So you’ve just been let go – unemployed in times of global pandemic


Hands up if you’ve been laid off, let go, stood down, furloughed, or just plain old fired since the coronavirus pandemic started. It seems like overnight, all of my friends either got the boot or are about to get the boot from their work.

You know what? You are not alone. I’m right there with you! We’re all in this together. We’re all in the gutter! Embrace it!

Yesterday, one of my last reliable jobs was canceled, and guess what? I’m freaking out yet oddly zen at the same time. Let me explain.

lost job coronavirus

With a mountain of debt, no solid work for the foreseeable future, the travel industry up in flames, my passive income all but evaporated overnight with bills still coming in hot hot hot, to say I’m shitting my pants is a bit of an understatement.

I never saw this coming, even a month ago, and also, if I did, I’m not sure how proactively I would have saved. I’m a bit of a hot mess when it comes to preparation and tidy finances.

Globally, we are collectively fucked. Wahoo!

The economic fallout from COVID-19 will be nothing short of catastrophic, at least in my particular area of work. Do you want to travel? Well, be sure to add in an extra 14 days of quarantine before and after your holiday to ensure freedom from a life-threating virus.

Hard pass.

lost job coronavirus

The scale and scope of COVID-19 are unprecedented, yet the future is far from clear. Companies and businesses are facing the ramifications of shut borders, forced quarantines, and a very unlucky choice of name – I’m looking at you Corona beer.

The new normal hasn’t even been imagined yet – no one is even talking about what the world will look like six months from now.

It breaks my heart to see friends of mine who have poured their lives into their jobs only to be let go without a second thought. Hell, it’s even happening to me. But in that darkness and fear, I’ve found comfort in knowing I’m not alone in this.

lost job coronavirus

It doesn’t help to be American, where our future is so uncertain and with a nutjob president whose blatant disregard for the health of his citizens or the advice of experts is nothing short of unbelievable. Will the government even deliver on a stimulus package that has any real meaning to people like me? I bloody doubt it.

It sucks to be in a place where your government doesn’t have your back. That’s messed up.

With millions of Americans already filing for unemployment, I count myself exceptionally lucky living in New Zealand as a resident. Extremely lucky. I hope this is a massive wake-up call to my fellow brethren – the rest of the civilized world doesn’t live like this or treat people that way.

lost job coronavirus

Throughout the rest of the world, governments are protecting employment.

Workers keep their jobs, even in industries that are shut down. Even self-employed people like me are counted for. For example, the government here covers most of the wages through direct payments. It’s like our wages are socialized for the duration of the crisis.

We also have fair and public healthcare too. Sure, I pay high taxes, but guess what? I see the benefit from it, so I don’t mind. I love living in a place where I feel cared for and protected, especially in a time of crisis. The US has a lot to learn from a place like New Zealand.

lost job coronavirus

It’s also never been more apparent to me to learn just to let go of things I can’t control. This wild situation is global and so far beyond anything I could ever change. In some ways, I find solace in that too. (I’m only able to do this through all of the incredible coaching work I’ve done with Kait Rich).

While it’s still very raw and real for me (and I imagine for many of you too), take heart that so many of us, me included, are also wondering how we will pay rent or buy groceries next month.

It takes nothing to be kind

Now is the time to look to each other for support and guidance.

Instead of crawling up each other and kicking others down to reach success (or the last 18 pack of toilet roll), why don’t we use this forced time to work on what matters, like family, food, love, health, and joy.

If we forget how to be human now, we have no chance of recovery.

lost job coronavirus

I’ve got my good days and bad days, which are all meshing together now that time seems irrelevant. That being said, I’m incredibly determined to look on the bright side. It’s time to get creative again, especially now that I’m a free woman!

There always a lesson in suffering, I suppose. Time to let go of what we can’t control and not let it devour us.

Hopefully, we will come out on the other side and create a system that looks after each other instead of who can profit off of who the most. Be kind and kia kaha, as we say in New Zealand (stay strong).

Have you just lost your job, too, or are you afraid of losing your job? How are you coping? Where are you in the world? Share!

lost job coronavirus

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It takes nothing to be kind


I’ve been an American expat in New Zealand for seven years, and I’ve never been more grateful for this country welcoming me with open arms, especially now amid the COVID 19 pandemic. In a few short weeks, I will qualify for permanent residency, which I can’t wait for. 

