A Kiwi nurse and influencer who juggled an incredible fitness routine with his clinical workload during lockdown is now raising money for his colleagues who have been at the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic in New Zealand.
Franz Arevalo, a West Auckland nurse who ran a funded clinical base unit for 10 weeks on the frontline of Covid-19 testing, is calling for fellow nurses to be appreciated for their hard work.
Arevalo decided to start fundraising and reached out to local companies for product donations. He also sourced meals for medical staff to ensure they were well fed after their long shifts.
Arevalo approached bedding company, Ecosa, and so far he's picked up $3000 worth of bedding products for nurses to ensure they get a good much-needed rest when they get home from work.
"For nurses this is our season, and we have been able to show people how capable we are and what we can do," he says.
"I felt that they needed appreciation for their bravery and dedication, and I was in a position where I can help serve other people through my social media," he says of his 4700-strong following on Instagram.
"Often, we were working six days a week and they were so grateful to be recognised for their work."
Arevalo is also calling on the government to recognise the hard work of frontline health workers during the Covid-19 pandemic by waiving their student loans.
In a post on his Instagram, @thenattynurse, he wrote:
"I believe by simply implementing a legislation that advocates the needs of our health workers particularly nurses, we can lift a huge burden to them by simply helping them in their financial well being.
"Waving out our student loan debt would give us determination and hope to work earnestly in our job [sic]."
This isn't the first time Arevalo has made headlines during the coronavirus pandemic.
Last month he shared with the Herald how he adapted some of his workouts for lockdown under alert levels 3 and 4.
"I know it's been a struggle to maintain daily exercises now that the gyms are closed," he shared. "This motivates me more to adopt new alternative fitness regime at home in order to maintain physical performance."
He demonstrated using giant water bottles for weight training, in order to maintain the same "intensity", and even used his microwave to do weighted squats.
"It doesn't have to be lifting weights but being physically active can be a form of house cleaning, gardening, playing with your kids in your bubble. This will help improve blood circulation, physical performance and relieve mental stress. Any physical activity is better than staying in bed all day."