After 49 days, New Zealand is about to step out of lockdown. Whilst we have a long way to go “get back to normal”, we have overcome the massive fear that New Zealand would be engulfed by the silent, yet potent COVID-19. Thank you Kiwis for playing your part!
It’s so hard to believe that on March 26th, everything felt so scary and strange. It’s now May 13th, and things still feel strange, but not as scary. I think anxious may be the better word.
The mental health toll is arguably bigger than we realise. Probably the only saving grace is that we are all in this together. Everyone is impacted.
So as I prepare myself for level 2, I reflect on the people I know personally who have been impacted by this unprecedented event.
I think of….
The family member who was unable to work due to their immunocompromised status, feeling uncertain about their job.
A friend facing redundancy, but feeling hopeful about a new career change.
The neighbours who have a young family, yet faced a reduction in their work hours.
A friend who’s workload seemed to grow throughout the lockdown.
A family member who works as an essential worker, fighting fatigue and exhaustion to support the cause.
A friend who had their studies disrupted, causing uncertainty and disruption to their schedules.
Those starting new jobs, trying to adapt to new systems and forming key relationships online.
Friends and colleagues living alone, sometimes experiencing loneliness or stark isolation.
Cherished loved ones overseas who were struck by COVID-19, requiring hospitalisation or many days bed rest.
Friends caring for the vulnerable, limiting their own ability to interact with others.
Those living in busy households, juggling parenting with schooling, chores and work.
Those who had epiphanies and are seeing COVID-19 as a catalyst for career and life changes.
Friends who have had to halt and review their plans to work and live overseas.
Colleagues and contacts on LinkedIn who have lost their jobs, and who I admire for showing resilience in the midst of adversity.
Business owners who can’t operate and anxiously await updates on when they can return
Friends who are actively uplifting others through acts of community service and support.
Everyone who misses a loved one, every single day.
And these are merely a portion of people I know personally. So as we move into level 2, let’s guide ourselves with empathy, kindness and compassion. Respect how people are feeling and do not minimise their experiences. Just listen. And share. It’s the humane thing to do.