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Thoughts from (extended Co-op) in New Zealand

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The following is a submission to THINK ACT CONNECT, a platform to share action, inspiration, work, resilience, and justice

Below an April 5 rewrite from a LinkedIn post (March 30, 2020)

My time and latest life circumstances have become more private to me than ever. However, amidst our truly unprecedented new global reality, –– (It’s truly a sci-fi scenario—like the film, Contagion—run amok into our real-lives) now is the time to put my thoughts, observations & hopes back out there online.

1st and foremost, my thoughts, as with many of us these difficult days, are with friends and family (whanau). Mine are on both US coasts US, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver/Boulder, Osaka, London, Yellow Springs and of course, New Zealand. We are from the diaspora generation. In my grandparent’s time and even parent’s day, family was generally less than a gas-tank drive or a short flight away. In our start to the 2020’s we are all over the planet. As we self isolate, quarantine in our homes, maintain social distance, plus, work from home, we are starting to connect daily ever more & more via mediated reality– video calls, telemeetings, virtual events – more hi-tech, so much less hi-touch. Our days of handshakes, hugs or (hongi) are a familiar memory now replaced by waves & virtual elbow bumps. WE as a culture and a society are learning and adapting to communicate via a new set of teleskills™.

We in NZ are now on Day #10 of a gov’t mandated lockdown, full isolation in our “family & friend” bubbles to try to break the chain of community transmission. Over these past 240 hours, we are learning so many new things – how to manage connecting virtually on a regular basis, work at a distance w/ new software tools more effectively, order food and other necessities online, and hopefully even better parent as we learn to home-school our children. We are reading online more, watching more TV, searching the Internet more, watching short-form informative videos and hopefully taking time to think and digest where we are and how we are going to best behave as we adapt to this new normal in the coming days/weeks or months.

The good news for Mother Earth – carbon miles for passenger travel has ground to a near halt. Car exhaust has been minimal-ized. Human beings as a species are stationary, no longer traveling other than to source food at the market or medical supplies. One month ago there were nearly 200,000 passenger planes in the air every day and 40 million travelers in motion every day. Skies, I hear in some big cities are bluer than ever; and good news for the future, perhaps the ice caps will slow their melting pace.

I left the SF Bay area March 1 to return to NZ. At that time, 35 days ago, the USA had only15 Covid-19 cases w/ the first one ID’d in the SF Bay Area. Now USA tested Covid-19 positives are over 300,000 w/ over 8000 deaths.

For those in the US, I note this sobering article in The Atlantic from a few weeks ago, in case you have not seen it—and as things continue to get out of hand in the USA.

NZ’s first case was reported Feb. 29th and today, 35 days later, there are 950 confirmed cases, & recently, sadly NZ’s 1st Covid-19 death.
Our small 5M 3-islands nation w/a swifter and more nimble gov’t appears to be making better decisions than many…

Hopefully by our going relatively quickly to the most drastic Level 4, we will stem the hockey-stick exponential pattern here & flatten the impact as experts suspect/intend. Fingers, toes and T’s crossed!!!…that we can thwart this nefarious invisible BUGger sooner than later.
If you have not, please refer to NZ’s gov’t site:

NZ borders are effectively closed ‘til (at least) June 30.

Stay home, Be Kind, Wash Your Hands is the current national mantra.

So many of us in isolation or lockdown are working at a distance to help others. NZ’s PM Jacinda Ardern recently tweeted: “You may not be at work, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a job. Your job is to save lives.” ‪#COVID19nz‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‪ #stayathome‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

So Antioch alumni friends and whanau, wherever you may be take care, be well, stay safe. Be heartfelt; pay it forward more often. Buy food for a neighbor. Get online and plug into the myriad online efforts to help stem the global rising Covid-19 tide. Be a bucket-filler not a bucket-dipper. Make a giving gesture. Help shape what will be our new normal once we get through the global chaos and mayhem of this Covid-19 pandemic, and come out the other side, in what will be the reboot of World 2.0/’20.

About Hal Josephson '75

Hal Josephson is a 1975 graduate of Antioch College, BA/Communications/Media Arts.

Hal is Program Chair for AUT’s Project Connect in NZ, and is the Founder of MediaSense, an international business development firm specializing in trans-border economic development, strategic marketing and special project management. For additional background information, Google “Hal Josephson.”


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