Mayor: aroha and support needed now

Tim Cadogan
Central Otago mayor Tim Cadogan. Photo: ODT files
Central Otago District Mayor Tim Cadogan is appealing for people in the region to be supportive and show aroha to those who are ill with Covid-19.

His comments were made in a statement following news of New Zealand's first death related to coronavirus at the weekend.

Mr Cadogan said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's announcement yesterday was "very sad, but also unsurprising''.

Anne Guenole died in Greymouth’s Grey Base Hospital on Sunday morning. 

According to the Ministry of Health, the woman in her 70s had initially been diagnosed with influenza complicated by an underlying health condition, but tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday morning.

Mr Cadogan said Ms Ardern also commented on the need for understanding and kindness to be shown toward those fighting the illness.

"We are all aware that there are some in our district in that position," he said.

"I truly hope that there will not be another rush of comments on social media following this news like some that I am aware of, saying people who attended the Hereford Conference or went to the Wanaka A+P Show were acting irresponsibly to do so and have now put us all at risk.''

He notes "keyboard warriors'' have a remarkable consistency in their 20/20 hindsight.

"People going about their daily lives back then, as we were all entitled to do two weeks ago, who are now ill are no more responsible for what has happened than you or me.''

Mr Cadogan says he knows people are anxious and news of the first death "ramps that feeling up''.

"Please think about this. The people who are sick with this illness in our community right now I imagine are feeling physically somewhere between okay and absolutely horrible.

"Mentally they must be a whole lot more anxious than those of us who are not infected, especially today.''

He reiterates these people are "someone's mum, husband, father, child''.

"They are you and me except the dice fell differently for them. They are our people, and they need our aroha (love) and support now. They have mine and I hope they have this from all of us in Central Otago.''

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