Every day we hear of the staggering death toll and see the frightening images of overrun hospitals on our screens, but for former Napier woman Georgie Floyd, that is all unfolding in her own backyard.

Georgie left New Zealand to travel overseas in 2008 and has lived and worked in London on and off for the past 11 years. With 40,000 people in the UK having now died of Covid-19, she says it's "very scary".

"It makes you really think, 'Do I really want to go out'?"

With no alert levels and messages from officials "confusing", Georgie is full of praise for leadership in New Zealand.


"I'm so proud of Jacinda. She is on the news here and in the Guardian often. It's quite nice - everyone says, 'Your prime minister is so good'."

The widely travelled and usually sociable Georgie, who is working from home as an IT project manager, says for the first three weeks she had panic attacks, something she had never experienced before.

"I'm now in a rhythm. For me it's not so bad. I get up, do some yoga, go to work, have a walk. If I had to go out to work I'd be scared."

Life may feel fairly safe in her home bubble, but Georgie says trying to decipher messages from leaders is difficult.

"People can wander in from overseas with no self isolation rules coming in until June. We are allowed to meet one other person at the park and are allowed to go fishing and golfing, etc. Although social distancing is expected, more people are now meeting up, lying around and hanging about."

She says schools for some age groups are also opening, which she feels is worrying.

"How do you separate the littlies. They haven't thought it through - it's atrocious."

Georgie is also concerned about people living on their own, the sick and the elderly.


"I think there will be a lot of mental health problems."

With around 600 people a day still dying, new cases are on the decline and contractors are going back to work. Georgie says there is no government support until July.

"It's really tough. Some are living on 80 per cent of their wages and others on nothing. It's very difficult."

She says the government's priority is to get everyone back to work, but guidelines are unclear.

"Everyone expected it to be laid out. Ireland, Wales and Scotland are all doing it differently
and managing their own health. We have no idea how long this will all last."