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Scott Morrison tears up as he reveals what keeps him awake at night

<div class="body_text "> <p>Prime Minister Scott Morrison appeared on the brink of tears when he addressed Australia and gave the nation a rare glimpse into the personal toll the coronavirus pandemic is having on its leader.</p> <p>He was asked by a reporter what keeps him up at night during a press conference.</p> <p>Morrison was quick to answer, saying that it’s a “great comfort” having his family in Canberra with him.</p> <p>"I am pleased that my family is with me, they have joined me in Canberra and that is a great comfort to me ... I hope that it is comfort to them," he said.</p> <p>"But they sustain me. We are just like any other family; I suppose in many other respects.</p> <p><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6AmqPZnLvQ/" target="_blank">https://www.instagram.com/p/B6AmqPZnLvQ/<br /></a></p> <p>Morrison then went onto explain that he tries to keep his kids informed and give them “positive and encouraging news”.</p> <p>“You talk to your kids about what this means and I suppose the really difficult issue for all of us is trying to imagine the world on the other side of this and to give your family some positive and encouraging news,” Morrison said.</p> <p>Morrison’s voice began to waver when he thought back to his grandmother.</p> <p>“I think back to my grandmother and how she lived through the Depression and I remember as a kid being told stories by my grandmother about what they used to do as a family to get through and we are doing the same thing in our house.</p> <p>“You have got to keep your family positive and keep connected and together. To us, our faith is very important to us. That helps us get through each day. But every family is different. Stay together, Australia.”</p> <p>Morrison announced in the press conference that child care will become completely free so that parents can continue working, a temporary overhaul that is estimated to cost $1.6 million.</p> <p>It was in the same press conference that Attorney-General Christian Porter announced changes made by the Fair Work Commission to the nation’s employment conditions.</p> <p>This ensures workers get better protections during the coronavirus pandemic, including access to two weeks unpaid leave for workers in hospitality and retail if they need to self-isolate from coronavirus.</p> </div>

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Aussie nurse shares incredible surprise found on doorstep: “Felt like Christmas”

<p>An Australian nurse has woken up to a lovely surprise on her doorstep this week.</p> <p>Supermarket shelves have been left empty of essential products due to panic buying at the hands of the coronavirus pandemic and Michelle, who works at Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide shared a sweet image of toilet paper, tissues, pasta, rice and flour which she says she received from a “little angel”.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7835441/face-mask-3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/2f29a5022f1b45eeafb06a9b9a60b36b" /></p> <p>“While I was sleeping before my night duty this week a little Angel left this in a bag on my Porch. It felt like Christmas,” she wrote.</p> <p>The heartwarming post recurved kind comments from strangers praising Michelle and other hospital workers on the front line like her.</p> <p>“What a treasure chest,” one person wrote.</p> <p>“That's a billion $ shopping bag right there. Jackpot,” another comment said.</p> <p>Michelle shared another post a few weeks ago to her public Facebook page where she urged people to stay home amid the health crisis that has already taken the lives of 24 people in Australia.<span> </span></p> <p><span><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7835440/face-mask-4.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ded8a9d857704600bb7c4f2d9595c90b" /></span></p> <p>“As I finish up my shift tonight I have totalled 60hrs at work in the last 6 days,” she wrote alongside an image of her with a sigh that read: “I stayed at work for you. You stay home for us.”</p> <p>“We need to do all we can to stop the spread of this disease,” she added.</p> <p>The post was shared over 700 times.</p> <p>Photo: Facebook</p>

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$1500 a fortnight JobKeeper wage subsidy in massive $130 billion program

