Humans are completely social animals and the forced isolation imposed by the lockdowns continuing over the course of the entire past year have severely tested the ability to continue lives as close to normal as possible for many of us.
Councillor Neil of Wellington in conversation with Ekta Wadhwa speaks at length on the various difficulties and the many challenges that we face as a result.
He offers detailed instances of how he and his colleagues have launched and run many programs, for people in his community to keep themselves physically and mentally healthy, including the crisis line that is available 24/7 for anyone to dial in and speak.
Councillor Neil is uniquely placed to offer solutions also because of his experience as a consultant specialising in conflict resolution.
He says people need to go out and breathe the fresh air in natural settings to feel good about themselves and their lives. Taking a walk along with anyone they know, in a natural setting, fully protected wearing the requisite mask, we will be able to see another person and talk to them about how we feel.
That is the most important piece of sharing we need to do to keep ourselves emotionally positively charged in this pandemic.
For those who cannot go out or feel apprehensive speaking face to face, he suggests picking up the telephone and calling the crisis line, which works 24/7, to talk to the persons on the call.