Home Sweet Home: We're In This Together

New Zealand Woman's Weekly|April 6, 2020

We're offering this story for free to read so that you can stay updated on the COVID-19 outbreak
Home Sweet Home: We're In This Together
How to stay positive, healthy and connected in the weeks ahead

One fight, one family – that’s the message from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has urged New Zealanders to “do what we do best” and come together to beat the threat of COVID-19.

Of course, this has meant the lockdown we’re all experiencing – at least four weeks of almost everyone in the country staying put to limit the virus’ spread.

Remaining at home for that long might sound daunting, but self-isolation is the best way to get on top of the virus, and though we’re all in uncharted waters, we’re in them together.

We need not worry. Food and medicine will remain available, essential services such as rubbish collection will continue, and other vital businesses will remain open.

Support is just a phone call or email away, whether you need advice about money, your employment rights or your health – physical and mental.

So stay home, grab a cuppa and ride out the next few weeks with us. Kia kaha, New Zealand!

IF YOU’RE 70 OR OVER… MAKE A FUSS!

You might be feeling a bit more vulnerable if you’re in the 70+ age bracket – even if you’re as healthy as a horse.

The reality is that COVID-19 hits older people harder, so caution must be exercised, especially if you have underlying health issues, including respiratory concerns.

Staying at home is the best way to protect yourself – and remember there’s always someone at the other end of the phone to talk to. (Over the page you’ll find a box of contact information for various support agencies.)

Create a plan of action with your friends, family and neighbours in case anyone needs a helping hand. Yes, you can still holler over the back fence! Get out in your gardens or go for your walks – just make sure you’re doing so by yourself – and check on your medication levels. If you’re worried about running out, call your doctor.

The government is introducing a range of financial support targeted at working people, while pensions and benefits will continue as normal, and the winter energy payment has been doubled.

The biggest thing to keep in mind? Do not be afraid to ask for help. There are plenty of people willing to lend a hand and do whatever is needed to help you feel connected and supported.

Stephanie Clare of Age Concern New Zealand says, “This is not a time to sit in silence. If you are worried about anything from your medication and food supplies through to mental wellbeing, you should call us. [See the contact details over the page.]

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April 6, 2020