President’s Report April 2020

Hello to you all, I hope that you are all keeping well and staying safe.

Firstly a big welcome to our new members over the last few months, it is always
nice to see new members being part of our community I hope you all feel welcome.
It has been a difficult time for the country since February, when we all got quite concerned about covid19, and as we see New Zealand is showing resilience and with holding together and following the rules we just might pull through and knock this virus on the head, as long as the government keep to strict border control and quarantine procedures.

Being part of this scleroderma community it goes without saying that we are very vulnerable and it is best not to get the covid -19 especially if you have lung

I would like to say, that it is preferable that we all wear masks and gloves when we need to go outside our bubble, regardless of what the World Health Organisation advises. It is clear from what is happening over seas, many are wearing masks despite the WHO advice. Our front line workers wear masks, to cover themselves. We are vulnerable so we need to maximise our precautions.

There are likely to be just as many asymptomatic people with covid-19 as there that are symptomatic according to recent statistics.

Meetings for our Scleroderma community for the future will be virtual by zoom, until it is safe to meet again. We had our first meeting this week with 19 members on. We will be having more sessions in the near future to look out for. Everyone is welcome to join in.

We will work out as a group as to how we would like to run these meetings, we may want to split up into our regional groups, and have another group for all our geographically isolated members and possibly a newly diagnosed support group if these new people would like that.

We can of course keep these zoom meetings going for the geographically isolated and newly diagnosed members going as long as they would like too.

I recently signed up with the SPIN covid-19 study that I sent you all a week or so ago. The research is to determine how we cope mentally over the covid-19 pandemic. The initial survey was in depth and very interesting. I am yet to find out if I become a participant in the initial study or if I will be on a wait list. I hope that a few more of us have signed up too, it will be a unique

A reminder that you all should have had your flu jab by now, if not please remember to get it soon with your GP.

Remember to keep your activity levels up, there are gentle exercises you can do in your own home. Even if it is walking around your garden a few times.

I hope you are all finding ways to fill in your days. I found an interesting free course on Edx through Victoria University to do, to keep my mind working, a good way to stay positive, during covid-19.

We have had heaps to do in the garden, along with craft projects on the go too. We have found that this last four weeks have flown by.

I hope you all keep warm and well and Gordon and I will look forward to seeing you at a zoom meeting soon.

All the Best Dianne and Gordon