Stories have emerged on Twitter of nurses being booted from their shared houses and barred from supermarkets by people scared of catching the coronavirus.

Twitter user Taylah Hodson-Tomokino said her sister had been working in Timaru Hospital in the South Island and "got home late after delivering a child to find her flatmates have kicked her out".

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She said the flatmates were scared her sister would bring home the coronavirus.


"It is understandable, but she is already under a considerable amount of stress.

"[But] what happened to the whole 'be kind' mantra everyone's been going on about?"

"She is doing a job, holding our country together like the other frontline staff and essential workers but has to find somewhere to live while working stupid hours."

Hodson-Tomokino said her sister just packed her stuff and left.

She's temporarily sleeping at a workmate's house.

"But, honestly we need to be better people."

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards also used his private Twitter account to tell about a nurse's trip to a supermarket in New Plymouth while wearing her uniform.

"Did they applaud? Expedite her shopping like the hero she is?" Edwards wrote.


"No. They asked her to leave.

"Reminds me of the ignorance and bigotry that accompanied the Aids crisis in the 80s."

But some - including public commentator Matthew Hooton - questioned whether a nurse should go into the supermarket in uniform.

"Not sure that is so outrageous. Surely a health professional shouldn't to a supermarket in work clothes after being at work," Hooton said.

"Why has she not changed her clothes? She's presenting a heightened risk by not, and the public is not wrong to recognise it," another Twitter user wrote. The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

However, another Twitter user wrote it was wrong for everyone to assume the nurse had just come from a work shift and that the nurse was probably highly aware of whether he or she presented a risk to the public and able to make that call themselves.

A fourth man said he had been instructed by his district health board they had been told to change their clothes before and after every shift because there was a risk wearing the uniform out of the hospital.

"We have to launder our own scrubs and we're being instructed under no circumstances to wear them to or from work, must change at work.