I love everything about New Zealand.

From the wild landscapes to the quirky culture to the DIY friendly attitude, it’s a great place to live. No wonder it consistently ranks among one of the happiest countries in the world. But unfortunately, as we sink into the total shitshow that is 2020, the stark contrast between my birthplace and where I call home now has never been more apparent.

Kindness. I can’t think of a more straightforward way to put it.

be kind coronavirus

Last Friday, an NBC correspondent asked Trump, “What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?” to which he replied, “I say that you’re a terrible reporter, that’s what I say.”

What. An. Asshole.

Even seeing it now I can feel my face flush red with anger. I feel so ashamed of where I’m from, and I’m terrified for my friends and family in the US. You deserve so much better. It shouldn’t take a pandemic and a failure of the federal government to bring fundamental human rights to a country that once was “the leader of the free world.” 

be kind coronavirus

Cruel, petulant, and heartless.

This is not how you lead. This is not how you talk to people. This is not how you comfort a nation of 330 million human beings who, you know, have hearts, fears, worries, and families to think about. Where is the respect? Where is his dignity?

What frightens me, even more, are all people who agree with him. It’s reflective of how selfish the American culture has become (has it always been that way and I’m only seeing it now that I’ve left?) There is no place in this world for that “me, me ME” attitude. We have to look out for one another. Politics don’t matter right now; nobody wants people to get sick and die.

Damnit, I’m furious all over again writing this.

be kind coronavirus

In contrast, our excellent PM, Jacinda Ardern, has been comforting and reassuring Kiwis almost daily, live-streaming, and answering questions, including running a press conference just for kids around COVID 19. She even does spontaneous FB lives from her sofa in sweatpants after putting her toddler to bed.

Each time she addresses us, you can see the toll this experience is taking on her face. She didn’t sign up for this, but she is leading us the best way possible. Her hope and belief in keeping Kiwis safe above all else ring through every word she speaks. Compassion and understanding radiate from her. She talks to us with clear plans and objectives of what we need to do to get through this, usually with scientists by her side.

Jacinda is the kind of figure you want to comfort you in times of crisis. We are all facing an unknown future, and it’s scary.

be kind coronavirus

And every single time Jacinda speaks to the New Zealand community, she reminds us to be kind and to support one another. There is even a page on the NZ government response website to COVID 19 about kindness.

And she reminds us to be strong. Acknowledging what she is asking all of us is massive, she wants us to unite against spreading COVID 19 by staying at home.

To be honest, considering what humanity has gone through over the millennia, it’s not that hard.

Staying home is easy. Being kind is harder. And being kind to yourself? Well, that’s a challenge, especially for people like me.

be kind coronavirus

We are facing unprecedented times (to echo every politician on earth), and it’s pretty freaking scary. If we aren’t careful, we can be consumed by terror, fear, anxiety, depression, and all those other nasty thoughts that like to lurk in the dark recesses of our minds.

But it’s never been more critical to share compassion, empathy, and love. It’s what makes us human, after all. Kindness is a choice.

As we move into four weeks (minimum) of home isolation here in New Zealand, Jacinda’s message of kindness couldn’t be more poignant. We are being tested.

Now is the time to work harder than ever at being considerate, helpful, and selfless. Remember to think of others and not just ourselves. Perhaps we aren’t staying at home because we are worried we will get sick, but rather remember we are doing it for everyone else.

be kind coronavirus

If we all stop moving, COVID 19 will stop moving. It’s pretty easy yet tough.

Now is the time to think beyond ourselves, to think of our collective communities and groups. It’s not about “me” anymore, it’s about everyone. Make your decisions with that in mind. I chose kindness. Don’t be an asshole.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a heartless world. I hope and believe we will come out of the other side of this stronger and better. Kia kaha, as we say here in New Zealand, which means “stay strong” in Māori.

Be kind, be compassionate, be helpful, and supportive. Above all, be human. And for god’s sake, stop trying to make Instagram Lives a thing. It’s so annoying. And stay the fuck at home. Deal?

How are you coping during this new future we’re facing? How are you staying kind to yourself and others? Spill!

be kind coronavirus

The post It takes nothing to be kind appeared first on Young Adventuress.



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How Netflix’s Tiger King reveals just how messed up wildlife tourism has become


Guys, I’m deep into the viral docuseries Tiger King on Netflix, and my god, what a dreadful yet unmissable look at the worst (or unluckiest?) of humanity in rural America.

