Life is almost back to normal here in Hervey Bay. We even saw stocks of hand sanitiser and surgical masks at the supermarket! We’re still been asked to social distance, but we don’t have to wait to go into the shops and to be honest, social distancing in the aisles is a bit of a joke. It seems the various governments have done a good job of controlling the spread of the virus – with a lot of help from the Australian people.
Pete and I have both installed the Government’s CovidSafe app on our phones. However, we’ve had to learn to take the things with us when we go out. That has been a challenge. The app works by recording encrypted info about owners of phones who come into contact with yours via Bluetooth. That’s not too many people when they’re in their usual positions, sitting on our respective desks. It’s all explained here. I think the provisions made for security and privacy are adequate and in these parlous times, it’s less of a risk than a close encounter with covid-19.
Last week a journalist for The Australian wrote a great article about the circumstances she encountered when she attended a large public hospital in Sydney. She’d cut her leg and while at first she didn’t want to burden the hospital with her presence (given the pandemic) when icing and home remedies didn’t work and the cut clearly needed stitching, she went with her son to the emergency department. She said she was surprised at how few people were there. She was seen immediately and got the impression that the staff were pleased to attend to her. In other words, the pandemic was NOT stretching the hospital to capacity and beyond.
This is one of the comments on the article.
“I am a doctor. I work in a public hospital. For months now we have been working feverishly scrambling to amass resources, devising plans, performing high fidelity simulations, and generally wearing our brown underpants waiting for the flu-nami to hit.
And it hasn’t……yet. Hopefully it never will.
And that is all down to you, the Australian people, not us, the medicos. So from all of us, to all of you, here’s a big thank you.
The return to sunny days will come. There’ll be some rain clouds along the way and perhaps a few storms, but we will get there. And yes, I expect a few spikes in case numbers over the next year or so. And maybe we will have to have more restrictions at certain times to deal with it. But after seeing the willingness of our greatest weapon, the Australian people, to help us out, I’m confident we can see this through successfully.”
Australia and New Zealand are being praised for their response to the virus and the economic implications, according to this article in the Financial Review. But it wouldn’t do to become complacent. It’s apparent that there has been a ‘second wave’ in Germany and France after restrictions were eased and the United States seems to be easing restrictions far too early, although that’s probably not true of all places in that vast country. All over the world (including Australia) people are protesting the restrictions. While I don’t have much sympathy for those demanding their right to have their hair and nails done, I feel for workers who have effectively been unemployed since restrictions started. I’m sure many small businesses will never open their doors again. On the other hand, a second wave will kill many and will leave even more with lingering effects to their vital organs. It’s a delicate balance.
As we enter a new era, I hope the Powers That Be will see this situation as an opportunity for the country to become more self reliant. For instance, why do we buy inferior steel from China when we have the coal, gas, and iron ore to make the stuff ourselves? Yes, I know the answer is labour costs. But we have found in this pandemic that we are far too reliant on other countries for things we should be doing ourselves. Hand sanitiser and surgical masks are just the tip of the iceberg.
This week’s pretty pictures are dawn photos taken down at our beach. Let’s hope we’ll soon be entering a new dawn.
I giess we’re all suffering ‘pandemicitis’ but a new dawn WILL come. Stay safe and wash your hands.