Things change fast. We are now in even stranger, tougher times. As of today, 23-03-2020, there are 102 cases of Corona virus, or Covid-19, infection in New Zealand. Community transferred cases have been detected and this means that the virus is now not contained. We are now in a Level 3 Alert status and at midnight on Wednesday (11:59pm, Wednesday 25-03-2020) we will enter a Level 4 Alert Status, which is likely to be in place for at least 4 weeks. Please see https://covid19.govt.nz/ for all the facts, rules, regulations and advice.
Our Prime Minister stated in her speech today that “We are all now preparing as a nation to go into self-isolation in the same way we have seen other countries do. Staying at home is essential.”
What does this mean for us?
- New Zealanders who are outside of essential services must stay at home and stop all interactions with others outside of those in your households.
- People can still go for a walk or exercise and enjoy nature, but must keep a 2m distance from people at all times.
- Food will always be available – production will continue, distribution will continue, supermarkets will continue.
- Medicines will always be available, healthcare for those that need it will be available, and usual financial support, like benefits, will continue as normal.
- All actions must be solitary, and people should only spend time with those they are in self-isolation with, and keep distance from all others at all times.
WWNZ advises that all club activities and paddling in groups should cease.
Whitewater kayaking can be a hazardous activity, which is made safe by the group you are paddling with. As such, whitewater kayaking should not be undertaken during the Level 4 Alert, unless your river trip group is solely within your household group.
Whitewater kayaking alone should not be attempted.
For individuals whose sanity requires that they simply must get in a kayak and go for a float, solo flatwater kayaking or ocean surfing is OK, just make sure that you absolutely adhere to the <2m distancing rule.
To those that read my message on Friday (20-03-2020), I hope you started to make contact with people who you’ve shared whitewater experiences with and had a laugh with them? Although, I hope you DIDN’T go out and cram 7 people in a shuttle vehicle?
Self-isolation means that you can’t go and see people like you usually would, so make sure you talk regularly with family and whānau. Check up on people who you know might be vulnerable.
Remember, as river people, we’re well suited to dealing with adverse conditions, so take advantage of your inbuilt resilience and be strong. Help others to be strong too.
Kia kaha river people.
President, Whitewater NZ.