<p>The Morrison government will provide a flat $1,500 a fortnight JobKeeper payment per employee for businesses to retain or rehire nearly six million workers, in a massive $130 billion six-month wage subsidy scheme to limit the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus.</p> <p>Describing the initiative as “unprecedented action” for “unprecedented times”, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this was a “uniquely Australian” solution to keep enterprises and their workers connected through to “the other side” of the crisis.</p> <p>He said no Australian government had ever made such a decision “and I hope and pray they never have to again.”</p> <p>The payment, made through the tax system, applies for workers of large, medium and small enterprises, and not-for-profits. It will start flowing from May 1, but will be backdated to March 30.</p> <p>It will be a flat rate for all those eligible, who include full-time, part-time, and casual workers (provided they have been with their employer for a year). Self-employed individuals will also be eligible.</p> <p>The payment is about 70% of the national median wage. For workers in the accommodation, hospitality and retail sectors - sectors hardest hit by the crisis - it will equate to a full median replacement wage.</p> <p>To be eligible, enterprises with an annual turnover of less than $1 billion must have lost at least 30% of their revenue after March 1, relative to a comparable period a year ago.</p> <p>For businesses with turnovers of more than $1 billion the reduction in revenue has to be at least 50%.</p> <p>Where workers have already lost their jobs, they can be rehired by their employer, provided they were attached to the enterprise on March 1.</p> <p>This will mean some people who have applied for a Centrelink payment will reconnect with their firm and will move to the JobKeeper payment.</p> <p>Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced the scheme at 4 pm and almost 8000 businesses had registered by 5 pm.</p> <p>The $1,500 a fortnight will be paid whether the employee is working (in the case of an enterprise still operating) or not (if the business is not trading).</p> <p>Businesses that keep operating will have to pay each employee at least the $1,500, but there may be discretion about what’s paid above that, depending on whether there is an award.</p> <p>The $130 billion JobKeeper scheme is the third tranche of emergency assistance the government has unveiled since March 12.</p> <p>“This is about keeping the connection between the employer and the employee and keeping people in their jobs even though the business they work for may go into hibernation and close down for six months,” Morrison said.</p> <p> “We will give millions of eligible businesses and their workers a lifeline to not only get through this crisis, but bounce back together on the other side,” he said.</p> <p>The latest initiative brings the total support made available in the crisis to $320 billion, including $90 billion assistance from the Reserve Bank. The total amounts to the equivalent of 16.4% of GDP.</p> <p>Frydenberg said Australia was “about to go through one of the toughest times in its history”. The government had doubled the welfare safety net and now had gone even further, he said.</p> <p>Parliament - in a “mini” form - will sit to pass the package as soon as the legislation has been drafted.</p> <p>Business welcomed the scheme. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said it was a “game changer”.</p> <p>The Business Council of Australia said the government had “made the right choice to work through the systems we already have in place to get assistance where it is needed as soon as possible.”</p> <p>But ACTU secretary, Sally McManus, expressed concern that $1,500 a fornight might not be enough. She said the full median wage of $1,375 a week “is what is needed”.</p> <p>The government is also temporarily liberalising access to income support. The JobSeeker payment has been subject to a partner income test of about $48,000. This is being temporarily relaxed so an eligible person can receive the JobSeeker payment and the associated new Coronavirus supplement of $550 a fortnight provided their partner earns less than $79,762 a year</p> <p>In other coronavirus developments on Monday, Victoria announced it had moved to “stage 3” of the response to the crisis, with the two-person restriction on gatherings to become legally enforceable.</p> <p>The two-person rule was announced by Morrison on Sunday but it was left up to the states to decide whether to make it enforceable.</p> <p>Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said: “If you are having friends over for dinner or friends over for drinks that are not members of your household, then you are breaking the law”.</p> <p>“You face an on-the-spot fine of more than $1,600.”</p> <p>NSW is also announced it will enforce the rule.</p> <p>Queensland, which has closed its border, is toughening border controls.</p> <p>Federal Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly flagged modelling the government is using in its response will be made available later this week. Morrison has faced pressure for the modelling’s release.</p> <p>Kelly told a news conference he had asked his staff “to organise a meeting later this week where the modelling and the epidemiology and the public health response will be unlocked, and people will be able to ask questions about that.</p> <p>"I think we have been quite open with components of the modelling, but I respect that there is a large number of ways that modelling can be done, and so we need to be more transparent, and we will be.”</p> <p><em>Written by Michelle Grattan. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/1-500-a-fortnight-jobkeeper-wage-subsidy-in-massive-130-billion-program-135049"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p> <p> </p>

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Coronavirus is a wake-up call: our war with the environment is leading to pandemics

