Update 21 April
Don’t Lock Up Nannas and Pops
If your elderly loved one lives in an aged care facility, apparently you might not have been able to visit them because of heavy-handed restrictions in some places. But for many of the elderly who became completely isolated, this misinterpretation of state guidelines was not good for their health and wellbeing.
Today ScoMo and the Chief Medical Officer emphasised the need to allow vital family and support visits, including for those who have chosen to self-isolate in their own homes. Of course, the normal safety precautions still apply.
So go and knock on your nanna’s door with a nice bunch of flowers. (But don’t give her a hug or a kiss just yet!)
The First Step on the Road Out – Surgical Relief
Have you been hanging on with an aching tooth, or waiting with a painful hip for orthopaedic surgery? You’ll be pleased that as of today elective surgery is back in business.
That’s because Australia has been able to slow the spread (well done, everyone), and there are now enough masks and ventilators to go around. 54 million masks arrived over the weekend, with another 100 million coming in the next 6 weeks. 3260 ventilators arrived yesterday.
Hospitals will gradually phase in Category 2 and 3 surgeries based on clinical priorities. If you’re a patient, the controlled, “gentle” approach means you’ll be safe from the virus in hospital, as your surgery boosts your quality of life.
Navigating JobKeeper Niggles
Maybe you were one of the employees who breathed a sigh of relief at the lifeline of the JobKeeper package. Some have been disappointed by their employers, who are responsible for distributing the benefit to them.
- 20% of employers are reportedly considering not signing up. Some say it’s because they don’t like the attitude of their employees demanding money. This makes workers more than a little upset.
- The JobKeeper payment is a flat rate of $750 per week, regardless of previous wage. That means some workers would be paid more than usual, so employers are demanding that they work more hours to earn the payment. Apparently this is okay. An alternative is that the employer does not need to keep that employee. (And that’s where the rubber hits the road.)
- Workers can only obtain the payment from one employer, so for those with more than one: who pays, and does that employer get the worker’s additional hours?
ScoMo advised that the Fair Work Act has been changed to assist employers with a range of instructions to their employees. Conversely, coercive employers should not be tolerated, and unfair cases should be taken to Fair Work Australia, just the same as before the pandemic.
The Stats for Australia
The curve is now well and truly flattening, with growth in new cases down to less than 1%.
South Australia has had 3 days of no new cases.
- There are 6,625 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia.
- Sadly, 71 people have died
- Almost two thirds of cases (4,258 people) have recovered
Hope Over Fear
Windows of Opportunity
While people at higher risk of COVID-19 infection or severe symptoms live in quarantine, loved ones have become creative at maintaining connection through windows.
Heartwarming moments have included:
- Dancer Alana McKinley felt she had to do something special for her mother’s 95th birthday, so she arranged a dance-along for the aged care facility in vibrant costume outside the glass doors of the facility’s common room. Her mother enjoyed the party.
- A Texas husband whose wife is undergoing chemotherapy used to go with her to every appointment. When she was required to go into isolation he arrived one day and got comfortable in a chair outside the hospital with a large sign that said, “I can’t be with you, but I’m here. Love you.” She teared up when she noticed his unexpected visit a few storeys below, outside her window.
- In Carindale, Queensland, a band performed live outside and aged care facility. Residents in the multi-storey block sang and danced on their balconies to their favourite tunes.
- And finally, windows have become the venue for many rounds of Tic Tac Toe, as a way for grandchildren to have some fun with their grandparents.
Your Tip for Today
With children around the country engaging in remote learning this term, this teacher’s advice to stop parents from ending up in a tailspin seemed sensible:
- DON’T DO ANYTHING YET!
Don’t buy $100 worth of resources, don’t stay up until 2am Google-searching programs to print off. This may all change again at midterm.
- YOU CAN STILL WORK FROM HOME, YOU WON’T BE ‘TEACHING’
Homeschooling is the wrong term. Your school will email, send packages, whatever may be needed. You don’t have to be a teacher, just a supervisor.
- BE REALISTIC
You do not have to set up a classroom. Kids don’t have to be working ALLLLL day. Check guidelines on your state’s education sites. The teacher will be checking – it will not all be up to you.
- GIVE YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER A MINUTE
When you ask a question, it may take 24 hours for the teacher to reply. If you can’t do something until they explain it – DON’T! Just use it as an excuse to chill out. We teachers are not going to be critically analysing every piece of work. We will scan for issues and problems, as we do walking around the classroom.
- DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN ‘MUM SHAMING’
People show perfect houses on social media, and how they’re setting up enriching and engaging activities with their children. Which leads you to feel guilty, because your kid has been eating biscuits and watching TV. ‘My child will be left behind. I am a terrible parent ruining the future of my baby’. Don’t fall into that trap.
Things are going to happen in the next few months that normally wouldn’t. Your kids will probably have too much screen time. Your house may look messier. Your kids need hugs, not being yelled at by a stressful mum or dad who is doing things that are not really needed.
Their education will recover. Look after yourselves.
What About You?
I’d love to hear your stories.
- Have you been able to visit your elderly loved ones?
- How have the first few days of remote learning gone for you and your kids?
- Have you found new uses for a window?
I’m keen to see your comments below
Prime Minister’s Press Release with Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt and Chief Medical Officer, Prof Brendan Murphy – 21 April
Prime Minister’s interview with Alan Jones – 17 April
Federal Health Minister, Greg54 million masks – health minister – 18 April
Fair Work Ombudsman – Changes to the Fair Work Act – 9 April
The Advertiser – South Australia on zero cases
7News Good News Stories
Husband Holds Sign for Wife with Cancer
A Teacher’s Advice for Remote Learning