It’s like a car crash, and I just can’t tear my eyes away. I’m enthralled yet horrified, obsessed, and disgusted. The plot twists, the surprises, the frightening real glimpses of human truths, holy shit!

With a tagline of murder, mayhem, and madness, Tiger King follows the storyline of Joe Exotic, a zoo owner in bumfuck, Oklahoma, with a narrative arc that spirals out of control in a true murder-for-hire story from the underworld of big cat breeding.

Buckle up.

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Where’s the lie? #tigerking #joeexotic #carolebaskin #netflix #quarantine #covid_19 #socialdistancing #socialdistance #tigerkingmemes

A post shared by Erika Kelly (@cattybritches) on Mar 23, 2020 at 3:22pm PDT

There are gun-loving gay cowboys with mullets. The cults. The polygamy. The loss of limbs and teeth. Inbred tigers, ligers, and illegal lemurs. Excessive dynamite and guns lovingly adorned with pink camo.

Accidental suicide and haphazard murder plots. Flower crowns. So much leopard print. Failed grassroots governor elections. Expired Walmart meat pizzas. Hillbillies and their homemade country music videos featuring fat tigers.

Missing husbands. Meth and sequins. Florida. I can’t even.

Honestly, this show is batshit insane. AND IT’S REAL.

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The truth has yet to come out. So don't believe everything you hear.

A post shared by Joe Exotic (@joe_exotic) on Sep 7, 2018 at 3:14pm PDT

But what makes me sad about the train wreck human drama of this docu-series is that the stars, the tigers, are all but forgotten.

Did you know there are more captive tigers in the US than in the wild? How is breeding tigers in your redneck backyard still allowed? How are these pretend “wildlife sanctuaries” still allowed? And for god’s sake, how is Carole Baskin not in jail for murder/fraud/animal abuse and/or all of the above?

And yet no matter how vile it gets, how can I STILL feel compassion for these horrible people who put baby tigers in suitcases and carry guns around like candy?

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Visit us by making reservations at MyrtleBeachSafari.com Link In Bio 🐯🙈♥️ #repost • @mimicalacool Best…..day….EVER!!!!! @myrtlebeachsafari & @docantle at @myrtlebeachsafaritours have the most incredible experience ever! It’s a bucket list item that I’d suggest to the world! @rarespeciesfund is doing amazing work to help save these tigers! Blessed to have learned more about these incredible creatures! #savethetigers #blessed #grateful #myrtlebeachsafari 💙🐅

A post shared by Myrtle Beach Safari (@myrtlebeachsafari) on Mar 14, 2020 at 2:49pm PDT

Disguised behind the most insane group of characters you’ve ever laid eyes on, Tiger King shines a light on the whole heap of uncomfortable truths.

Last year National Geographic broke a significant feature that there are more tigers in private zoos and as pets in the USA than in the wild. What the hell?!

That has to stop now. Totally unacceptable for many reasons, one primary being that your neighbor might have a lion in his garage that could escape and eat you, the other major one being that lions belong in Africa, not rural Ohio, and tigers belong in India not fucking Oklahoma.

(sorry, this makes me absolutely livid)

tiger king wildlife tourism

tiger king wildlife tourism

These huge apex predators need massive amounts of territory and belong in the wild. Of course, that opens a whole other wormhole of issues from habitat loss to revenge killings to food loss, but that is where the bulk of conservation work should be focused.

You don’t need big cat sanctuaries in America if people aren’t allowed to have big cats as pets that end up needing “rescuing.”

The other main point is that real conservation doesn’t allow human interaction with animals. No yanking newborn tiger cubs from their moms to pose for selfies. No swimming with huge elephants. No cuddling drugged tigers for your new Tinder pic.

Big cats and endangered species belong in the wild or proper conservation centers without human interaction, period.

Going to Southeast Asia? Please be kind and don’t ride elephants

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Tap the link in our bio for more info about how to make reservations! 🐯♥️ #repost @miss_snapalots ・・・ 27 🎈 Thank you @myrtlebeachsafari for once in a lifetime experience! 💚 It’s so amazing what you all do! Please go follow and help save these rare species! @rarespeciesfund #savethetigersavetheworld

A post shared by Myrtle Beach Safari (@myrtlebeachsafari) on Aug 29, 2019 at 6:40am PDT

 

What’s more, I’m appalled at how many massive profiles on social media feature guys and their exotic pets. Instagram, why do you allow this kind of content? Unethical wildlife breeding and captive endangered species bred for photos, and profit are wrong. And it’s illegal. Almost every one of these profiles has faced criminal charges and received abuse warnings.