<p>The COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the world is a crisis of our own making.</p> <p>That’s the message from infectious disease and environmental health experts, and from those in <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(15)60901-1/fulltext">planetary health</a> – an emerging field connecting human health, civilisation and the natural systems on which they depend.</p> <p>They might sound unrelated, but the COVID-19 crisis and the climate and biodiversity crises are deeply connected.</p> <p>Each arises from our seeming unwillingness to respect the interdependence between ourselves, other animal species and the natural world more generally.</p> <p>To put this into perspective, the <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/onehealth/basics/zoonotic-diseases.html">vast majority</a> (three out of every four) of new infectious diseases in people come from animals – from wildlife and from the livestock we keep in ever-larger numbers.</p> <p>To understand and effectively respond to COVID-19, and other novel infectious diseases we’ll likely encounter in the future, policymakers need to acknowledge and respond with “planetary consciousness”. This means taking a holistic view of public health that includes the health of the natural environment.</p> <p><strong>Risking animal-borne diseases</strong></p> <p>Biodiversity (all biological diversity from genes, to species, to ecosystems) <a href="https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2019/05/nature-decline-unprecedented-report/">is declining faster</a> than at any time in human history.</p> <p>We clear forests and remove habitat, bringing wild animals closer to human settlements. And we hunt and sell wildlife, often endangered, increasing the risk of disease transmission from animals to humans.</p> <p>The list of diseases that have jumped from animals to humans (“zoonotic diseases”) includes HIV, Ebola, Zika, Hendra, SARS, MERS and bird flu.</p> <p>Like its precursor SARS, COVID-19 is thought to have <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2169-0">originated in bats</a> and subsequently transmitted to humans via another animal host, possibly at a wet market trading live animals.</p> <p>Ebola virus emerged in central Africa when land use changes and altered climatic conditions forced bats and chimpanzees together around <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Robert_Mahoney2/publication/245669692_Climatic_and_ecological_context_of_the_1994-1996_Ebola_outbreaks/links/545b0bd00cf2c46f66439322.pdf">concentrated areas of food resources</a>. And Hendra virus is associated with urbanisation of fruit bats following habitat loss. Such changes are occurring worldwide.</p> <p>What’s more, human-caused climate change is making this worse. Along with habitat loss, shifting climate zones are causing wildlife to migrate to new places, where they interact with other species they haven’t previously encountered. This increases the risk of new diseases emerging.</p> <p>COVID-19 is just the latest new infectious disease arising from our collision with nature.</p> <p>Due to its ability to spread at an alarming pace, as well as its relatively high mortality rate, it’s the sort of pandemic experts have been <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/27/opinion/coronavirus-pandemics.html">warning will arise</a> from environmental degradation.</p> <p>We saw this in 2018, for instance, when disease ecologist Dr Peter Daszak, a contributor to the <a href="http://origin.who.int/blueprint/priority-diseases/en/">World Health Organisation Register of Priority Diseases</a>, coined the term “Disease X”. This described a then-unknown pathogen predicted to originate in animals and cause a “serious international epidemic”. COVID-19, <a href="https://slate.com/technology/2020/03/coronavirus-covid19-pandemic-cause-prediction-prevention.html">says Daszak</a>, is Disease X.</p> <p><strong>Climate change makes us vulnerable</strong></p> <p>But <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/climate-and-health">climate change is undermining human health globally</a> in other profound ways. It’s a risk multiplier, exacerbating our vulnerability to a range of health threats.</p> <p>Earlier this year, all eyes were on the extensive, life-threatening bushfires and the resulting blanket of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/23/bushfire-crisis-more-than-half-of-all-australians-found-to-have-been-directly-affected">smoke pollution</a>. This exposed more than half of the Australian population to health harm for many weeks, and led to the deaths of more than <a href="https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/health/bushfire-smoke-pollution-responsible-over-400-excess-deaths">400 people</a>.</p> <p>For infectious diseases such as COVID-19, air pollution creates another risk. This new virus causes a respiratory illness and, <a href="https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1476-069X-2-15">as with SARS</a>, exposure to air pollution worsens our vulnerability.</p> <p>Particles of air pollution also <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2944079/">act as transport for pathogens</a>, contributing to the spread of viruses and infectious disease across large distances.</p> <p><strong>A wake-up call</strong></p> <p>It might be clear to readers here that human health depends on healthy ecosystems. But this is rarely considered in policy decisions on projects that affect natural ecosystems – such as land clearing, major energy or transport infrastructure projects and industrial-scale farming.</p> <p>The current COVID-19 pandemic is yet another warning shot of the consequences of ignoring these connections.</p> <p>If we are to constrain the emergence of new infections and future pandemics, we simply <a href="https://www.cbd.int/health/stateofknowledge/">must cease</a> our exploitation and degradation of the natural world, and urgently cut our carbon emissions.</p> <p>Controlling the pandemic appropriately focuses on mobilising human and financial resources to provide health care for patients and prevent human to human transmission.</p> <p>But it’s important we also invest in tackling the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/117/8/3888">underlying causes of the problem</a> through biodiversity conservation and stabilising the climate. This will help avoid the transmission of diseases from animals to humans in the first place.</p> <p>The health, social and economic consequences of COVID-19 should act as a wake-up call for all governments to take stock, carefully consider the evidence, and ensure post COVID-19 responses reverse our war on nature. Because – as pioneering 20th century conservationist <a href="https://www.rachelcarson.org/SilentSpring.aspx">Rachel Carson argued</a> – a war on nature is ultimately a war against ourselves.</p> <p><em>Written by Fiona Armstrong, Anthony Capon and Ro McFarlane. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-is-a-wake-up-call-our-war-with-the-environment-is-leading-to-pandemics-135023"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p>

