The world is changing hourly: COVID-19 at the beginning of April 2020
As of midnight on Monday 30th March, Victoria in Australia is now in Stage 3. So playgrounds, beaches and gyms are closed and social distancing goes up another level, groups of more than 2 (apart from family) gathering is not allowed. There are plenty more restrictions defined here. For the moment, these restrictions will end at midnight Monday 13th April but it may continue and the new life as we are getting used to may continue for many months to come. If this leads to “flattening the curve” I am keen to “hibernate” for as long as possible. As of the 4th April according to the below source from John Hopkins University , there are 1,097,909 Coronavirus cases worldwide and unfortunately 59,131 deaths.
According to The Guardian now residents can only leave the house for one of five essential reasons. These are:
- Shopping for food or other essential goods and services
- Work and education
- Care and compassionate reasons
- Other extenuating circumstances
The stay at home directions are listed here on the pdf.
In such unprecedented times, it is no wonder events such as Formula 1 and now Wimbledon have been cancelled. The Olympics has officially been postponed until 2021.
Connecting with friends & family online
More than ever before we need to look after our mental and physical health and help each other. Many of us may have already been going through hard times before the outbreak and many are not used to being alone and not socialising.
I love meeting up with friends. Having recently moved to Victoria from South Australia and having a newborn I was looking forward to meeting new mothers and getting involved in library events in the neighbourhood. But due to the current situation, we cannot socialise so in these times, we must work together (from a distance) and help each other. We need to check in with the neighbours and ring the bell or call them to see if they need help with their shopping. It is important to make the time to call and text friends because it allows us to connect with those out of the house and see how they are doing. Video connecting tools I have used are What’s App, Skype and FaceTime. Other technology tools being used are Zoom , Google hangouts and Microsoft Teams .
Going on a Bear Hunt in the Neighbourhood
In such difficult times, it has been wonderful to see neighbours put teddies and soft toys in their windows. The idea comes from the children’s book “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury where the family in the story go on a bear hunt. As we are all at home more now, a standard walk around the neighbourhood is more exciting with children able to count the bears they see in the windows. It’s a welcome break from the isolation of home life and the idea has taken off around the world as well as adding rainbows in the windows.
Lack of PPE (personal protective equipment)
Due to the shortages of personal protective equipment (face masks, gloves, gowns, goggles, alcohol wipes and hand sanitiser), many companies and volunteers have started to produce these. Although some masks may not be hygienic enough for surgery, what they do offer is the protection from touching our faces. According to reports, we touch our face up to 16 times an hour . It is through touching our face as well as surfaces which helps to increase the spread of infection.
Luxury & gin companies making up the shortfall in PPE
Companies that once made luxury goods are now helping the fight against COVID-19. These include LVMH, Gucci, Armani, Prada and Bulgari. LVMH for example is making hand sanitizer in its perfume factories.
According to the NY Post, H&M, Gap Inc and Canada Goose are also focusing on creating PPE in order to help health care professionals. Companies that are more at home making gin are now using their distils to make ethanol instead. That ethanol can then be used to create hand sanitizer. By doing this, they are helping to keep people in jobs. Distilleries such as Four Pillars is one such company.
A gin distillery on the Isle of Man has stopped making gin and is now only making hand sanitizer called Fyonderee’s high-strength alcohol rub.
I hope that with these companies and no doubt a growing number of more that are making PPE, will help make up the extreme shortfall of PPE worldwide. We owe it to the healthcare professionals to keep them safe while they are the heroes during the COVID-19 outbreak. In the meantime, those of us who don’t need to go out of the home, need to stay home to save lives.
Tonight I will be raising a glass to those healthcare professionals with Wynns 2017 Black Label Cabernet from the Coonawarra wine region in South Australia. Once we can all travel, I would like to visit the Wynns cellar door and meet the winemaker Sue Hodder as I really enjoy the wines she makes. I’d also love to see my friends and family again in person.
Stay well and stay safe.