These zoos and rescue centers give the impression they are for conservation when the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

It’s important to question that when you see unethical wildlife practices.

Suffering unseen: The dark truth behind wildlife tourism

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3 of the 4 different color varieties of tigers! Come meet these tiger cubs by tapping the link in our bio to make reservations! 🐯🧡

A post shared by Myrtle Beach Safari (@myrtlebeachsafari) on Sep 14, 2019 at 3:38pm PDT

For example, you can pay thousands of dollars to swim with a tiger or for a “volunteer” experience. Seriously? Your tiger selfies aren’t volunteering.

Where does that money go? Where do the profits from these sanctuaries go? How are they using the money they make from breeding and using tigers to fund wildlife conservation? How do they have so many baby tigers all the time? Why aren’t they with their mothers?

Baby tigers become useless in captivity after only 12 weeks because they’ve become too big and too dangerous to interact with people. After that, they usually just disappear.

Not a single one of these conservation tigers bred in America has ever been released back into the world. How could they when they’re raised and hand-fed by humans?

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@loganpaul helping us spread the message….Save The Tiger, Save The World❗️🐯 The tiger stands as the last great sentinel of the forest, if we lose the tiger we will lose a piece of ourselves forever. But if we save the Tiger we could save the world, in order for the tiger to survive it needs clean clear skies, pristine lakes and rivers, wide open spaces, plentiful prey animals, and most importantly it needs you, people who care! Therefore if we save the Tiger, we save the world.

A post shared by Myrtle Beach Safari (@myrtlebeachsafari) on Feb 4, 2020 at 8:22am PST

Perhaps the most heart-wrenching part for me is seeing photos of white tigers.

These white tigers are incredibly inbred, almost all are from the same white Bengal tiger that was sold into the US in the 1960s from India. There is no conservation reason to breed white tigers, why would you breed for a recessive gene like that if you were trying to save a population of endangered animals like? Your focus would be on genetic diversity.

These white tigers are purely bred for their beauty; even though most of them have so many inbred defects, they would have no hope of surviving in the wild. It’s just cruel.

Can someone please tell me how it’s ethical or moral to breed a lion with a tiger and then put it on a leash and keep it a cage so you can make money?

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Tap the link in our bio to meet this incredible tiger cub animal ambassadors! 🐯♥️ #repost • @charlestonblonde 😍 Y’all can you even handle the cuteness? I’ve had so many questions about our time at @myrtlebeachsafari that I decided to write an entire blog post about it. Check it out. The link is in my bio.

A post shared by Myrtle Beach Safari (@myrtlebeachsafari) on Mar 10, 2020 at 3:06pm PDT

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I just had my 60th birthday. I wanted to come hang out with one of my favorite big cats, Apollo here is only five years old and already weighs over 900 pounds and stands 11.5 feet tall on his hind legs. When I asked my partner Moksha what her favorite thing she learned about ligers over the last 20 years of hanging out she said “he’s bilingual as he speaks both lion and tiger” She doesn’t look 40 does she. The world largest cat. Over 900 lbs and 11.5 ft tall.

A post shared by Dr. Bhagavan Antle (@docantle) on Mar 25, 2020 at 5:22am PDT

What’s sad is that this isn’t unique to America. Lions are bred for slaughter on canned hunting farms in South Africa, and China has a massive market for tiger parts (among all others) for traditional medicine and food. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

With many of these for-profit private zoos and exotic animal pet owners on Instagram masquerading as “conservation” projects, it’s never been more important to question where you chose to spend your tourism dollars.

Travelers love animals, me included, but it’s imperative to follow a few guidelines for responsibly interacting with wildlife.

tiger king wildlife tourism

tiger king wildlife tourism

At the end of the day, we have the power as consumers to stand up and say exploiting wildlife and endangered species is wrong. Dig deep and do your research before going to any of these places and have a thorough look around when you’re there. Does it look suitable for the animals?