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Six-month-old baby endures 50-day fight with coronavirus

<p>At just six months old, a cute baby boy has become a symbol of hope in Italy after defeating coronavirus after a 50-day battle.</p> <p>Leonardo has recently returned home to Corbetta, which is located in the northern Italian region of Lombardy after beating coronavirus. His 50-day long battle represents almost a third of his short life.</p> <p>Local mayor Marco Ballarini shared the news on his Facebook page, praising Leonardo for being “the wonderful face of hope”.</p> <p>“Today we have a reason to smile and be happy, to feel like we are part of a community,” Ballarini said.</p> <p>“Today, we look at the wonderful face of hope.</p> <div id="fb-root"></div> <div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/MarcoBallariniSindaco/photos/a.1785192574841417/3311472052213454/?type=3&amp;theater" data-width="auto"> <blockquote class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"> <p>IL VOLTO MERAVIGLIOSO DELLA SPERANZA. BENTORNATO A CASA PICCOLO LEO! 🌈 Oggi abbiamo un motivo in più per sorridere, per...</p> Posted by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/MarcoBallariniSindaco/">Marco Ballarini</a> on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/MarcoBallariniSindaco/photos/a.1785192574841417/3311472052213454/?type=3">Wednesday, March 25, 2020</a></blockquote> </div> <p> </p> <p>“Corbetta welcomes home little Leonardo who has just been released from hospital after defeating COVID-19.</p> <p>“Thanks a lot Leo, and thanks to your parents who never gave up. They brought summer to the hearts of all Corbetta citizens! Strength Corbetta!”</p> <p>The baby’s mum told local media: “I was worried a lot, especially at night. I do not wish that on any mother.”</p> <p>She said that she knew her baby was ill after having a fever and feeling his heart rate quicken. She said that he was treated well by healthcare professionals.</p> <p>According to the latest figures, Italy has 101,739 cases of coronavirus, 11,591 deaths and 14,620 recoveries.</p>

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Coronavirus: Australia’s most infected group revealed

<p>People in their 20s have more confirmed cases of COVID-19 than any other age group in Australia, according to the federal health department data.</p> <p>As of Wednesday, 492 individuals aged 25 to 29 have tested positive for the new coronavirus than any other age group, representing <a href="http://www9.health.gov.au/cda/source/rpt_5.cfm">11.37 per cent of all reported cases across the country</a>. It is followed by those aged 20 to 24 with 9.6 per cent and those aged 60 to 64 with 9.3 per cent.</p> <p>According to Professor Lyn Gilbert, senior researcher from the University of Sydney’s Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, the Australian statistics skewed young because infection and testing had been focused on returned travellers and known contacts.</p> <p>Gilbert said there is a sentiment among some younger adults that they do not need to take the same precautions.</p> <p>“Where young people gather in tight groups and socialise, they tend to get infected,” she told <em><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/31/australians-in-their-20s-have-more-confirmed-cases-of-coronavirus-than-any-other-age-group">The Guardian</a></em>, referring to the clusters of infections from a <a href="https://www.marieclaire.com.au/coronavirus-wedding-emma-metcalf-scott-maggs">March 6 wedding in NSW</a> and backpackers’ movement in <a href="https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/coronavirus-cluster-in-bondi-as-infectious-backpackers-unknowingly-spread-virus-c-900474">Bondi</a>.</p> <p>“There is a feeling that it doesn’t affect them, they are not going to get sick. And mostly they are not – they won’t get a severe illness. But they pass it on.”</p> <p>The data came as state governments introduced restrictions on public gatherings and house visits, with penalties ranging from <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-30/state-by-state-coronavirus-two-person-rule-on-gatherings/12101920">warnings to on-the-spot fines</a>.</p>

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"Save it for younger patients. I already had a good life”

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>A 90-year-old coronavirus patient has died in Belgium after selflessly refusing a ventilator and instructing doctors to “keep this for the younger” patients.</p> <p>Suzanne Hoylaerts from Binkim, near Lubbeek, was admitted to hospital on March 20 when her condition began rapidly deteriorating due to contracting COVID-19.</p> <p>Currently, there is a global shortage of ventilators as the number of coronavirus cases increase. The equipment is key to help fight the battle against the respiratory disease.</p> <p>Hoylaerts sought medical attention after suffering from a lack of appetite and shortness of breath. She was admitted to hospital where she tested positive for the virus and was placed in isolation, meaning her daughter was unable to visit.</p> <p>She reportedly told doctors at the hospital: “I don’t want to use artificial respiration. Save it for younger patients. I already had a good life.”</p> <p>Hoylaerts passed away two days later, on March 22.</p> <p>Speaking to Dutch newspaper<span> </span><em>Het Laatste Nieuws</em>, her distraught daughter Judith said: “I can’t say goodbye to her, and I don’t even have a chance to attend her funeral.”</p> <p>Judith said her family were baffled as to how their mother could have contracted the virus as she had stayed at home and was complying carefully with lockdown measures.</p> <p>Belgium has now recorded 705 deaths according to the latest official toll.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="post-action-bar-component-wrapper"> <div class="post-actions-component"> <div class="upper-row"><span class="like-bar-component"></span> <div class="watched-bookmark-container"></div> </div> </div> </div>

