The impacts of the highly infectious novel coronavirus Covid-19 are spreading throughout our local community and New Zealand.
We will all know people whose health is at risk or whose jobs and incomes, businesses, life or travel plans have been affected.
We will all need to be alert to ways we can support our family, friends and communities in the days, weeks and months head.
Firstly, what is Covid-19, what are its symptoms, can we avoid or reduce our chance of catching it, what do we do if we’ve been in contact with a possible carrier, if we have to isolate ourselves what exactly can we do or not do?
At the top of Tamahere Forum‘s right hand column and in our Directory A-Z are a number of links to websites with the latest advice and information, including how to talk to kids about the coronavirus along with a video on how to make that essential item (no, not toilet paper) a coronavirus-fighting soap.
There are also links for the Ministry of Health’s Healthline, for workers and employers, pregnant women and their babies, how and when to go into isolation, world data and the NZ government’s economic response package. If you’ve found other useful links, please put them in the comment section below. We’ll add everything relevant to our list.
More information is below, including an explanation of why it feels like the country is shutting down when we’ve got just 12 confirmed cases of Covid-19 (and counting) and no community spread. (Get ready to learn about flatten the curve and what you can do to help track the virus.)
The multitude of scenarios rippling out from a pandemic are mind boggling. One hyper-local example: the Tamahere Market, our cherished monthly meeting place, has been cancelled until further notice. Multiply that market closure with the shutdowns of all the other markets and suddenly things look very grim for all those stallholders whose living is made from offering their goods at successive markets.
One solution is a virtual market – and customers willing to patronise it. To that end, Tamahere Forum will offer regular Tamahere Market stallholders a dedicated place for links to their websites, on-line outlets, Facebook pages or other e-commerce spaces. These will be listed on the dedicated Tamahere Market page, and in a Tamahere Country e-Market section on the Directory A-Z.
Stallholders, to be listed email firstname.lastname@example.org with your business or product name and description and website URL (address), Facebook page or other link to your online presence.
Friends, there is no better time to buy local … and online! Bear in mind that when buying it’s a time to be prepared, not to panic.
“We’re very lucky in New Zealand to have some of the best food in the world, and there is plenty to go around. There’s no need to stock up,” one supermarket chain advised its customers in a message that bears repeating.
“We’re working closely with our suppliers to keep food moving quickly through the network and make more deliveries to our stores,” it continued. “If you’re seeing empty shelves or some products missing, it’s because the product is on its way. It doesn’t mean that we’re going to run out.
“We’d encourage all our customers to shop as you normally would, and to be thoughtful of others to ensure that all Kiwis have access to the food and products they need.”
Forum readers, we’d welcome your ideas on how we can support our local community and other Kiwis. Please share your thoughts in our comment section below.
Why are we doing all this, why might we feel shaken and fearful, why is our consumer society suddenly stuttering to a halt under the burden of under-consumption? Microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles has been doing a brilliant job of communicating the need for the many measures the government has brought in to, hopefully, lessen the impact of Covid-19 on New Zealanders’ health.
Key to it all is to “flatten the curve” or give our medical professionals the time, space and resources to deal with any sudden influx of people sick from Covid-19 at the same time as they cope with the usual number of patients, a number that tends to sky rocket in winter aka flu season.
While the Ministry of Health look at other strategies for early detection of Covid-19, there is one we can all help with right now. We need every household in New Zealand to sign up to the FluTracking project. Each week you’ll be sent an email asking if anyone in your house has had a fever or cough. This information is being used as an early warning system for Covid-19.
Follow the links under the graphics for more about what is happening and how we can help.
By Siouxsie Wiles and Toby Morris – https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/09-03-2020/the-three-phases-of-covid-19-and-how-we-can-make-it-manageable/, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
By Siouxsie Wiles, Toby Morris – https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/14-03-2020/after-flatten-the-curve-we-must-now-stop-the-spread-heres-what-that-means/, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link