I am feeling very blessed right now to live where I am, in the country I am in, and with the government we have. As I watch the news I feel very sad and afraid for other countries, especially the US, the UK, and Australia.
Today is day two of alert level four for COVID-19 in New Zealand, which is effectively total lockdown. On Monday afternoon our Prime Minister, Jacinda Adern, announced that we had moved to alert level three and would be moving to alert level four as of 11.59 pm on Wednesday March 25th. This gave people time to return home from wherever they might be around the country, and to be prepared. We will be at level four for at least four weeks.
All our educational centres are now closed except for very limited daycare services for the children of workers in essential services. Everyone who is not working in essential services is required to stay at home. We are allowed to go out for a walk locally once per day as long as we keep at least two metres away from anyone we meet. It is also okay to go out to essential services like the supermarket, pharmacy or GP when you need to but you must follow all the physical distancing rules. We are only allowed direct personal contact with the people in our “bubble”, those in our own household.
This is going to be a difficult time, and many people are going to struggle financially, but the government has put comprehensive assistance packages in place to try to avoid as many job losses and business failures as possible. They are working really hard to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible while also ensuring that businesses are in the best shape possible to resume operations when we get through the other side.
So I am feeling very blessed to be living in New Zealand during this pandemic crisis. I am also feeling very blessed to live in the town I am in (Tawa) and to have the landlord we have. He phoned on Monday evening to reassure us that our tenancy is safe no matter what happens which was such a caring thing to do. On Wednesday morning he phoned again with a very generous proposal to help with the rent during this time – how amazing is that!
I have included photos to show what a lovely place we are staying at home in for at least the next four weeks. The photo at the top is from our lounge window. There is a closer view to show the bush on the hill which we can walk to in ten minutes, and the view from my “office” in the spare room.
Stay safe and stay well everyone.