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National pen-pal program launched to help seniors stay connected

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Many older Australians are feeling lonely and isolated as they’re staying inside due to the coronavirus pandemic.</p> <p>To combat these symptoms, care provider Home Instead Senior Care is launching an electronic pen-pal program to more than 40 franchises across the country.</p> <p>The program aims to connect members of the public with elderly Australians who are self-isolating in their homes or who are in aged care facilities.</p> <p>"I think there is a great need for community relations during this time, particularly with our most vulnerable," Home Instead's Karen Buckley told<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://10daily.com.au/news/australia/a200330rktbg/national-pen-pal-service-launched-to-help-elderly-stay-connected-in-isolation-20200330" target="_blank">10 daily</a>.</em></p> <p>“This is about kindness and joy, and making these people still feel like valuable members of the community.”</p> <p>The idea started when a local business offered to deliver toilet paper to elderly people in Sydney, and the gesture sparked interest on the Facebook page “Viral Kindness Eastern Suburbs”. Donations and notes were printed off and delivered to residents of Regis Aged Care Rose Bay.</p> <p>"We trialled it locally in the eastern suburbs and within a few days, we got 20 cards, notes or emails," Buckley said.</p> <p>From Thursday, a new Facebook page and website will be launched for people who want to be a pen-pal. You’re able to register as a sender or a receiver. The public are also able to send an email directly or scan and attach a handwritten letter, which carers will print and share to the elderly in their care.</p> <p>"If there is a response, they will scan it and send it on accordingly," she said.</p> <p>"Loneliness is emerging as big a threat as dementia for our vulnerable, elderly people," she said.</p> <p>"This crisis we are facing brings home the fact they’re even more limited in terms of community connectedness. They could be quite well but the social isolation -- though warranted -- is another barrier to them retaining that sense of community."</p> <p><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://homeinstead.com.au/penpals/" target="_blank">If you want to register for a penpal, you can do so here.</a> </em></p> </div> </div> </div>

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What would stage four lockdowns in Australia mean?

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>As the coronavirus cases in Australia continue to climb and the Prime Minister keeps announcing new restrictions on the Australian public, many are confused as to what stage of lockdown they’re in as well as what it all really means.</p> <p>Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced tougher social distancing guidelines but said that they were “intended to be a guide” and it was up to each state and territory to enforce the new restrictions.</p> <p>Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that Victoria was moving forward to stage three and would enforce new federal guidelines with on-the-spot fines of up to $1,600 for those ignoring the two-person gathering rules.</p> <p>Under Victoria’s definition of stage three lockdown, the same four reasons apply when it comes to leaving your house. These are leaving for food and supplies, exercise, medical care or work and education if you’re unable to work from home.</p> <p>These restrictions line up with the new guidelines announced by the Prime Minister on Sunday, but he was very specific in not announcing that the country was moving towards a widespread “stage three” lockdown.</p> <p>Therefore, many are curious as to what stage four would look like.</p> <p>“There is a stage four – just look at the UK and Europe – total lockdown,” said public policy expert and former senior Howard Government adviser Terry Barnes to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/australian-economy/coronavirus-australia-what-would-stage-four-lockdown-mean/news-story/eeb4e4b4a6c77ba8475aba9c5448e561" target="_blank">news.com.au</a></em>.</p> <p>“The list of essential businesses or jobs gets really tight. Effectively it’s martial law without martial law. People will be monitored and fined for being out and about when they shouldn’t be, if there are too many people in a group.”</p> <p>Essential services, such as supermarkets, pharmacies and petrol stations will always remain open regardless of the level of lockdown, but “anything that doesn’t relate to the necessities of life or work” would be shut down in a stage four lockdown.</p> <p>“So places like Officeworks might be considered essential but the furniture department of Harvey Norman might not be,” Mr Barnes said.</p> <p>“I don’t think there’s been enough very clear definition either by the federal or state governments. I think there needs to be national agreement about what those essential services are.”</p> <p>Barnes pointed out that people confined to their homes might consider a trip to “Bunnings to get stuff to DIY and use their time constructively” could be considered essential.</p> <p>“The point is there’s still a lot of uncertainty and that’s an issue,” he said.</p> <p>“The national cabinet needs to be very clear in decision making and very clear in how they communicate. I don’t think (it’s helpful) when you have premiers saying one thing and the Prime Minister saying another.”</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Thieves swap out hospital hand sanitiser for water

