OPINION: Tomorrow, New Zealand will enter its third week of lockdown. It's been a strange time of quietness, baking, reading, no outings, Netflix and Zoom.
The Labour government has led New Zealand confidently through a time of major economic uncertainty with compassion and no-nonsense leadership from Prime Minister Jacinda Adern. While staying at home and being in a state of lockdown is the best course of action to stop the spread of COVID-19, it does create other issues.
We are grateful to be in a position where we don't need to panic - we have a back-up plan and can weather through most uncertainties because we have a can-do attitude and a great network of family and friends.
However, there will be families hurting all over NZ at the moment - financially, emotionally and mentally. It seems overwhelming to think about how you can make a difference but if you condense it down to what you can do to help - it makes it much easier.
10 Ways You Can Make a Small Difference
Call your neighbour and check on them.
Pick up groceries for someone over 70 years old.
Wash your hands before and after essential outings.
Read a children's story on video and post it to social media for families who are home-schooling.
Paint a fence. Mow lawns. Weed a garden.
Stay at least 2 metres away from people not in your 'bubble'.
Adopt an extravert on facebook - they really need someone to talk to at the moment.
Only buy essential items online.
Support your local businesses when you can - their livelihood depends on you.
Being in a state of lockdown can feel like you've had your wings clipped. However, there are advantages to having a limited range of activities. When you allow yourself to get bored, that's when your creativity and imagination kick into action. You can find many ways to stay active, engaged and useful during this time. Social media has become the place to share our frustrations, joys, learning opportunities and memes.
Here are just a few to brighten your lockdown:
For all official information about COVID-19 please refer to the World Health Organisation (WHO) website: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
and the COVID-19 NZ government information website: https://covid19.govt.nz/