Take a moment.

The world is in an unprecedented situation as the Covid-19 virus sweeps across countries borders and oceans to infect our world. The images in the media are surreal and situations we wouldn’t have ever imagined just three months ago are now commonplace. Countries in lockdown, people social distancing, working from home, many have lost their jobs and businesses, panic buying stripping supermarket shelves,  restaurants closed, locations that have been part of a communities life blood are now closed, major sporting events cancelled or postponed, economic meltdown, supply chains disrupted, people scared and anxious, others stuck in countries or on cruise ships not able to return home, loved ones dying and all indications are for this grim outlook to continue for a while yet.

The world is at war, however this time those on the front line are wearing masks and gowns and their ammunition is medical skill and dedication not military uniforms and guns. The enemy is a spiky corona virus of which our main defence is simply washing our hands with soap. The heroes of this war are the medical staff, working in both the community and hospitals, tirelessly giving all their efforts to beat our enemy and keeping us safe. Thank you! Although thank you does not seem nearly strong enough to express the gratitude of their dedication. Take a moment.

The elderly is overrepresented in the statistics of those who have fallen during this war. These amazing humans have been the foundation of both our communities and our families, their love, support, guidance and wisdom are a gift we are privileged to have. Honouring their passing during this war is difficult to achieve as mass gatherings are not permitted, and with systems overloaded the dignity that our heritage warriors deserve is sometimes not possible. Grandparents are our ‘Quilts’ patched together, woven with love, joy, sorrow and life that keep us warm and bring us joy intertwined with memories. Take a moment.

Children are scared and need our reassurances, even if we are terrified, we need to be calm and confident for them to ensure that hysteria does not overwhelm them. It helps if you can make a game out of how you can battle to keep the virus at bay using soap and washing hands as weapons they can use. Discuss and agree how you can social distance at home in such a way that they still feel the love and security that they need. By the way, my suggestion of hugging yourself across from each other was met with huge laughter. Children being raised by grandparents need particular care as having already lost parental caregivers they understand the meaning of loss. With the headlines all saying grandparents are at risk, they need extra reassurance because all they are thinking is ‘What will happen if you die, who will look after me then?’ Yesterday when watching a game show on television I asked my grandson what he would do if he won the two thousand dollar prize (I was thinking television or gaming machine) and without hesitation he said, I would donate it all to the people that are working to stomp out the Corona virus because I don’t want another person to die.  Take a minute.

The positives of this madness include the forced slowing down of our usually manic lifestyles, the rushing from here to there has stopped, the urgent must do can no longer be done, we can take time to catch up with friends and family (electronically of course) and get to know our neighbours (over the fence or on the next door balcony). The ozone layer is the biggest beneficiary with a huge reduction in carbon emissions with so few cars on the roads. With the sun still shinning, as they say ‘Make Hay’, whether it is exercising, reading books, dancing around the house, learning new skills or taking time for your passions live positively. I’ve already got a play list sorted and stocked up on paints and canvases so when I am not working, playing games or building lego with our grandson I intend to paint. Take a moment.

What a difference three months can make. Take a moment.

This war on humanity is something we have to endure but humanity has faced long fights before and survived. With our heroes leading the fight we can support them and one another in our common goal to bet the virus. Take a moment.

Be kind, be calm and love one another. Take a moment.

If you are unsure who to contact seek advice from your local government website, in New Zealand the Covid-19 website includes resources and the government helpline on 0800 779 997 (8am–1am, 7 days a week). Got symptoms? Call your GP before you visit. Or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

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