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What is COVID-19, and How Australia is Responding? (Pt. 2)

With COVID-19 being a new disease, there are no certainties toward the overall impact it will have or any long-term effects that may come from it. That being said, hope is not wholly lost. There are actions that individuals can take to prevent contracting the disease, and the Australian government has a response plan in place that is constantly being monitored and adjusted as the need calls for it.

 

 

The Government Response Plan
 

Australia, fortunately, has an excellent healthcare system and thus has already planned strategies to take in response to a major incident like the pandemic we’re facing now. Since the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to that of influenza, the Department of Health has implemented the strategies used to handle influenza toward the handling of the coronavirus—albeit changing and adapting as more is discovered about this disease. There are four categories in these preparations that the country has been and will continue to follow: Initial Action, Targeted Action, Standdown, and Preparedness.
 

During the Initial Action stage, new cases were being monitored and acted upon accordingly while information was gathered about COVID-19. As new information was learned, the government was able to not only prepare the healthcare system for the increased number of patients but also provide information to the public so everyone could make their own informed decisions regarding exposure management and risk reduction. Targeted Action was initiated on 15 March 2020, focusing on maintaining and providing quality care for patients and prioritizing treatment of severe cases over elective surgeries while further limiting the exposure risk in waiting rooms, clinics, and similar services.
 

When the number of cases begins to wind down, Standdown will become active and start the return of regular services. Once that’s done, the Preparedness stage will begin to continue monitoring and preparing for the potential of another major outbreak.

Individual Response Such a major outbreak has, of course, affected the daily lives of millions of people around the world. Conventions, concerts, and other large events have been cancelled, while amusement parks as big as Disney have shut down until further notice. Though the disruption can be inconvenient and unsettling, for the safety of the entire community it’s important to follow the suggested guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to yourself, your family, and your neighbours. Washing your hands with soap and water is equally as important, but if unavailable, alcohol-based hand sanitizer works as well. Staying home and self-isolating will reduce the spread of illness if you believe you may have come in contact with someone with COVID-19, and keeping home if you’re sick will further reduce the risk of spreading. Getting a flu shot, while not combative of COVID-19, will help keep you from potentially having both the coronavirus and influenza at the same time.
 

If you must travel, take a look at this site to see what the spread of the disease is like at your destination and consider whether or not going would be worth the risk. Most importantly, keep in touch with loved ones through text messages, phone calls, video calls, or other forms of media to maintain social distancing while checking in on them. Be sure to keep yourself informed through reliable sources, such as the Australian Government Health website and state/territory websites.
 

This is a terrifying time filled with uncertainty. It can be easy to become overwhelmed by social media posts and news articles consistently speaking about the coronavirus, but so long as you do your part to keep safe and stay informed, even a situation as large as a pandemic can become more manageable to deal with.

 

With COVID-19 being a new disease, there are no certainties toward the overall impact it will have or any long-term effects that may come from it. That being said, hope is not wholly lost. There are actions that individuals can take to prevent contracting the disease, and the Australian government has a response plan in place that is constantly being monitored and adjusted as the need calls for it.

The Government Response Plan
 

Australia, fortunately, has an excellent healthcare system and thus has already planned strategies to take in response to a major incident like the pandemic we’re facing now. Since the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to that of influenza, the Department of Health has implemented the strategies used to handle influenza toward the handling of the coronavirus—albeit changing and adapting as more is discovered about this disease. There are four categories in these preparations that the country has been and will continue to follow: Initial Action, Targeted Action, Standdown, and Preparedness.
 

During the Initial Action stage, new cases were being monitored and acted upon accordingly while information was gathered about COVID-19. As new information was learned, the government was able to not only prepare the healthcare system for the increased number of patients but also provide information to the public so everyone could make their own informed decisions regarding exposure management and risk reduction. Targeted Action was initiated on 15 March 2020, focusing on maintaining and providing quality care for patients and prioritizing treatment of severe cases over elective surgeries while further limiting the exposure risk in waiting rooms, clinics, and similar services.
 

When the number of cases begins to wind down, Standdown will become active and start the return of regular services. Once that’s done, the Preparedness stage will begin to continue monitoring and preparing for the potential of another major outbreak.

Individual Response Such a major outbreak has, of course, affected the daily lives of millions of people around the world. Conventions, concerts, and other large events have been cancelled, while amusement parks as big as Disney have shut down until further notice. Though the disruption can be inconvenient and unsettling, for the safety of the entire community it’s important to follow the suggested guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to yourself, your family, and your neighbours. Washing your hands with soap and water is equally as important, but if unavailable, alcohol-based hand sanitizer works as well. Staying home and self-isolating will reduce the spread of illness if you believe you may have come in contact with someone with COVID-19, and keeping home if you’re sick will further reduce the risk of spreading. Getting a flu shot, while not combative of COVID-19, will help keep you from potentially having both the coronavirus and influenza at the same time.
 

If you must travel, take a look at this site to see what the spread of the disease is like at your destination and consider whether or not going would be worth the risk. Most importantly, keep in touch with loved ones through text messages, phone calls, video calls, or other forms of media to maintain social distancing while checking in on them. Be sure to keep yourself informed through reliable sources, such as the Australian Government Health website and state/territory websites.
 

This is a terrifying time filled with uncertainty. It can be easy to become overwhelmed by social media posts and news articles consistently speaking about the coronavirus, but so long as you do your part to keep safe and stay informed, even a situation as large as a pandemic can become more manageable to deal with.

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