a haircut having missed my last appointment, I find myself checking the supply of toilet more than usual, my cookbooks have been dusted off, I’ve reacquainted myself with Zoom and people cross the street when they see me coming. This abrupt change in direction from my fellow walkers is by far the most unsettling of my deja vu symptoms.
The latest occurrence of this automatic person swerve happened this morning while out walking in my local neighbourhood. Having gotten several blocks into my walk, I looked up the footpath and around a slight bend to see a lady powering towards me. She automatically stepped into the middle of the road, gave me a look that said something along the lines of ‘I don’t know if you have the plague but I’m gonna assume you do’. Then, moments later we exchanged a friendly hello that suggested we had known each other for many years before disappearing down the empty street. However, the strangest thing about this interaction is the fact that it is especially common.
Later on, as my walk was reaching its termination and I had successfully slalomed around the dog poo on the footpaths, I began to wonder if I should be keeping a pointless lockdown diary to monitor my daily movements for moments of symptoms of deja vu. Take today for example, my diary entry world read as follows;
Diary Entry: Wednesday, 25th August.
Walked around the neighborhood and avoided dog poo. Weather mild.