Firstly, I hope you are safe and well.
We find ourselves in hugely challenging and uncharted waters as the Bay of Plenty and rest of New Zealand prepare to go into lockdown.
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Covid-19 is having an impact on our lives - and livelihoods - like none of us could have ever imagined.
Who would have thought at the start of this month people would be catching what has become one of the world's most feared viruses?
Who would have thought most of us would be told to self-isolate this week?
Who would have imagined we'd be seeing the Prime Minister address us and tell us to hunker down to protect lives?
Who would have thought jobs would end, or businesses would suddenly suffer and close - and people would be lining up at supermarkets?
Yet this is what is happening. Our lives have been turned upside down, and inside out.
This crisis means experiencing myriad emotions.
Stress, fear, panic and extreme frustration are things I have felt over the past week and I am sure many of you have also experienced similar feelings.
Stress in not knowing how this will end.
Fear for family, friends and colleagues.
Panic as I wonder if the person next to me in the supermarket has the virus and will suddenly cough in my direction. Will I catch it?
And extreme frustration. Just how did we get to this point and have we acted fast enough?
But one thing I do know is we Kiwis are resilient and we're fighters. We stick together and we solve problems.
Over the coming weeks and months, we will be tested in ways we've never been tested before. But as a region, and country, we will get through it.
We will get through it because I believe we will look after ourselves, our families, our friends, our neighbours and even the people we don't know.
There will be people who will do amazing, kind things for others.
I believe our Government and essential services are doing everything they can to lead and support us. Please follow their advice - to the letter.
Throughout these difficult times, news and information - and stories of inspiration and human kindness - will be more important than ever.
The Bay of Plenty Times will bring you this news and information, and stories of human kindness every day.
We will keep you up to date with what is happening and what you need to know and where to get help.
Our journalists, working safely, will continue bringing you content you can trust, in your daily newspaper and online.
We will keep Kiwis in the know.
Finally, please look out for one another. Please check on your elderly neighbours and others who are vulnerable. They need us like never before.
Please keep in touch with your families and friends.
Please take care of yourself and be safe. We will come out the other side stronger.
Together, we can do this.
Bay of Plenty Times