It’s been a very sad day for New Zealand, as you have no doubt heard.
The country had its first death linked to Covid-19 this morning, with a woman in her 70s passing away on the West Coast.
This is what we’ve all feared, and I’d like to extend my condolences – as I know you will too – to the family and loved ones of the woman.
While very sad, her death is also a stark reminder of why we’re in lockdown.
We’re staying home and staying in our bubbles in order to keep ourselves and all our fellow New Zealanders safe – particularly our most vulnerable and our elderly.
I know many of us have loved ones in those categories.
We are seeing the devastating impacts, and seeing the rapidly escalating death tolls in many nations which do not appear to have moved so comprehensively to stop transmission of Covid 19.
We are also seeing the effects of determined action in other countries.
Doing the right things – staying in our bubble, following hygiene protocols, staying local, gives us the chance to avoid the awful death tolls we are seeing overseas.
As of this morning there were 514 conformed and probable Covid-19 cases across the country.
Here in the Wellington region that number is 67, with 3 people in Wellington Regional Hospital with the virus.
Again, those numbers paint a stark picture of what we’re up against. But there are also 56 recovered cases nationwide, which is hugely heartening.
As I’ve said before, Covid-19 may keep us apart physically, but it can also bring us together as a nation.
The kindness and respect I’m seeing everyday – in the supermarket, or online – proves just that.
This afternoon as the sun came out, my family bubble went for a neighbourhood walk. Lots of other people were doing the same, criss-crossing the streets to keep our distance.
There was a great feeling of being in this together, lots of sharing and catching up with people we know – all from a distance.
We’re doing a great job of staying home, staying local and being kind.
If you do happen to see people gathering together or not following the isolation rules, don’t call the police.
Instead you can report the breach using a new online form that the police launched today. Go to the police website for details.
I really hope that it’s not going to get to that.
And finally, if you haven’t done so already, check out the We Wellington movement on our social media pages and at WellingtonNZ.com.
Check out the message, download the Facebook frames, and help us to put the We in Wellington.
It’s a great way we can all show our commitment to our communities, and to show off our Absolutely Positively Wellington spirit.
Thanks again Wellington, keep up the good work, and kia kaha.
I’ll be back tomorrow with another update.