It’s great to help your neighbours but care should be taken.
Neighbourhood Support is worried some well-meaning New Zealanders are putting themselves at risk and others in danger without realising it during the lockdown.
Chief Executive Tess Casey says there is a huge amount of misinformation circulating in communities about what people can and can’t do to help, without spreading Covid-19.
She says it’s about helping in a safe way. “Even helping your neighbours still needs to be done without compromising your bubble, so make sure you keep two-metre distancing and follow other precautions such as hand-washing.”
Neighbourhood Support is concerned to see online groups setting up on social media that are not aware that some of what they are advocating is risky.
“Under normal circumstances, a letterbox drop to neighbours would be fine, but we’ve learned that this could risk spreading the virus because it can live for up to 24 hours on paper.”
Similarly, people are sharing surplus fruit, or household items but without considering the need for other precautions such as the need for gloves to be used, or for the item to be cleaned or quarantined before use or consumption.
Neighbourhood Support is also really worried about the number of electronic forms being distributed via social media where people in a street or neighbourhood are being encouraged to provide their names, ages, phone numbers and other personal information.
Casey says although it’s important to be able to contact immediate neighbours, making personal details available to a wider group can be risky and there are privacy issues.
She says it is wonderful that New Zealanders are so keen to help each other, and with the lock-down, people have more time than usual to help. But it needs to be done in a safe way.
Source: rnz.co.nz Republished by arrangement.