After a long lockdown in Auckland, and a busy period as the spread of COVID-19 in the community adds pressure to our system, we are looking forward to the new protection framework coming into effect.
People have been working hard and as year-end approaches there’s relief in sight as we return to simple freedoms like having a haircut, travelling outside of Auckland’s border to see whaanau, and hopefully, for many plans are in play for a holiday break.
There’s a sense of excitement as the shift to the traffic light system gets closer. There are some unknowns, but what we do know is that the most at risk are the unvaccinated.
People who remain unvaccinated are at a much higher risk of requiring hospitalisation, and sadly we continue to have patient’s die due to COVID-19.
We will continue to see changes and impacts on the health system as the COVID protection framework is implemented. We’re seeing more COVID-19 infections in children as schools and early childhood education centres have reopened. Children generally don’t get as sick with COVID-19 but higher case numbers in our tamariki is a reminder of the importance that all households have a plan for when the virus finds you or a member of your whaanau.
Vaccination will help prevent most people from becoming critically unwell, but it doesn’t mean you won’t contract the disease and be off work or school for a period.
Please think about your own plan about what you or your whaanau will do if you become unwell from COVID-19. Think about the support people you might need, how you’ll get food and other supplies, and when you are at the recovery stage what books, movies or hobbies you might want to keep yourself occupied.
Things are changing and for many a period of rest and recovery is near. As the temperatures increase, and many freedoms return to Aucklanders, please also remember that sun protection and water safety is important.
Lockdowns have meant many people might be behind in their health screening check-ups, immunisations programmes for their children, dental check-ups and so on, so it is important to make sure our wellbeing and health care programmes catch up and get back on track.
Manaaki to hauora. Keep safe and well
Dr Pete Watson, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Medical Officer
Counties Manukau Health