Sally (63), Teacher. Waikato, NZ.

In March 2020,I had planned an overseas trip for months to visit my family in the States in May. I had booked flights, train tickets, air bnbs, with my husband, and obviously that was cancelled. I lost a few hundred dollars in non-refundable fees, and fortunately the airline and train service refunded my money – a very time-consuming process and disappointing.

Prior to the long 40-day (?) lockdown which began later in March, my husband and I had been living in a caravan with my husband to save money on rent which had nearly doubled at our city apartment. The caravan situation was liveable as there was a gym, a large public meeting house, public showers and kitchen, a sauna, and hot tubs on a large property – however, during lockdown, all these public areas were closed to us, and we were confined to the caravan and the supermarket. We had to advocate to management and managed to convince them to at least keep the showers and toilet open for us.

I believe there were around 40 days of living in this tight space with nowhere to go but the supermarket.

Then, in 2021, my GP, who has known me for 20 years, issued me a medical exemption certificate due to a heart condition that made me vulnerable to possible adverse reactions from the shot. I was advised and legally permitted to refuse the covid injection.

The very next week, Ashley Bloomfield decreed that only he himself was authorised to declare a medical exemption. My GP who had treated me for 20 years was deemed a less reliable source for my medical condition than a man who had never met me.

As of December 2021, as a certified teacher, I was no longer allowed to work in the Auckland schools where I'd served for 20 years.

We then had to rely solely on my husband's income who fortunately was deemed to have a ‘necessary' occupation. He came into contact with many more people than I did as a teacher, as he worked on the train service, however he was not mandated out of his job. We were also banned from our church, our library, and the local public gym which had been sources of mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical support for years.

Then, in 2021, when the vaccine mandates came into effect, and we were both unvaccinated, we were given one week's notice to vacate the caravan site where we had been living for 4 years. As our caravan was used for a home and not warranted for the road, we had to find another place to live quickly. We had some family in Taupo, so we urgently arranged to leave Auckland and shifted to Taupo. My husband went on leave from his job, which was stressful financially, and we suffered due to the disruption in my work as well – not to mention the emotional trauma of leaving Auckland, which had been our home for nearly 20 years.

In Taupo, we were banned from libraries, churches, cafes, gyms, and local classes.

My independent teaching business I'd been running in Auckland for nearly 20 years was all of a sudden confined to Zoom – which resulted in a huge loss of income and opportunity as well. My network was severed. We are still recovering today.

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