Beware of buzzwords like “gives back to conservation,” sanctuary,” and “rescue.” Is the animal interacting in a way that isn’t normal? Has it been trained? Most of these training methods are based on fear and are cruel.

My god, imagine the impact it would have if all of the profits and expenses from exploiting exotic animals went towards conservation projects, what a difference that would make.

tiger king wildlife tourism

tiger king wildlife tourism

Listen, I get it. I would fucking love to cuddle a baby tiger. Their squeaks are so cute, and I know it’s super unique. But it’s not right. Those tigers don’t belong on my Instagram or in my arms.

One day I’ll follow in the footsteps of Rudyard Kipling to India and hopefully get to track wild tigers on safari in their natural habitat. But I will only do that in the most responsible way I can.

I’ve tracked leopards in Sri Lanka, lions in Botswana, cheetahs in South Africa, and elephants just about everywhere. It’s a real privilege that I’ve been able to go to these places, something I don’t ever take advantage of or forget.

It’s powerful and so special to see majestic, iconic creatures in the wild, where they belong. There is something so profoundly sad and degrading to such a mighty animal reduced to misery for the enjoyment of humans.

tiger king wildlife tourism

tiger king wildlife tourism

The second disturbing truth brought to light from Tiger King was just how disconnected I am from my American siblings.

I grew up in rural Virginia, about 15 minutes from West Virginia, so I am far from inexperienced when it comes to Trump-loving, gun-toting, uneducated rednecks. But this show was next level sad and made me face my privilege in an uncomfortable way.

If things are going to change, a whole heap of cultural mindsets would have to shift. With education and opportunity, anything is possible.

I think the US needs to work on prison reform, drug rehab programs, and healthy community programs for its people. If anything, Tiger King was a painful glimpse of what excessive gun freedom + meth + extreme poverty + lack of opportunity does to people.

tiger king wildlife tourism

So please, Netflix, stop streaming this outside of America; it’s’s not a good look for us.

And for the love of God, please never take a selfie with a baby endangered animal at one of these places!

Also, I think I’m going crazy. Send me something sane to binge-watch, please that won’t rile me up. Thanks.

Did you know about these seedy depths of wildlife tourism? Have you ever seen one of these fantastic animals in the wild? Where would you go on safari if you could? Spill!

tiger king wildlife tourism

The post How Netflix’s Tiger King reveals just how messed up wildlife tourism has become appeared first on Young Adventuress.





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Love in the time of Coronavirus – how one little kiwi town is surviving


You always hear me talking about our little bubble of paradise here in Wanaka. A place that seems immune to the problems of the rest of the world, a place that attracted friendly people who loved the outdoors.

A month ago, it seemed that nothing could disrupt our bubble. We ignored warnings and statistics from the rest of the world and reassured ourselves, “not here.”

The chaos that was suffocating other countries wouldn’t bother us much. But before we knew it, Coronavirus in New Zealand was beginning to spread its reach.

coronavirus in new zealand

Oh, how young and naive we were just a few weeks ago.

With a rapidly changing situation, New Zealanders around the country are coming to grips with the severity of the Coronavirus and the threat it poses not only to our health but to our tourism-fed economy as well.

As of now, our cases are under control, and our government is reacting much quicker than other governments around the world (Hi USA and UK!). Still, despite our denial, COVID-19 is here in New Zealand, and our country, much like many other countries, is preparing for an uncertain future.

coronavirus in new zealand

New Zealand’s economy is projected to take a worse hit than the global economy.

Our national carrier, Air New Zealand, has canceled 85% of long-haul flights and is on the brink of bankruptcy. Our borders are closed, ensuring whatever hope we had reviving our tourism economy is officially squashed. As a result, thousands have lost their jobs overnight.

There’s no question about it. We are in scary, uncharted waters here. Still, despite the grim outlook, the Wanaka community remains hopeful and is leaning into each other for support (from a distance of course!) Our streets may be empty, and our loved ones may be out of work. Still, we’re down here spreading the positivity as much as we can.

Let’s take a break from the doom and gloom and look at some of the ways Wanaka is thriving in a time of crisis.

Neighbors are offering to cook food for people in self-isolation

Last weekend, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, ordered a mandatory self-isolation period of 14 days for any person (Kiwi or otherwise) upon entering the country.

As you can expect, not everyone has chosen to obey the new rule (looking at you, tourists here for only ten days). However, for the most part, the people in our community are obeying and laying low.