<p>Health expert and television personality Dr Andrew Rochford has urged the public to stop stealing protective supplies from hospitals as doctors across Australia continue to report shortages of masks and other equipment.</p> <p>Speaking in a clip shared on Twitter, Dr Rochford said a hospital reported that 190 full hand sanitiser bottles were stolen in a single shift.</p> <p>“We actually found that somebody had emptied one of these bottles and filled it with water,” he said.</p> <p>“So for an entire shift, there were medical workers sanitising their hands between patients using water.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Please don’t steal essential supplies and protective equipment from our hospitals. It protects us so we can protect you. Thanks 🙏🏼 <a href="https://t.co/1y3NgiYcJX">pic.twitter.com/1y3NgiYcJX</a></p> — Dr Andrew Rochford (@_AndrewRochford) <a href="https://twitter.com/_AndrewRochford/status/1244018617970122753?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 28, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>He warned that the act was “dangerous” and put the lives of both the patients and the medical staff at risk.</p> <p>“Everyone’s scared, everyone’s stressed, but … just please leave the protective equipment in the hospitals. We need it.”</p> <p>The plea came as NSW Health reported thefts of masks, hand sanitiser and gloves from hospitals.</p> <p>A medical supplies company director said hospitals were forced to introduce <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-25/coronavirus-queensland-ppe-mask-shortage-doctors/12086562">more measures to deter theft</a>. “[People are] stealing things from hospitals,” the director said.</p> <p>“Hospitals have had to put their masks under lock and key, pallets of hand sanitiser are going missing from hospitals.”</p> <p>Some doctors also claimed they were told to reuse disposable face masks at a Sydney hospital.</p> <p>Two anaesthetists told the <em><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-30/sydney-doctors-asked-to-reuse-face-masks-in-coronavirus-shortage/12100952">ABC</a> </em>they were asked to name and date their N95 or P2 masks and put them in a communal bin for future use.</p> <p>“We’re asked to reuse them so that in a few weeks’ time if all of a sudden there are no masks then at least we can go back to that – because the other option is [we’ll have] nothing,” one anaesthetist said.</p> <p>“We’re terrified to be honest. It’s as if we are being sent to war with no gun.”</p>

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Contamination experiment shows why social distancing is important

<p>As the new coronavirus continues to spread around the world, social distancing has become the new normal. We have been accustomed to sanitising our hands, coughing under cover, and keeping at least 1.5 metre away from others in shops and on the street.</p> <p>However, these guidelines are often forgone during visits to family’s or friends’ house as people let their guard down and interact freely.</p> <p>In light of this phenomenon, a 2010 clip from the Discovery Channel television series <em>Mythbusters</em> has once again been circulated around the Internet to warn the public about how easily the virus might be spread in close vicinity.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/k1j8bh8_O_Q"></iframe></div> <p>In the video, host Adam Savage performed a dinner party experiment. Savage put on a small rig filled with fluorescent dye – which was invisible to the naked eye – by his nose and went on to host the party for six guests while pretending to have a cold.</p> <p>Some of the things Savage carried out during the experiment included pouring alcohol, handing out plates and shaking hands.</p> <p>The UV light later revealed that the nasal secretions significantly contaminated five out of the six dinner guests. The sixth guest, Kari, was aware of the experiment and said she was a germaphobe.</p> <p>One of the more recent comments on the video said: “What a great way to show how easily our nose goo can spread to others. If you are sick, please keep others safe and self-quarantine!”</p>

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Federer and Nadal step up with life-saving pandemic efforts

