What Not To Do When Lockdown Ends
Let’s be real. This lockdown has been really tough on all of us. We can’t complain that our prompt actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have undoubtedly saved us a significant amount of distress and pain as a nation. However, it must be acknowledged that this is also a time of hardship, sacrifice and struggle for everyone as so much of our lives has been upturned, shaken and molded into something vastly different from the norm. That being said, it is certainly possible for us to resume our lives in as normal a fashion as possible - as long as we are conscious of those parts of life that will need to remain different in order for our sacrifices to have been worth it. So, without further ado, let’s review what not to do when lockdown ends.
Keeping A Lid On Renewed Spread Of COVID-19
It’s important to remember why the influenza pandemic of 1918 was so devastating. As the first wave of the illness petered out towards the end of 1918 and with the conclusion of World War 1, populations were happy to see the end of the war and lulled into a false sense of security by the waning of influenza. This resulted in mass celebrations, with homecoming soldiers and the people of communities coming together in the streets to express their relief and joy. This couldn’t have been a more ill-fated decision, as we now know that the returning soldiers carried the disease into their home towns, with renewed social contact resulting in an explosion of influenza transmission and by far the worst series of influenza deaths seen.
The lesson we must take from this series of events is to remember that although a pandemic may seem to be on its last legs, it can so easily be reignited without the continuous application of sensible practices. So, what do we have to do in order to keep ourselves from repeating the mistakes of the past?
Maintain Social Distancing
As much as we want to make up for all those parties and nights out with the whanau that we’ve missed out on over the past several weeks, this is the last thing we should do. Opening the doors of social contact is an open invitation to COVID-19 to waltz on into our lives. Thinking “but I don’t have coronavirus!” is the most dangerous mindset you can have at this time - you could be awash with the virus the minute you enter the bar thanks to Asymptomatic Adam and his desperate need to crack open a cold one with the boys. For your sake and others, keep the casual Friday drinks to your back patio and over Zoom rather than in person.
Consider Those At Risk
Although it is very tempting to race over to hold the loved ones we couldn’t have in our bubble during Level 4 restrictions, we have to take it one step at a time. If we increase our bubbles slightly as is permissible within reason coming into Level 3, we need to ensure we maintain sensible behaviour. This means no rushing to Nan’s or that friend who is immunocompromised to offer cuddles on the couch while watching Netflix. While this can feel heartless, it’s the most considerate thing you can do for those members of the community whose immunity can’t defend them from infectious disease.
Keep Up Proper Hygiene Practices
This feels like a no-brainer, but it has to be said: wash your hands properly (follow this link to see what we mean by “properly”). Sneeze into a tissue (or into an elbow if no tissue is available), and wash your face immediately following said sneeze. Keep up all of those hygiene practices that have been drilled into our heads for the past several weeks - there’s a reason they work! Hold onto your face masks - you never know when you might need them. Reducing spread is the only way we will be able to keep COVID-19 from making a comeback once we drop down to Level 3 and beyond.
Finally, we couldn’t conclude this article without acknowledging the impact that our essential workers have had on maintaining the health and wellbeing of our country. From our healthcare, sanitation and supermarkets to courier and transportation services to the technicians maintaining all of these systems, and to every other essential worker that has put their lives on the line to keep our nation running at its bare bones - we thank you. Mere words can’t express the gratitude that we feel and that you deserve for your sacrifices.
If anyone has any questions then please get in touch with any member of Bonded NZ. You can view our contact details here.