They are restricting contact with other people and staying put, which, as you can imagine, makes it hard for them to go to the grocery store to get food. One community chef has offered up free meals (delivered without contact) for anyone in isolation while supplies last. Others offer land for seasonal workers to camp out on. Posts on the Wanaka community Facebook page are encouraging others to reach out if they need help.

The compassion is flowing, and damn, it’s a good look on this town.

coronavirus in new zealand

Landlords are preemptively reducing rent

This town is run mostly one tourist dollars, and for as much as the locals love to complain about the tourists running all over the town, it’s become blatantly evident that we need tourism to operate.

People who work in tourism and hospitality are losing their jobs at an alarming rate, and Wanaka, unfortunately, doesn’t have the industry to sustain many workers outside of tourism.

Kiwis freshly out of a job are looking to help fill rosters at the local grocery store or picking fruit as they struggle to make rent and buy groceries. We’ve seen several tenants already praising their landlords for offering reduced rent for the next few months or allowing late payments.

In a town that has never typically favored tenants, it’s remarkable to see the humanity in the housing market.

coronavirus in new zealand

Grocery stores are offering call-in delivery services

As things begin shutting down in the coming weeks, grocery stores and pharmacies will be braving the risks and staying as Coronavirus in New Zealand spreads.

Our local grocery stores in Wanaka know how important it is to have access to food. Still, they also recognize the uneasiness that comes with going into the store right for those who are self-isolating, whether out of instruction because they are high risk. They have started to offer phone and email orders delivered to your doorstep.

They are encouraging Kiwis to shop as usual and avoid panic buying. They are assuring us that as longs we do our part to buy normally, their supply chain will remain healthy and ready to serve the community.

coronavirus in new zealand

Kiwis are calling out those who refuse to protect the community

Most people arriving from overseas are complying with the order to self-isolate for 14 days after their arrival to halt the spread of Coronavirus in New Zealand. Still, a few travelers are not willing to cut their holiday short by self-isolating, and our local Kiwis do not have it.

Many Wanaka businesses have reported travelers who have admitted they have just arrived in the country and are not following self-isolation rules. The local iSite has been refusing to assist customers who have only just come to the country.

One couple who flew in from Hong Kong took a scenic help flight over Franz Josef only to have their heli pilot fly them straight to the police upon finding out on the glacier they had only just arrived in New Zealand.

Others in the community are being vigilant and confronting travelers who are not complying and alerting immigration. Our community knows what’s at risk, and they’re not afraid to get in your face about it. Our health is more important than your holiday.

coronavirus in new zealand

The distillery is springing into Action

While the Wanaka community seems to be doing a better job of shopping regularly to avoid shortages in the supermarkets with Coronavirus in New Zealand, hand sanitizer has been out of stock for weeks with no end in sight.

Our local distillery, the Cardrona Distillery, has recently offered up free Cardona-made disinfectant spray for household surfaces, which is also safe on hands.

They have encouraged members of the community to bring an empty spray container, and they will fill the container up to 500ml per household per week, all free of charge.

coronavirus in new zealand

People are learning what their priorities are

New Zealand is an island nation, and many of us have moved here from overseas. As an expat, I moved here under the assumption that I was only just a phone call away from home. If needed, I could hop on the plane and be home within a day. None of us could have predicted our new reality. In many ways, New Zealand feels even more isolated than before.

As our economy crashes and jobs are lost, a small silver lining is a communal reckoning of what our priorities are.

Yes, the economy is going to be bad for a while, but at the end of the day, lives are more important.

coronavirus in new zealand

It has been an uncomfortable but necessary reminder that the only things that matter are our health and the wellbeing of the people around us.

Wanaka has always been a gathering spot for the curious. While there are undoubtedly dark days (and months) in our future, we are leaning into our community now more than ever. We are lifting each other’s spirits, supporting local businesses where we can, and helping each other put one foot in front of another.

Must of us here are not Wanaka-born and as the reality sets in of Coronavirus in New Zealand, while many of our biological families are thousands of miles away and out of reach given the drastic decrease in international flights, our chosen families in our community are just as essential and will be there when we need a shoulder to lean on.

Kia Kaha New Zealand and the rest of the world. We will get through this one day at a time.

coronavirus in new zealand

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It takes nothing to be kind


I’ve been an American expat in New Zealand for seven years, and I’ve never been more grateful for this country welcoming me with open arms, especially now amid the COVID 19 pandemic. In a few short weeks, I will qualify for permanent residency, which I can’t wait for. 

