Staying connected with lowered immunity
October 2022

Being social key for whānau with lowered immunity

Through lockdowns and self-isolation, many of us experienced mamae from being disconnected from our whānau and each other. Being together is a normal part of being Māori, and COVID-19 has challenged our ability to come together.

The impacts of isolation haven’t ended for many tāngata whaikaha with low immunity, who need to keep their distance to protect themselves.

In our recent Karawhiua video we talk with Mamie Rose MacDonald, a university student and model in Tāmaki Makaurau. She was born with Williams Syndrome and has lowered immunity. She has to be extremely careful to avoid getting COVID-19.

She talks about how she is managing the impact of isolation on her hauora through technology, whānau catchups and going for walks. “You need those video calls, you need those texts to create a sense of normalcy in your life,” Mamie says.

Connecting with what’s going on in our te ao Māori communities can uplift us and lead to new friendships, whānau connections and a chance to share our unique skills and mātauranga.

Based in Ōtepoti, Te Roopu Tautoko ki Te Tonga offer several initiatives to empower whānau to connect and support each other, through kaupapa anchored in mana atua, mana tāngata, and mana whenua.

General Manager Christine Maxwell says, “it is significantly important to meet the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of whānau in our communities. Whakawhanaungatanga and mātauranga unlock a number of ways to keep us well, which is often missed or not well understood by mainstream organisations”.

Kaumātua and tāngata whaiora are also vulnerable to loneliness, because of loss of friends and whānau, deteriorating health and mobility, or reduced income. So, it is really important to help them stay connected.

Many marae and hauora providers have activities to help kaumātua stay culturally connected and keep their wairua nourished.

If you are concerned about being isolated or lonely, visit our Tāngata whaiora page for tips and more information on who to contact.

Tāngata whaiora

Video Link: