April/May 2020 Update from the Board

I thought the best way for the Board to report back to you this month was for each of us to say how we are feeling about the Covid 19 Lockdown or Rahui. This is an extraordinary time for women and families who thought they had already experienced the worst scenario of a viral pandemic. Some online commentators have described feelings of resentment about the speed of the response to this virus, as compared to the seeming indifference of Governments and media in the past to the HIV pandemic.

This is the nature of a virus, mutating and popping up to cause devastation when least expected. The virus itself is indiscriminating as evidenced by positive tests for Prince Charles and Boris Johnson. However, the ability to find information, protect oneself, and access healthcare, is hugely affected by personal and community resources. In Aotearoa New Zealand we may have reason to feel cautiously hopeful due to our government’s prompt response. In many parts of the world, where testing is limited and healthcare systems are already overwhelmed, the worst is almost certainly to come.

The weeks immediately before lockdown were eventful for me. My daughter and grandson moved to the beach and I welcomed four flatmates into my home. My beautiful Shetland Sheepdog puppy ‘Maggie’ arrived and I retired after 24 years as a midwife at Auckland DHB. So although I am missing my family, I’m well supported by my young friends, who kindly do the shopping. Initially, I felt waves of sadness and anxiety but having a very cute and funny ball of fluff around has helped a lot!
Caroline, Auckland.

I am trying to make sense of what is going on here and globally. The virus has brought into focus that we are one big family, longing to connect as best we can. I saw two funny but telling pictures on Facebook. The first showed a family sitting in the lounge looking intently at their devices, captioned ‘Before Lockdown’. The second, of people walking in the park, not a device in sight, was ‘Lockdown’. The positives for me are of course my grandchildren!
Heather, Wellington.

My routine of traveling to care for different clients each day has changed so much! Being at home alone, I am aware of a strange feeling of confinement, which I have not felt before. On a positive note, I’m enjoying the time to slow down, listen to music, read in the sunshine, walk around my neighbourhood, study and catch up with family and friends (online). Kia Kaha!
Raewyn, Whangarei.

I find this whole thing so surreal, like a movie I saw years ago called ‘Virus”. The worse thing is not getting out or seeing friends when I want to. Having that choice taken away from me makes me feel helpless. I like being in control of my own life. On a positive side, I can catch up with things that I put off because I didn’t have time. I am enjoying reading and the dogs like having us at home, more playtime. I have discovered some things about myself, mainly that I really hate jigsaw puzzles! Stay strong ladies!
Jan, Southland.

Life has thrown us a massive curveball and I am so proud of how New Zealanders have responded. No one expected this but we are resilient, and the pandemic has highlighted the importance of human connection and kindness. Personally I am tired. I work at a Retirement village and there is a lot of uncertainty and fear. I am so grateful that my partner can work from home and help look after my daughter. Homeschooling is challenging, but it is great to be able to contribute to her learning and spend more time together. We will get through this together!
Fatima, Nelson

It is scary to think that a month after arriving back from my travel in Rwanda/Africa the virus has become a pandemic. I am slowly coming to terms with all that is happening around the world. As most places are in isolation communication is very important. I am sending my prayers to families back home. I would hate for things to worsen considering the unstable government. On the flip side, I am learning a new programming language and also Korean. I have discovered baking is my thing and I was one of those who panic bought flour! Sending love and kindness to you all!
Enatha, Wellington.

Arohanui, friends! Please remember you can contact Jane and the team at Positive Women Inc for support.