<p>Roger Federer and his wife, Mirka are donating more than $1 million to Swiss families in need amid the coronavirus pandemic.</p> <p>The tennis champion took to Instagram to announce the generous gesture on Wednesday, revealing that the couple will donate 1 million Swiss Francs to help “the most vulnerable families in Switzerland.”</p> <p>“Our contribution is just a start,” wrote Federer. “We hope that others might join in supporting more families in need. Together we can overcome this crisis! Stay healthy!”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-J7SYHlIjl/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-J7SYHlIjl/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">These are challenging times for everyone and nobody should be left behind. Mirka and I have personally decided to donate one million Swiss Francs for the most vulnerable families in Switzerland. Our contribution is just a start. We hope that others might join in supporting more families in need. Together we can overcome this crisis! Stay healthy! Dies sind herausfordernde Zeiten für uns alle und niemand sollte zurückgelassen werden. Mirka und ich haben beschlossen, persönlich eine Million Schweizer Franken für die am stärksten gefährdeten Familien in der Schweiz zu spenden. Unser Beitrag ist nur ein Anfang. Wir hoffen, dass sich andere anschließen, um noch mehr bedürftige Familien zu unterstützen. Gemeinsam können wir diese Krise überwinden! Bleibt gesund! Nous vivons une période difficile pour nous tous et personne ne doit être laissé pour compte. Mirka et moi avons décidé de personnellement faire don d'un million de francs suisses aux familles les plus défavorisées en Suisse. Notre contribution n'est qu'un début. Nous espérons que d'autres se joindront à nous pour aider encore plus de familles dans le besoin. Ensemble, nous pouvons surmonter cette crise! Restez en bonne santé!</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/rogerfederer/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Roger Federer</a> (@rogerfederer) on Mar 25, 2020 at 4:33am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>As of Friday morning, Switzerland has 11,811 reported coronavirus cases and 191 deaths.</p> <p>And the 38-year-old isn’t the only athlete to lend a helping hand, as Spanish sports stars Rafael Nadal and Pau Gasol have launched a fund raising drive in order to give back to their nation which has been badly affected by the pandemic.</p> <p>Together, they are aiming to raise 11 million euros ($20 million).</p> <p>“The Spanish people have never let us athletes down. We are what we are because of them,” said Nadal.</p> <p>“We cannot let them down now.”</p> <p>Nadal said he came up with the idea and called his fellow Spaniard and friend Gasol to help promote his drive.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/tv/B-A3UVNoXcq/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/tv/B-A3UVNoXcq/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Mensaje a todos de ánimo y fuerza. #yomequedoencasa #iostoacasa #tuttoandràbene #jerestechezmoi #istayhome</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/rafaelnadal/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Rafa Nadal</a> (@rafaelnadal) on Mar 21, 2020 at 4:08pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Spanish athletes have always tried to make our nation proud, today we want to go beyond that,” said double NBA champion Gasol.</p> <p>“We want to raise 11 million euros and help 1.34 million people, those hardest hit by coronavirus.</p> <p>“My contribution and Rafa’s too have already been made and I hope the whole of Spanish sport will rally behind us.”</p> <p>The pair have been praised for the enormous gesture, with World Cup winning goalkeeper Iker Casillas tweeting: “It’s the time for Spanish sport and it’s up to us to do our part.</p> <p>“I have already contributed."</p> <p>Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui, a former Spain manager, posted his support on Nadal’s Instagram account.</p> <p>“I hope all athletes will join this initiative and we can return, even if in a small amount, all that support that we have all enjoyed in our careers.”</p>

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Should Australia ‘shut down’ for 30 days?

