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Regional Council Notes

March 31, 2020 April 2020 No Comments

We are currently living in a very strange world indeed.  A world that no longer functions as we expect it to and denies us the right to the freedom that we all just take for granted.

We are in lockdown for four weeks.  No visiting friends and relatives; no coffee with the neighbours, no Sunday cycling groups.  It all seems a bit surreal and the constant messages telling us not to panic are always offset with news from abroad informing us of how many more people have died.  It’s no wonder some people are scared and are stocking the pantry with enough provisions to prepare for the apocalypse.  It’s a way of coping, staying in control of something when all other control has been removed.

This panic has also highlighted how woefully unprepared we were for any sort of major emergency despite all the promotion by the Civil Defence Emergency Management Office.  The reactions from many businesses clearly show a complete lack of any business continuity planning.  It’s not that fear and worry about paying the bills isn’t justified but somehow our mindset around emergencies has been around earthquakes and floods.  We never imagined a pandemic would bring down our society in the way it has.

Fortunately in Wairarapa our councils were all well prepared and our essential services continue to function.  Some across the country were no so well placed.  The government has put arrangements in place to support emergency decision making by remote when councilors cannot gather for meetings so life goes on, sort of.

But out of every down there will always be an up, even if we’re not sure what it looks like and that up seems far away at the moment.  Perhaps this upheaval will mean that our values change a little, we become kinder and less critical?  Maybe all those outstanding odd jobs will be ticked off the list or we will learn new skills?

Whatever world we face when the Covid 19 threat is over we can be sure it will be different to the one we knew before 25 March 2020.

Adrienne Staples

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