I love everything about New Zealand.

From the wild landscapes to the quirky culture to the DIY friendly attitude, it’s a great place to live. No wonder it consistently ranks among one of the happiest countries in the world. But unfortunately, as we sink into the total shitshow that is 2020, the stark contrast between my birthplace and where I call home now has never been more apparent.

Kindness. I can’t think of a more straightforward way to put it.

be kind coronavirus

Last Friday, an NBC correspondent asked Trump, “What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?” to which he replied, “I say that you’re a terrible reporter, that’s what I say.”

What. An. Asshole.

Even seeing it now I can feel my face flush red with anger. I feel so ashamed of where I’m from, and I’m terrified for my friends and family in the US. You deserve so much better. It shouldn’t take a pandemic and a failure of the federal government to bring fundamental human rights to a country that once was “the leader of the free world.” 

be kind coronavirus

Cruel, petulant, and heartless.

This is not how you lead. This is not how you talk to people. This is not how you comfort a nation of 330 million human beings who, you know, have hearts, fears, worries, and families to think about. Where is the respect? Where is his dignity?

What frightens me, even more, are all people who agree with him. It’s reflective of how selfish the American culture has become (has it always been that way and I’m only seeing it now that I’ve left?) There is no place in this world for that “me, me ME” attitude. We have to look out for one another. Politics don’t matter right now; nobody wants people to get sick and die.

Damnit, I’m furious all over again writing this.

be kind coronavirus

In contrast, our excellent PM, Jacinda Ardern, has been comforting and reassuring Kiwis almost daily, live-streaming, and answering questions, including running a press conference just for kids around COVID 19. She even does spontaneous FB lives from her sofa in sweatpants after putting her toddler to bed.

Each time she addresses us, you can see the toll this experience is taking on her face. She didn’t sign up for this, but she is leading us the best way possible. Her hope and belief in keeping Kiwis safe above all else ring through every word she speaks. Compassion and understanding radiate from her. She talks to us with clear plans and objectives of what we need to do to get through this, usually with scientists by her side.

Jacinda is the kind of figure you want to comfort you in times of crisis. We are all facing an unknown future, and it’s scary.

be kind coronavirus

And every single time Jacinda speaks to the New Zealand community, she reminds us to be kind and to support one another. There is even a page on the NZ government response website to COVID 19 about kindness.

And she reminds us to be strong. Acknowledging what she is asking all of us is massive, she wants us to unite against spreading COVID 19 by staying at home.

To be honest, considering what humanity has gone through over the millennia, it’s not that hard.

Staying home is easy. Being kind is harder. And being kind to yourself? Well, that’s a challenge, especially for people like me.

be kind coronavirus

We are facing unprecedented times (to echo every politician on earth), and it’s pretty freaking scary. If we aren’t careful, we can be consumed by terror, fear, anxiety, depression, and all those other nasty thoughts that like to lurk in the dark recesses of our minds.

But it’s never been more critical to share compassion, empathy, and love. It’s what makes us human, after all. Kindness is a choice.

As we move into four weeks (minimum) of home isolation here in New Zealand, Jacinda’s message of kindness couldn’t be more poignant. We are being tested.

Now is the time to work harder than ever at being considerate, helpful, and selfless. Remember to think of others and not just ourselves. Perhaps we aren’t staying at home because we are worried we will get sick, but rather remember we are doing it for everyone else.

be kind coronavirus

If we all stop moving, COVID 19 will stop moving. It’s pretty easy yet tough.

Now is the time to think beyond ourselves, to think of our collective communities and groups. It’s not about “me” anymore, it’s about everyone. Make your decisions with that in mind. I chose kindness. Don’t be an asshole.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a heartless world. I hope and believe we will come out of the other side of this stronger and better. Kia kaha, as we say here in New Zealand, which means “stay strong” in Māori.

Be kind, be compassionate, be helpful, and supportive. Above all, be human. And for god’s sake, stop trying to make Instagram Lives a thing. It’s so annoying. And stay the fuck at home. Deal?

How are you coping during this new future we’re facing? How are you staying kind to yourself and others? Spill!

be kind coronavirus

The post It takes nothing to be kind appeared first on Young Adventuress.



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