There is no question that the year 2020 has been challenging and yet I remain hopeful. My most recent role was leading our department’s pandemic incident management team so I know that we can make a difference. COVID-19 will be with us for some time and we need to be prepared for outbreaks and take effective action to protect ourselves and the people we care about.
There are some things that you should be doing at home and in your workplace. In Australia health.gov.au is the authoritative source of information as well as state and territory governments. Stay informed and make sure you comply with any restrictions that are in place in your state or territory because the situation continues to evolve. Businesses can refer to Safe Work Australia for guidance on what to do in the workplace.
You approach should be multi-pronged:
- Stay home if you are sick and get tested if you show any symptoms
- Keep practicing physical distancing when you are out and at work
- Maintain good hand hygiene and cover your cough
- Enhance cleaning to ensure that you have reduced the risk of contaminated surfaces
- Follow the sign-in process when you are visiting an establishment such as a medical facility or restaurant (including using the COVIDSafe app when you are out)
- Reconsider non-essential travel and make sure you follow the directions of local authorities
- Wear a mask in public during outbreaks
- Support is available so please use this
These measures are common sense and will be needed for some time. Please seek mental health support if you or others are having trouble coping – this is especially important as we enter the second wave. You can contact the National Coronavirus Helpline if you would like advice or information on what to do. Personally I have found our national broadcaster the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (our ABC) and Coronacast with Dr Norman Sawnn helpful, up to date and interesting. Take care, look after yourself and others and we will get through this.