As I write this column, we’re approaching the end of our second week of the Covid-19 lockdown and life is taking on a very familiar pattern.
It’s all a bit like Groundhog Day and you know what, that’s a good thing, because if every day is starting to repeat itself, then you’re following the self-isolation rules and that’s crucially important for us as individuals, whanau and communities; for the Bay of Plenty and New Zealand.
It’s really encouraging that we are starting to see signs that our effort to flatten the infection curve is working. Essentially, this means that we’re limiting the number of people who are catching the Covid-19 virus and reducing the impact on our medical facilities and frontline response staff, giving them the time and resources required to provide care to those who need intensive treatment.
Physical distancing and remaining in your household ‘bubble’ is an essential part of that, so keep up the good work – you are helping prevent the spread of infection and you are saving lives.
The Government is now working out what’s required to start the process of moving out of level 4 lockdown. Before we can do that, we need to have gained some control over the virus spread and it’s our jobs to make sure that happens as quickly as possible, so that we can get the economy moving again, and save jobs and livelihoods.
So please follow the pandemic lockdown self-isolation rules. Outdoor exercise should be done in an area close to your home, strictly maintaining the two-metre social distancing rule. And no swimming, surfing, fishing or any activity that might require search and rescue services if things go wrong.
As the lockdown has progressed, it has become increasingly obvious that there are people in our community who need help to deal with its impacts. In Tauranga, Council community development staff and the many community organisations who operate in this space have worked with the Western Bay Civil Defence response team to put arrangements in place to look after vulnerable residents. For those who need to reach out for assistance of any sort, please ring the BOP 0800 welfare number – 0800 884 222.
Help and advice is also available for Western Bay of Plenty businesses via 0800 BIZ HUB (0800 249 482) or firstname.lastname@example.org. This free service is available through the Chamber of Commerce and it has been set up to help businesses survive in the Covid-19 world. The business advisers are local business professionals who can provide sound practical advice on solving short-term problems and putting plans in place for the long-term.
We are in this together and together we will prevail. So please remember – stay calm, be kind and stay at home!
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