It’s now been almost one full week since starting our new temporary way of life in lockdown, and I must say that on the whole, our community is doing a good job of adjusting.
Non-essential activities have stopped, businesses have either closed or are supporting staff to work from home, parents are coming up with creative ways to keep their families entertained indoors and essential workers are doing a great job keeping our vital services running.
I have been at pains to stress the importance of staying in our ‘bubbles’ during this lockdown. Slowing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting ourselves and our loved ones from infection is a responsibility we must all carry.
COVID-19 is no longer a disease only impacting other countries or is only in other parts of New Zealand. It is here in Mid Canterbury too, right on our doorstep. This knowledge should reinforce our commitment to do the right thing and stay at home.
I find that the easiest way to understand this situation and act accordingly is to pretend that we all infected with the disease. If we were infected, we wouldn’t want to pop over for coffee with our neighbours, visit friends, have a picnic in the park or meet up to kick a ball around.
If anyone is still doing these things, they need to stop immediately. It’s not just their own health they are putting in jeopardy, but our whole community. We need to think about our collective wellbeing, not just ourselves, and for the most part, residents are taking this lockdown seriously, so I thank you for your efforts.
Let’s not forget to be kind to one another as well. We can still stay in touch and check in on our friends and family with a phone call, text or via a variety of phone apps that I know are gaining popularity to help keep us connected.
Don’t forget about our elderly or vulnerable neighbours as well: they may need your help to go get groceries or even need a kind phone call every so often. Let’s make the most of this situation to bring out the best in our community spirit – I know there are many caring people in our district.
Next week, Councillors will be meeting to discuss the possibility of a rates relief. Council staff will be providing us with a report to fully consider the options about whether this could happen or not. This meeting will be done via remote video and will also be live streamed on our social media channels.
You can tune in to watch this meeting on Thursday 9 April on the Council’s Facebook page or YouTube channel.
In the meantime, make sure you’re keeping up with the latest news about Council services at this time by signing up to our free text/SMS alert service (text your postcode to 4196), follow the Council’s Facebook page (@AshburtonDC) and head to ashburtondc.govt.nz/covid19