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All Fun is Cancelled!

by Greg Stokes

With the Corona Virus pandemic sweeping the world it was only a matter of time before New Zealand would be affected. Since the first confirmed case in New Zealand we have had constant media thrashing on the subject and as the world has started shutting down country by country the media hype has heightened. Is it hype or is it precaution? Is it a virus or is it politics? There are so many points of view about it all – it’s a case of taking the time and drawing your own conclusion.

In anybody’s language the barbaric activity at the Wuhan, China based food market (where this virus supposedly came from) is simply not right. There also has to be some thought put into the relationship between China and the USA’s trade agreement also. However, closer to home this is not the New Zealand I grew up in. Having attended what I would call country town schooling at Waiau Pa and then Sandspit Road Primary, I would never imagined what we are dealing with here in New Zealand or globally for that matter. New Zealand has always been the relatively innocent, carefree and tranquil country rather remote from the going on all over the big wide world out there.

As this is written, the New Zealand government has announced their ban on all events greater than 500 people in attendance with a heads up of more safety alerts coming soon. It’s happening people whether we like it or not or whether we agree or totally understand or not.

Sure, health, safety and well-being are most important but now the actions of others a whole world away have affected what we do here in little old New Zealand. Tourisim is taking a big hit and many peoples jobs are on the line as we are being warned as we as a country head toward a recession. Part of you like me is hoping this is all just a big nightmare or hoax but it appears when you look at the numbers in Europe and USA and other countries – it seems all very real despite many unanswered questions to it all.

On a more personal level, it’s really cut my summer short! Working round the clock thru the Christmas/New Year period so we could travel overseas late January, we have missed a lot of the summer car events we enjoy. This was further compounded early February for five weeks of forced time off due to an accident with fire which burnt my leg and hand.

Just as I am coming right and attended things like the fabulous Aeroflow Nitro Meet at Meremere Dragway and a few smaller car events this pandemic rears its ugly head. As I write this the event cancellations are coming in thick and fast. The 20th annual Beach Hop in Whangamata was one of the first to announce a postponement to November. This event attracts in excess of 100,000 people and out of respect for the community resources and health and safety the tough decision was made to postpone. Around the same time is the one-day traditional car show by the Scroungers Car Club called the Hot Rod Blowout – cancelled with a TBA date change. A week later would have been the annual Nostalgia Drags and Club Champs hosted by Bay Rodders – cancelled – see you next year. This is just some of the events directly affecting me and my friends.

It makes you rethink everything with lots of people saying by local and support your local small businesses through these tough times. With the official Beach Hop cancelled there are still a lot of people talking about heading to Whangamata for a small holiday doing their own thing. Come to think of it, it’s not a bad idea if everyone is smart about it. Stay safe everyone, here’s to next summer!

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elocal Digital Edition – April 2020 (#229)

elocal Digital Edition
April 2020 (#229)

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