COVID19 - stories from the community

Published March 26, 2020

Welcome to Day One of lockdown!

I thought it could be interesting and helpful to start a regular blog about our experiences here in Oakura/Omata during the Covid-19 lockdown.

If you want to share what is happening to you and your family please feel free. Get your kids to do it if they are bored! We may not think it is important now but as a recorder of local events I can tell you it is important. The TOM has reported on a few major community events over the years such as the tornados of 2007. Memories fade but if we record these events then they are never forgotten. All TOM files are archived at the National Library of NZ and of course on the TOM website.

In the boot of my car I have the April TOM but I don't know if it should be delivered! Is it essential and should the delivery people leave their isolation to deliver it?? It was a mad scramble to get it together. Things were tracking as normal at the weekend and then on Monday Jacinda announced lockdown in 48 hours! So literally on Tuesday morning I had 30 minutes to put the entire edition for April together - some articles and ads didn't make it in unfortunately but the file got to the printer and back to me for distribution in record time - phew! I felt it was a lesson in not leaving things to the last minute but publishing doesn't work that way - it is always last minute!

Today (26 March 2020) I went out for a bike ride, something I am excited about during this lockdown - not so many cars on the road, time to enjoy a leisurely and frequent amount of exercise.

I loved seeing people out walking and biking and all clearly in their bubbles. I'd like to say more people out and about than usual but I don't know what usual is because on a Thursday morning I'm usually working in an office in New Plymouth. There were kids playing in front yards and couples doing chores together (i.e. gardening), others out biking, a few cars at the supermarket and only one car at Back Beach - weird!

At home in Omata our once busy and noisy road (two houses being built, farm activities and animal activities) is eerily quiet - no builders, no tractors, no quad bikes, no people. Just beautiful sunshine and glorious peace.

I've set up an app on my phone called house party so I can talk to my children who live in Auckland and other family members and friends round about - the glorious peace will be shattered when they all start talking at once but what a great way to see into their lockdown and we can help each other through the most unusual experience of all our lives to date.

By Kim Ferens