by Paul Arnote (parnote)
Things have been crazy over the past year, with the latest dose of crazy imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, many across the globe have endured lockdowns and travel restrictions. People haven't been as "able" to get out and about in any manner that they would have normally been able to do in the times before the pandemic.
Face-to-face meetings have been pretty much out of the realm of possibilities, out of fear of spreading COVID-19 to others. The pandemic has definitely impacted and changed our interactions with others.
New Zealand has done a remarkable job squelching the effects of the pandemic on its population. The country of five million people closed its international borders and imposed mandatory social distancing early in the pandemic. As a result, New Zealand has only had just over 2,330 cases of COVID-19, and just 25 deaths attributed to the virus since the pandemic started. You would be hard pressed to find a country in the world that has even come close to New Zealand's ability to contain the spread of the virus.
With things so well under control in New Zealand, two PCLinuxOS users jumped at the chance to finally meet, face-to-face. On February 13, 2021, jimwilk, a.k.a. Jim Wilkinson, traveled with his wife, Rita, to meet Treedragon and his partner. Both live in New Zealand.
"On a beautiful summer morning, we traveled up the Coromandel Peninsula and visited the superb environment that is Treedragon's home. I know we have all seen Treedragon's great photographs of his area, but, believe me folks, the area is even better than depicted in the shots.
"Treedragon and his partner made us very welcome there in the Coromandel ranges. I sure hope to go back for another visit sometime soon."
Jim Wilkinson, left, and Treedragon, right.
"We had hoped to meet them last August but, back then, Covid matters in our largest city Auckland meant that travel was less easy to justify. There are currently no restrictions in New Zealand. We thank our lucky stars each day that we live in this country," said jimwik.
Treedragon added, "A pleasure indeed to meet the man behind the words, and to experience both Jim and Rita finding enjoyment in their visit.
"The planned earlier visit would have worked even better with greater arrays of colour and with less of the drought effect currently starting to really show. While we were down in the food forest area, I was asked by Rita, "How do you decide what to do next....," as she surveyed the array of stuff needing attention, (note to self). Well, I hesitated on that, as I had no adequate answer to that eternal conundrum, but I am pleased with myself for resisting the temptation to offer pruning shears, rake, harvest basket or similar. However, I was more than compensated with a welcome break to the seasonal routines and a chance to share a little. Maybe next time, as more visits are promised.
"The lockdown aspect in this country has stopped visitors from far off lands, and for us being tucked away off the beaten track, it has meant an increase in New Zealanders visiting, as they realize there is magic to be found in their own country. So, thank you Jim and Rita for taking the opportunity to visit and see behind the photographic vista and get a "feel" of the "place."
Jim and Rita's visit to Treedragon's lair happened just one day before New Zealand officials instituted a three-day lockdown for Auckland (New Zealand's biggest city) on February 14, 2021, after three members of one family tested positive for COVID-19 in Auckland. Those new cases now make just four in the last three months, and the first lockdown in New Zealand in six months.
I know that the question of meeting other PCLinuxOS users has, again, recently come up in the PCLinuxOS forums. While the middle of a pandemic might not be the best time to meet up with other PCLinuxOS users, it can be the perfect time to start planning a meeting for once this pandemic is in our rearview mirror.
Meemaw and I, despite having "worked together" on The PCLinuxOS Magazine for many years, have never met face-to-face. We've burned up the email wires, and always do. We've "talked" extensively on IRC. We've texted each other on our cell phones. We've even talked to one another on the telephone. We are planning/hoping to get together for a trip to the Kansas City Zoo, just as soon as the weather turns decent. Even though Meemaw grew up in the Kansas City area, she hasn't been to the Kansas City Zoo in many, many years.
If you live near another PCLinuxOS user, reach out and try to meet them. PCLinuxOS has always had a close, family kind of feeling to it, especially among PCLinuxOS forum members. So, why not try to meet those other family members? If you do, let us know about it here at The PCLinuxOS Magazine. We might just feature your "getting to know you" escapades in a future issue. And remember ... pictures, or it never happened!