My story begins on 23 March 2020, with an announcement from New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern.
Shakila Hashim, Cultural Learning Assistant, ELP Palmerston North
Ms Ardern announced that the New Zealand border is closed, as well as all public places in New Zealand such as offices, the Plaza, library, parks and second-hand shops.
It was a very difficult time for everyone in quarantine. When we went out we had to wear a facemask in public places and were not allowed to shake hands or hug and kiss each other.
I stayed at home and once a week I went to the supermarket to buy groceries for my family and visited extended family from outside the house. At the grocery shop, when I saw people buy in bulk, it made me sad as I realised the grim situation.
It was a very boring time, and only my foster mother came to visit me who was from outside my house. She is a very nice person and the best mother for me. No one knows how lucky I am to have her in my life. She helps me in my difficult time.
This year, I am working at English Language Partners in Palmerston North as a Cultural Learning Assistant.
I am helping learners in classes and especially Afghani learners. It was very difficult for them because they are elderly and do not know how to use the phone or computer.
The teacher and I tried to contact them and make them join Zoom Online Class. I am also learning English Online once a week. New Zealand became the first Coronavirus free Country in the world. Finally, on 8 June 2020, Jacinda Ardern confirmed New Zealand was moving to Covid-19 alert level 1 from midnight.
Everyone has gone back to normal life. Three weeks ago we all went back to the face-to-face classroom setting and we are all very happy.