Thursday 2 July 2020

2020 .... The Year We All Played Jumanji!

Oh 2020, it is only July but golly gosh, what a year it has been so far!

We, as a family, had grand plans that this was going to be our year. January came and went with huge devastating bush fires and then floods here in Australia. February arrived and seemed to last a very long time. Then March arrived with a bang! 

March, you really should have been holding a sign that said "Welcome to Jumanji!"

COVID19 hit Australia in March, not long before the Easter holidays when many people have their yearly family holiday. But unfortunately all holidays must be cancelled unless there are compassionate reasons. Caravan parks closed, flights cancelled, campgrounds closed, hotels closed, restaurants and cafes closed. Cruises cancelled. Cruise ships stranded at sea with no ports allowing ships to dock. Airports become parking lots for aeroplanes.

Petrol prices are at a record low just above $1 per litre. Currently I am getting three weeks to a tank of fuel!

Social isolating and self distancing measures in place. Tape on the floors at supermarkets, chemists and other shops to help distance shoppers 1.5m from each other. Some supermarkets are limiting the number of people inside shops therefore there are lineups outside the shop with security guards allowing people in one at a time.

Non-essential stores and businesses mandated closed by the government. Nature parks, trails, entire cities locked up. Schools with multiple pupil free days at the end of term 1 so that teachers can prepare for online distance learning.

There is a shortage of masks, gowns, and gloves for our frontline health workers. There is also a shortage of respirators for the critically Ill. 

Panic buying sets in and we have no toilet paper, no disinfecting supplies, no paper towels, no laundry soap, no hand sanitizer - the shelves are bare. Limits are placed by the shops on how many tins/packets of food that can be purchased at a time.

Essential businesses switch their lines to help make visors, masks, hand sanitizer and other PPE.

The Federal Government closed the state borders all over the country as well as national borders and anyone entering from overseas must isolate for 14 days. Fines are established for breaking the rules. All beaches, playgrounds and places of gathering, including churches, are closed and in some cases, fenced off. Stadiums and recreation facilities on standby to provide overflow to hospitals and mortuaries in some countries. In Australia, five people were allowed at weddings and ten at funerals. Groups no larger than two people to gather in public, unless it's your family group.

Press conferences are held daily from both the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, our Queensland Premier and the Government Medical Officer. Government offering financial support to individuals and businesses to help cope with job losses, save the economy and avoid a recession.

Thousands losing their jobs enmasse. Massive queues outside Centrelink to access unemployment benefits. Barely anyone in the streets or on the roads. People wearing masks and gloves outside. We are to distance from each other and stay at home unless we need to do essential shopping, go to medical appointments or go to work, if an essential worker. We can also leave the house each day for brisk exercise. 

Thousands are affected by the corona virus, there are huge numbers of people who are critically ill in ICU. There are also many who have recovered. And unfortunately, many thousands of people have lost their lives due to COVID 19.

Schools were closed to all students except for children whose parents were classed as essential workers. All lessons were delivered via a online platform for most of term two. Parents who were at home with their children became instant teachers, supervising their children's online learning. 

This is the Novel Corona virus, COVID 19 Pandemic, it was declared by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020.

Why, you ask, do I write this status? We are a part of living history. My little superheroes are a part of living history. One day when they have children, they will be able to tell about the time when the world stood still to help prevent the spread of the corona virus. This will be a reminder that life is precious. A reminder that we shouldn't take everything that we love, for granted. A reminder of the time that we were all this together.

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