What can we take from COVID-19? Life lessons learned in lockdown

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After nearly two months of lockdown, we can truthfully say we’ve learned some things – about ourselves, our families and our communities. What life lessons should we take away from this unprecedented experience? Here are a few:

Food and waste

Buying more food than we need and throwing away far too much had to change with restricted access to supermarkets and panic-buying. Some people couldn’t afford to buy food, and those who could no longer took it for granted. We ate leftovers, froze meals for later, composted food waste and donated extras to food banks – great habits to get into and continue.

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Shopping local

Travelling to other towns to shop was forbidden during lockdown. Things we really needed, that couldn’t be had at supermarket or chemist, were bought online and delivered. This had two benefits: fewer cars meant cleaner air, and if you shopped locally you were helping your community.

Now restrictions have eased, shopping online continues, and locally is even more important, so your neighbours can revive their businesses.

Staying home

All kinds of activities were revived or learned during lockdown. Bread-making (when flour could be had), home-cooked meals instead of takeaways, knitting, sewing, building, planting – all those jobs people had been putting off during their busy lives. As Kiwis we pride ourselves on our innovative, No.8-wire mentality – it’s faded over the years, but came back with a roar during lockdown. Kia kaha to our DIY spirit!

Technology comes into its own

We weren’t backward before COVID-19, but now technology has really stepped up. Zoom meetings, FaceTime chats, live online updates from the PM, the contact tracing app and more have helped us fight the virus, keep in touch with loved ones and for some, keep working. Staying connected and informed has been a lifesaver for some, and working from home has been so successful, some predict that it will be the norm for many businesses. Rush hour will never be the same.

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Seeing the country – by bicycle

So many bicycles have been dusted off and used – one important result of lockdown. Children learned to ride, families toured their parks and reserves, and older folk tooled around on e-bikes. It’s a great activity: good exercise, doesn’t cause pollution, gets you places faster than walking, and it’s something the whole family can do.

Counting your blessings

Some people had it tough during this crisis – families lost jobs, went without food, and some even had no shelter. People living alone struggled with loneliness and depression, and some families erupted into violence. If you sailed through with a minimum of fuss, you’ll be counting blessings – something that makes us happier the more we do it!

Proud to be Kiwi

We can be proud: for the most part, this Kiwi team of five million has been caring and considerate, looking after the lonely and vulnerable, stepping up to do front-line, dangerous jobs for the sake of others and generally working together to fight the good fight. Long may it last.