Trust the authorities and be kind

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A word from Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan

In what appears to be the blink of an eye the world has changed.

The only other time in my life I recall such change and uncertainty was after the 9/11 attacks. People were afraid and uncertain then, as they are now. So, what can we each do to help?

We have heard about “flattening the curve”; it’s a new expression but not that complicated.

Ask yourself how different it will be if there are 100 very sick people needing high levels of care in Central Otago next week as opposed to the same 100 people needing that care spread out over the next couple of months? It’s a no-brainer.

We have all heard what our part is in flattening the curve and I am not going to repeat that advice here.

If you have missed any, the source of truth is the Ministry of Health, not gossip or advice from people who have read something on Facebook and now think they are immunology experts.

Gossip and panic wreak havoc hand-in-hand when things are scary, so don’t buy in to either.

Our country’s leaders and scientists want the best for us all. Trust them.

We all need to start taking the official words of advice a whole lot more seriously though.

The day I wrote this I had refused a half-dozen handshakes and it wasn’t lunchtime yet.

We have one of the oldest populations in New Zealand, and, of course, the virus is more dangerous the older its victim is.

Please remember that one stark fact next time you go to shake hands with someone.

And, let’s not panic. Even though the tourist planes have stopped flying, the cargo planes and boats are still bringing products to our shores. The shops are not going to empty.

And, hugely importantly; let’s all be really, really kind to each other.

We are all in these uncharted waters together.

People may be nervous or scared about their health or that of loved ones.

They may be worried about heir jobs or their businesses through the economic shock that we know is coming or they may be worried for whanau overseas.

They will show these fears and concerns in different ways.

So; let us all be calm, be kind and be caring to each other so we can be proud of the way we came through this together when we look back on what will likely be our biggest community challenge of a generation.