Tips for supporting whānau who are isolating at home
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If your whānau or friends are having to stay home, there are plenty of ways you can support them through. Here are some tips from Rachel Nelson, an Aucklander who’s ‘been there done that’ and has some wonderful wisdom to share.

When Auckland locked down in August 2021, Rachel and her whānau closed their bubble tight. As the mother of two boys with compromised health conditions, Rachel knew if COVID-19 made its way into her whare, it would have a devastating impact. Rachel and her husband did everything they could to stay safe at home for the entirety of the long lockdown.

“COVID is frightening,” Rachel says, “but my belief is if we work together, if our voices are heard, we know what we need to do to look after our people.”

Rachel knows some of the sacrifices we all need to make to keep our whānau safe from COVID-19 are a real challenge. “But, if we really love our whānau, if we really love our kaumatua, our kuia, our tamariki and our mokopuna, we have to do whatever it takes to protect them.”
Rachel’s tips for supporting whānau who are staying home:
  • Really stick together and look after each other
  • Stick to the rules and keep it simple
  • If you’re getting frustrated inside the whare, go outside and sit in the sun or the rain, put your feet on the grass or the whenua
  • Ask for help when you need it. From health services or other whānau – tell people what you need
  • Karakia, karakia, karakia. Prayer is powerful
  • Take care of yourself while you’re taking care of your whānau. Do what you need to do to reset every day.
And, if someone in your extended whānau has COVID-19, Rachel says you can help them by staying in touch however you can, dropping off kai, and advocating for them to ensure they get the support they need.

Rachel knows COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge for whānau for some time to come. But, she says, “all of us together doing a little bit makes a massive difference.”

Kei roto i te pōuri, te marama e whiti ana.