From Tuesday 28 April we are moving to Alert Level 3. While many things will be the same – like working and learning from home - there are some significant changes. The week ahead is about ‘getting ready’ for the move to Level 3.
Over the last month, we’ve done a good thing in New Zealand, something that few countries around the world have achieved. Before getting fixated on more restrictions and further hardships, take a moment to pat yourself on the back for keeping you and your family safe. You’ve helped New Zealand get Covid-19 under control – we should all feel very proud.
We’ve been home for four weeks now, and many of us have been hanging out for the end of lockdown. But the move to Level 3 will mean little change for most of us. We’ll be spending most of our time at home, and in our bubble, for at least three more weeks. Prepare yourself for it. Talk to your family about it. Think about what has worked well over the last month and how can you do more of this? What new things do you need to keep everyone active, engaged and motivated?
And with at least three more weeks to go, what new skills can you learn?
The exploring rules are relaxed a little allowing us to go ‘regional.’ The ability to go for a walk or run at the local beach or park will be a relief for many. For others, just going for a drive will be a relief. (Start the car this week – making sure it’s ready to go for next week!) Make a plan of the local places you’ll visit and what you’ll do while you are there. How will you get there safely and maintain your social distancing while you’re there? Planning will help build up the anticipation.
The biggest change at Level 3 is the wider economic activity in which we can engage. What will that mean for you? Are you happy to go back to the supermarket or other stores that were closed during lockdown or would you rather keep getting things delivered? What are the non-essentials you’ve been hanging out for? Order them this week to be delivered as soon as your favourite retailers are up and running again. Getting in there early will reinforce that things have changed.
While the move to Level 3 helps business in general, for many it will bring little change. For forestry, construction and retailers with online shopping, the move will be a welcome relief. Think about your clients that will potentially be better off at Level 3. What support can your business give them to help the transition and rebuilding processes? What about businesses, like restaurants and takeaways that are still restricted? Are there ideas, products, services or support you can help them with?
While Level 3 still excludes socialising, there is now an ability to extend your bubble a little. Neighbours, close friends and family are the obvious first consideration. If you’re living alone, create a bubble of people in a similar position. Agree to catch-up regularly (and exclusively!). Think about the kids. Can you include one of their friends in your wider bubble so they’ll be able to have play dates at each other’s houses? What a difference that would make to both kids and to parents!
While we are getting ready to make some changes, we can’t forget the importance of staying safe. In fact, with more contact we need to be even more vigilant. Don’t forget to wash your hands regularly, check for symptoms and above all, get tested early if there is even the slightest chance you’ve been exposed to Covid-19.
This time will pass and it will be over before you know it. The key thing is to look after yourself and your family and to stay connected with your friends and colleagues.