Update 8 May
3 Steps to More Connection
Today’s outcome on the easing of restrictions from National Cabinet did not disappoint. We have a 3 step plan and a timeframe. All going well, by July we might be gathering in groups of up to 100, and travelling interstate again. All going well.
These steps are all about rebuilding those connections we’ve lost with friends, family and our community, and of course rebuilding our economy.
You’ll find a more detailed overview here: https://www.pm.gov.au/sites/default/files/files/three-step-framework-covidsafe-australia.pdf
Step 1 means the family barbeque or small birthday get-together can happen at home again. In parks a group can run around with a football, have a picnic or get back to bootcamp class routines. Kids can return to playgrounds and we can begin to travel further within our regions. A special change is that funerals can now have gatherings of up to 30 people (outdoors).
Step by Step, State by State
States and territories can decide their own pace through the steps – including when Step 1 starts – based on their situations. Six out of eight states have had multiple days of zero new cases, so some of them are already well into Step 1. Step 2 and 3 will be developed more clearly once we see what happens after we’ve made the tentative moves of Step 1.
Two Sides of the Same Coin
This next phase will be a funny combination of cautiously sticking our heads out of our doors again, knowing the virus is still out there, and not being timid in resuming normal activities. Just because we’ve controlled the virus so well (well done again, everybody) doesn’t mean it’s become weaker. It can still get out of control if we don’t watch out, especially as we begin meeting up with more people again. At the same time, we have well-considered protections in place now. There’s tons of testing being done, we have capacity to trace the virus through the app, and we’ve proven we can stop the spread quickly where there have been outbreaks. So we should not be fearful of outbreaks. We need to get back to work, to get the wheels turning again, to get the economy back up and running.
Mother’s Day will be a tough gig for some states as their restrictions remain the same this weekend. Here are some of the variations:
NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Northern Territory
No restriction changes last time I checked today. Waiting for updates from the premiers.
Current restrictions will remain in place until 15 May, but may be shifted earlier for access to green spaces. Rules for aged care will not change until Monday and after that will run with national guidelines. So no big family visits to elderly mamas or grandmothers in aged care this Sunday.
…is organised. The Premier has even mapped out the steps with dates. Check out the QLD plan here. 5 visitors to the home have been allowed for Mother’s Day, but Step 1 will officially begin on 15 May, with some extra relaxation for the outback regions.
Australian Capital Territory
… has embraced the Step 1 changes as of midnight tonight.
… is way ahead with gatherings of 10 people already permitted from 27 April. At that time public playgrounds and parks remained closed. That may change. Waiting for their response.
A Timely WHO Reminder that We Can Beat COVID-19
Today is the 40th anniversary of the day smallpox was eradicated from the world. Smallpox was killing 4 million people annually until a vaccine was developed. With team collaboration around the world, as is happening right now for COVID-19, an eradication programme ensured that we don’t have to deal with smallpox today. As for COVID-19, the strategy was testing, tracing and awareness raising. The vaccine has saved the world an estimated US$1 billion a year. We can beat COVID-19.
The Stats for Australia
To give an idea of what levels of COVID-19 different states are experiencing, this table shows the distribution. After 2 weeks of no new cases – a record – SA have 2 new cases. Just a reminder that we have to keep on our toes with this thing.
- There have been 6896 cases of COVID-19 in Australia
- 97 lives sadly lost
- 23 currently in ICU
- 6035 people have recovered
The COVIDSafe app has been downloaded by 5.3 million Australians.
Have you downloaded the app? Find it here: www.covidsafe.gov.au
Hope Over Fear
Lost and Found – in translation
Vincent Uwimana is used to helping a brother out. Having migrated from war-torn Rwanda, he’s been volunteering with the Red Cross, teaching computer skills and educating school kids about refugees. Living among a Congolese community in South Australia’s Mount Gambier, he quickly picked up that people were not understanding the coronavirus because they were using traditional medicines for it. Knowing he had to help these people who trusted him, he set up a hotline using his personal mobile, and a Whatsapp group, and began answering their questions and translating media updates for them. A friend said of Vincent, “It was very kind of Vincent to sit with me, to read together, and to explain what the brochure is talking about.”
Radio working closely with indigenous communities
Radio presenter Sylvia Nulpinditj has been working with Yolngu Radio in Darwin to translate COVID-19 information for the local aboriginal communities. She explained that her people were in panic mode and afraid of outsiders coming into their communities.
Current Translations of COVID-19 Resources
In case you know anyone who would appreciate hearing information in their mother tongue:
- The Australian Health Department has translated COVID-19 Resources into 50 languages. You’ll find them here.
- SBS has a YouTube channel with coronavirus information translated into multiple languages. You’ll find them here.
Your Tip for Today
Fake news moves faster than science news.
Rumours spread 6 x faster than the truth online.
Only 1 in 3 of us regularly try to confirm if the news we see is real.
Verifying the truth only takes a second. Doubt It gives 3 quick and easy ways to check that you’re not being duped. Have a look at their steps for each of these checks:
Check the Claim
Check the Source
Check the Image
Tackling the Infodemic – and debunking misinformation
The World Health Organisation has worked hard on making sure the volumes of information on COVID-19 are communicated clearly and effectively, with misinformation being countered.
WHO recommends the website Covid19Misinfo which is playing a vital role in tackling fake information:
On this website you’ll find additional fact checking resources for anything that seems dodgy.
I had a quick browse of FactCheck, and here’s a glimpse of what I found:
- CDC Did Not Reduce the Death Toll – There are two types of lists that track deaths. One is list of death certificates, and the other is a list of probable or confirmed deaths. The second gives a more current snapshot, as admin processes can mean death certificates take days or even weeks to be issues. The claim that one list was faulty was untrue – it was simply the other death list.
Read the full article here
- The China Travel Conspiracy – China did not allow international flights to continue out of Wuhan after domestic flights were cancelled. The rumour originated in a column by a London historian as an accusatory question. He later corrected his statement.
Read the full article here.
What About You?
- How do you feel about venturing out and mingling a bit more with the eased restrictions?
- Have you downloaded the COVIDSafe app?
- Have you come across suspicious COVID-19 information?
I’d love to hear your stories.
Prime Minister Press Conference with Chief Medical Officer – 8 May
WHO 40TH anniversary of smallpox eradication – 8 May
Tasmanian Gov – 7 May (Live feed)
QLD – Mothers Day – 7 May
QLD Govt – Step 1 begins (8 May)
Western Australin Govt – 8 May
ACT Govt – 8 May 2020
ABC News – Translation for migrants – 8 May 2020
SBS News – Translation for aboriginal communities – 26 March