What a change a week or so makes. The whole world is united in facing the challenges presented by COVID-19. Not only is toilet paper unavailable, but many items are limited for purchase. Thats not really a huge problem because there is still an abundant supply of food for all and the limitations are in place to make access more equitable for all.
Social distancing is the new normal and we are required to keep a metre and a half distance from other people and not hug or kiss people that aren’t part of our family etc. There are now limits on numbers for gatherings. In Australia today the 18th of March, the number for gatherings is 100. Up until yesterday it was 500. There are not country wide closures of schools and universities yet. Restaurants and small business’s are still operating. The testing criteria is still extremely limited, in that you have to have returned from travel or had contact with someone who has a confirmed case, and you have to have the relevant symptoms. If you have symptoms consistent with a respiratory virus you cannot just turn up to your local general practitioner, you must ring ahead. You can get health advice over the phone but unless you meet the criteria you will not be offered testing. The government has also advised no international travel and the borders are closed. The reason testing is so limited is because our country, like many others lacks the number of tests to meet the recommendations of the World Health Organisation which is to contact trace, quarantine/isolate (forgive me if I’m using these terms incorrectly as I’m trying to write about this event as I see it unfolding) and test at the highest frequency possible. In the words of the Director of the W.H.O “you cannot fight a fire blindfolded”.
I personally don’t find listening to the Prime Minister especially reassuring at this time. This is unfortunate, as strong and decisive leadership during this time would have been welcome. The numbers keep rising and we knew they would. However, we now have the examples of many other countries to learn from. Listening to medical professionals from Italy has been very illuminating. They have been warning us and wishing us luck for over two weeks. I feel solidarity with all citizens of the world during this time and as people of all nations, we must stand together and support one another in what ever way we can. Regardless of the decisions, or in some cases, lack of decisions being made by our governments. We must use our own common sense and think for ourselves. We must help others. In short, we must retain our humanity.
I started writing this yesterday. Today is Thursday the 19th of March 2020. Overnight I see that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has declared that schools will close. Also schools in Northern Ireland will close. Schools in Ireland had closed from the 12th of March. Also the confirmed numbers of CoVid-19 have risen again in Australia.
I have been listening to a podcast daily called Coronacast. It has been a very good source of information and discusses what the majority of people need to hear about it. Follow the link below if you want clear and accurate information 🙂
Wherever you are in the world, happiness and good health to yourself and all your loved ones. xo