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CORONA VIRUS AND YOU BY ELIZABETH GARDINER






The Coronavirus is a worldwide virus, affecting thousands. It took some countries longer than others to respond and start to take actions to keep individuals safe. No one is totally safe. That is impossible to guarantee. For more information go to Health.gov.au

Every single person in the world is at risk. Everyone could catch the Virus. Life will continue to change. We can deal with it. Australia will still function. There is no “quick fix” or solution. Experts think it will last at least 6 months. We will work together, and cooperation is going well.

People are being stopped from travelling overseas. We have a Level 4 warning in place and that means do not try to travel overseas. Internal, domestic travel is less risk. Planes get disinfected. For taxis, sit in the back seat. Public transport is a danger but try to practice social distancing – one and a half metres from others.

The best thing you can do is keep away from other people. If you sit somewhere, for a coffee, then you should stay at least 1.5 metres away from other people. This is tremendously important!

Numbers of infected people are growing daily. Experts tell us this “pandemic” – worldwide illness, is growing daily. For example, people who attended a wedding, early in March, have 35 people who attended it, who now have the virus. As well, Staff have been in isolation, to make sure they don’t spread it. Italy has the largest numbers of infected people; they are running out of Staff and equipment. Some people say that England has moved too slowly. Italy is doing well with people isolating themselves. At supermarkets, shoppers are allowed in one at a time.

Every single business is badly affected. From schools, universities, Childcare, every type of worker is potentially at risk of becoming infected. Banks are trying to help small business owners. Many small businesses will benefit from some assistance that banks are creating, and some small businesses will sadly become bankrupt.

If you have a personal loan or a mortgage, and you lose your job or have been sent home without pay, or you can’t pay your basic bills, you should get in touch with your lending body. Talk to the lender and find out what can be done to help you. All lending bodies will have or be developing policies around this situation. The government does not want lending bodies closing a family’s mortgage or loan. That should not happen. But if you don’t contact the lender, then they might act without discussion with you.

Many adults will lose their jobs, especially in shopping centres, hairdressers, restaurants, clothing shops, supermarkets, sports stores, gardening stores, doctors’ rooms, lawyers. Any business you can think of can be badly affected. Some have already closed due to a lack of customers.

Many large businesses have staff working from home. Qantas has stood down two thirds of its Staff. Non-essential travel is banned. People wanting to come to Australia for a holiday will not be allowed; only citizens and people who are permanent residents will be allowed in.

Children do not seem to be as affected as their parents and grandparents. They are not showing many signs of the infection. Apparently though, even without signs of infection, children can be carriers. So, they could have the ability to pass on the virus to their families.

If schools can’t successfully keep the infection away, they will have to close. This will impact parents who might be medical workers. In this case, it would take such workers out of the workforce and they are much needed.

Adults, especially older adults in their 70s and older are at greatest risk of infection. Parents and grandparents are more liable to catch the virus. Several countries have hundreds of dead and even thousands have already died. Italy now has more people who have died; more than China where the virus started.

So, what can we do? The first thing is to put into practice, social isolation. That is, a person needs to stay at least one and a half metres away from everyone. Parents with children know that this will be almost impossible. Children need physical contact with their families. In these cases, the family must try to keep their homes as clean as possible. What can you do? Wipe all surfaces with disinfectant, spray disinfectant, like Glen 20. Wash your hands with soap and water or use Hand Sanitiser. Don’t touch your face.

If you get a cough, make sure you cover your mouth, with a tissue or cough into your elbow. Children will probably already know about this.

If you have a Fever use Panadol. Supplies of this are being rationed by Chemists and Supermarkets. Take your and your children’s temperatures regularly and keep a record of it.

Don’t go to the hospital unless you have a fever, cough and have been overseas recently.

Don’t travel inside Australia. It is difficult to keep the virus away when you travel around.

Shopping: Make sure you are organised and have a list of things you need to buy. Don’t rely on your memory, as you might forget something that you need. Meals will become very welcome distractions from the day to day isolation situation. Involve the children in planning and making the food. Don’t shop and spend money on unnecessary items. This is not the time to spend money, as time goes on and you might need the money to pay for bills. Your bank will not be impressed if you spend a lot of money that you can’t afford.

Postpone large community celebrations

such as weddings, birthdays, your country’s special Day e.g. Australia Day, Anzac Day or if postponement is impossible, make the gathering as small as possible. You can always have a huge get together after the Virus has gone.

Funerals should be kept to just close family. After the virus has passed, families can organise a memorial service for your loved relation.

Re older people:

as much as possible work to keep them in their home environment. Don’t bring them into your home, as they are possibly infected. Keep in close touch with them but be aware that they are the ones most impacted and could be a danger to the health of your closest relatives. Do their shopping, washing, ironing. Cook them meals. Let one person be the contact.

Try to keep home life as normal as possible.

Contact your child’s care providers for suggestions for activities your children could enjoy. For example, buy some sand and make a sandpit. Google how to do this. It would make a good activity for the whole family and keep children happy for many hours. Give them spoons and plastic buckets so they can dig and make roads through the sand.

If you have been thinking about getting a pet, maybe this is the time to investigate what type and learn about how to care for the pet. Don’t get a pet if you are not prepared to take care of it.

Do not shout at the children if/when they ask questions.

Give them enough information, but don’t overload them with a lot of detail. Don’t talk about your personal fears, where children can hear you. They will pick up your worries and they have enough sudden change to deal with.

They’ll want to know why they can’t go to school so talk it over with your partner and tell the children something simple. E.g. People are not feeling well, and we don’t want to feel sick, so we are staying at home. Dad, Mum, Grandparents will keep doing things like washing our hands and you children need to do that a lot too. We will show you how to wash your hands well. Maybe make a timetable for washing hands every couple of hours, to make sure it is done.

Children and Teenagers will need to be supervised. They should not be wandering around shopping centres or streets. One thing they could be doing is schoolwork. The schools will provide schoolwork, so that the children and teenagers will still be learning. This applies to all school levels, especially the last two years of school. Some students may not have access to the internet and a computer. In this case, contact the school and explain and they will tell you what to do.

Stay away from crowds of more than 100 outside in the fresh air. Football at the AFL level will be played but without crowds and fans. As time goes on, there could be infected players and the footy could stop. If you go somewhere, keep a safe distance between yourself and others.

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