Trace, travel safe and educate

If we can learn anything from the current situation in Auckland, it is to heed the advice of officials and to not presume that any of us are exempt from contracting the Covid-19 virus or spreading it. Neither is our village immune – with many of us commuting into Wellington and travelling to Auckland, it’s a good idea to remember we all need to do our bit to keep the community safe, even when it’s an inconvenience, writes Community Board Chair, Holly Ewens.

Image: Mark Coote

Over the last few weeks I realised that my once crisp-clear understanding of alert levels was somewhat faded from what is was this time almost a year ago. The roller-coaster 12 months we’ve all endured will no doubt leave many of you feeling the same. Hence, I thought it timely to refresh myself and the village on some basic rules, news and protocol for keeping ourselves and our village safe during the Covid ride. You can read the comprehensive Level 2 restrictions here.

Trace. If you have a smart phone and aren’t yet using the NZ Covid Tracer app, download it from the app store and start to get in the habit of using it. Now. If you have a Covid scare (speaking from experience here) it’s really much easier to use the app than it is to work out where and who you’ve been in contact with over the last two weeks.

Travel safe. At Alert Level 2, face coverings for adults on public transport must be worn (children under the age of 12 are exempt). Travel into, out of or through the Auckland region will be restricted while the region is at Alert Level 3. Anyone wanting to travel between Alert Level 3 and Alert Level 2 regions needs to check whether they are eligible to travel. If you had plans to visit Rainbow’s End with the kids over Easter, now is the perfect time to make a contingency plan. Hopefully you won’t need to use it.

Educate. There’s so much misinformation out there — thanks social media, with keyboard warriors ready at every pounce. It’s always best to get your information from the source, not the opinion. As you may be aware, the Covid vaccination programme is now underway in New Zealand. It’s understandable to have questions about safety implications and the efficacy of any vaccine. You can school-up here with the facts. There’s a very handy translation available too.

Our emergency hub page with local resources from lockdown last year is still available here. (If you have a service you’d like to add then get in touch with our editor.)

Understand. Although we aren’t doing it as tough as those in Auckland or other parts of the world, please remember this can still be a trying time both financially and emotionally, for many people. Wear kindness ahead of judgement. If you’re struggling financially due to Covid, you can check here to see if you qualify for support.

Check in on the most vulnerable in the village (but be mindful that you’re healthy when doing so – and maybe flag the hugs and kisses), if you don’t already, get to know your neighbours. I know there are new residents in the village since the March 2020 lockdown when our neighbourhood groups were formed. No-one likes feeling isolated in uncertain times. Reach out.

Image: From the Lockdown Alphabet by Diatom Press

The above image is from the Lockdown Alphabet and can be purchased, along with other letters, as a limited edition print from Paekākāriki printmaker, Joe Buchanan. $25 at over at Diatom Press.