We were concerned. With lockdown there was a threat would we have lonely people stuck in their homes, fear and worry rife. Yet, despite lockdown and social distancing, it has been a time of coming together. Of reinforcing the bonds and the friendships.
Three weeks into the lockdown the villages have shown how strong their community spirit is. It’s great that in New Zealand when times seem hard we still pull together as a society. When we look overseas this is no longer always the case. This has been evidenced by the strength of community shown in our villages. Rather than loneliness we’ve had people who did not participate much out taking part in the walking groups. At Roseland Park Village the majority of the village residents get together to walk 12 laps of the village, about 5km. Stuck in their homes, quite the opposite, I think the village residents will end up fitter than pre lockdown. We had an Easter Bonnet parade at Easter. There have been newsletters full of jokes and poems from the residents. Singles have paired up to ensure everyone is looked after.
At Woodcroft Estate Village in Rolleston, Christchurch they still did their happy hour last Thursday, despite the cold, sitting outside on chairs two metres apart. They have had coffee at the end of their driveways so they can talk together. Corrine, our village manager, says its been a time for Teddy’s in the window and jigsaw puzzles.
At Regency Park a picnic has been arranged in the carpark and there is Monday morning exercise class outside the pavilion. Social distancing has definitely been carried out at the safe distance apart with a tape measure taken on the walk.
While in our Drury village, Karaka Lifestyle Estate, the residents have been getting together for drinks and music.
At Karaka Pines Villages we have seen this ourselves. Much has been done over the internet. Its been a lot more of living like a teenager – glued to the phone, computer and TV. While we are glad New Zealand has escaped the worst we are looking forward to getting out of lockdown – eventually. But it hasn’t all been bad, it truly has been a time of coming together.