Regional | Novel Coronavirus / COVID-19

Silver Fern encourages whānau to have a Covid-19 plan

Silver Fern Maia Wilson says a severe, second bout of Covid-19 affected her heart. That's why the 25-year-old is now fronting a public awareness campaign for people who may be at high risk from the virus.

“I had heart palpitations and, as an athlete. I was unable to get into the training. My body is my vehicle and, if I am not able to keep my tinana healthy, I'm not able to work.”

She says the after-effects of Covid were a major struggle but she eventually recovered and is in the World Cup squad heading to South Africa next month to take place in the Netball World Cup.

However, in the meantime, she is the ambassador for a new campaign: Know-Plan-Go. It's aimed at people who may be at high risk from the virus, to be more prepared.

“I know for me and my own plan, it's having who are my emergency contacts when I need someone to drop off kai. If I need I've got masks and rat tests available at home. Things like paracetamol. So just having small little medical kit bags are in my plan at the moment and knowing that, if I do get it again, I've got these things to fall back on, and just put the plan into action.”

According to recent statistics from the NZ Health website, last week there were more than 9,000 new cases of Covid-19. over 4,000 reinfections and 37 deaths.

And Wilson says Māori and Pasifika people are most at risk from the virus.

Taking care of whānau

“I think it's massive within our Māori and Pasifika communities. Most of us live in intergenerational homes so, as long as we're taking care of our kaumātua and kuia within our whare in particular because they’re probably the ones more at risk of having severe impacts of covid,” she says.

Know-Plan-Go was set up as winter hits and it is estimated that more than one million New Zealanders are at risk of severe Covid-19, with concerns the number of Covid-19 cases may grow.

Wilson has some words of encouragement.

“Get your action plans ready, tell your mates if you need them, or need to call on them to drop off some kai parcels or do some medicine.

“No matter who gets covid, whether you've been vaccinated or not, it's just making sure that you are taking care of not just yourself but also your whānau.”

To check whether you are at high risk of contracting Covid 19, visit the Know My Risk quiz to assist in creating a plan in the event of catching the illness.