<p>Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a major boost to social security recipients and for those who lose their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which represents a turnaround from its previous determination not to increase the Newstart allowance.</p> <p>After declaring last year that the ‘the best form of welfare is a job’, the PM is now having to swallow those words as his Government comes to the realisation that sometimes, circumstances are out of people’s control, and gainful employment is not always attainable.</p> <p>Of course, these are unprecedented times, but what is being hailed as ‘one of the largest increases to social security benefits in Australia’s history’, requiring the government to spend $14 billion over six months. This couldn’t have come at a more welcome time, particularly as Australia also copes with the economic impact of recent droughts, bushfires and floods too.</p> <p>But many believe that in addition to these measures, Australia should follow the lead of other nations such as New Zealand by ‘shutting down’ the nation for a month by implementing what are known as ‘level 4 measures’ – which involves ceasing all non-essential services, essentially resulting in most businesses either having their employees work from home or, if this is not possible, not working at all over that time.</p> <p><strong>The ‘Coronavirus supplement’</strong></p> <p>In a bold move, the government is <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Fact_sheet-Income_Support_for_Individuals.pdf">establishing a new time-limited coronavirus supplement</a> to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight for the next six months.</p> <p>This will effectively double the current rate of Newstart, which is being renamed the jobseeker payment. (The rebranding was already under way.) and eligible income support recipients will receive the full amount of the $550 coronavirus supplement on top of their payment each fortnight. It’s available for existing and new recipients of the jobseeker payment, youth allowance jobseeker, parenting payment, farm household allowance and special benefit and will be paid on top of these fortnightly payments.</p> <p>The government will also waive the asset test in many cases along with waiting periods. What’s more it has expanded both Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance Jobseeker criteria to provide payment access for permanent employees who are stood down or lose their employment; sole traders; the self-employed; casual workers; and contract workers – this could also include someone who needs to stop work to care for someone affected by the Coronavirus.</p> <p><strong>The $750 payment</strong></p> <p>In the first package, the government announced that 6.5 million lower-income Australians would receive a one-off $750 payment. The payment – which will be made from 31 March – will be made to all social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. This includes those on Newstart, those who have commonwealth seniors health cards, and families receiving family tax benefits.</p> <p>This second payment will be made automatically from 13 July 2020 to around five million social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession cardholders.</p> <p>This won’t be available if you get the coronavirus supplement, but if you are eligible, you will receive the payment automatically.</p> <p><strong>Tap into your Superannuation</strong></p> <p>Under the changes announced in the second package, the government will allow individuals “in financial stress” as a result of the coronavirus downturn to have limited access to their superannuation savings, capped at up to $10,000 in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.You can apply online through MyGov for access to your super but must do so before 1 July 2020. Any money released will be tax free and won’t affect Centrelink or veterans’ affairs payments.</p> <p><strong>Aged pensioners and retirees</strong></p> <p>The Government is also introducing changes that will affect self-funded retirees and people who receive the aged-pension, enabling them more cash at this time.</p> <p><strong>Students</strong></p> <p>It has also been announced 230,000 full time students will have their <a href="https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/students-included-in-coronavirus-package-c-759139">benefits increased by $550 per fortnight</a>.</p> <p><strong>Concerns and lack of clarity</strong></p> <p>Some concerns do, however, remain about the job seeker payment (formerly Newstart). Given the financial boost is only for a limited time – what happens after 6 months – <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/desperate-and-hungry-struggling-to-survive-on-newstart/">do recipients go back to living on less than $40 a day?</a></p> <p>Most of these payments can be accessed online, and the government says the application process will be streamlined. But, given the automation of the system, people are also naturally concerned in the wake of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/centrelinks-flawed-robo-debt-system-is-killing-our-most-vulnerable/">mistakes, miscalculations and confusion created by ‘Robodebt,</a>’  whether Centrelink’s processes and procedures will be sophisticated and robust enough to cope with the significant influx of demand expected over the coming weeks, as thousands of Australians access Centrelink, many for the first time in their lives.</p> <p>After axing thousands of jobs in recent years, employing short-term contractors instead, the Government has now pledged an additional 5,000 staff to Services Australia, which runs Centrelink to be able to meet the needs of Australians engaging with the Centrelink service.</p> <p><strong>A complete shutdown?</strong></p> <p>And while the measures are welcomed by many, the voices calling for a nationwide shutdown of essential services, such as that being implemented by New Zealand for 30 days, seem to be increasing – the reasoning being that such a measure could result in a shorter period of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/theres-a-deafening-silence-on-the-current-debt-and-deficit-crisis/">economic crisis</a>.</p> <p><em>Written by Sonia Hickey. Republished with permission <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/should-australia-shut-down-for-30-days/">of Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a></em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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“We stay here for you. Please stay home for us”

<p>A group of doctors have called on Australians to stay at home to help control the spread of the new coronavirus.</p> <p>The video is introduced by Australian Medical Association (AMA) WA president Andrew Miller, who urged the government to impose a national lockdown.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fmichelle.musca.7%2Fvideos%2F10158152860511354%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p>“I’m calling on the government to jump on the brakes,” Dr Miller said.</p> <p>“This virus is out of control and we’ve really got to stop it to avoid a lot of unnecessary deaths, not only of healthcare workers but also people out there in the community.</p> <p>“We want people to stay home and for the government please to impose a lockdown until we’ve got this under control.</p> <p>“We know the people will understand.”</p> <p>The doctors in the video asked members of the public to “keep our distance”.</p> <p>“We can do this so our country can go back to normal soon,” they said. “Stay home.”</p> <p>Doctors around the world have also made similar calls for people, with <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wptv.com/news/local-news/water-cooler/please-stay-home-for-us-nurses-make-plea-for-you-to-stay-home-amid-coronavirus" target="_blank">pictures</a> and <a rel="noopener" href="https://kwwl.com/2020/03/24/uihc-urging-people-to-stay-home-we-stay-at-work-for-you-please-stay-home-for-us/" target="_blank">social media posts</a> saying: “we stay here for you, please stay home for us”.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 236.439px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7835314/bb11gzik.jpeg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/a1d1dfca1450436190e44e9b1bf31c43" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Source: Nine</em></p> <p>The clip came after 5,000 medical doctors signed a <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/thousands-of-doctors-sign-petition-calling-for-national-lockdown-now-20200324-p54dgy.html">petition pleading for a nationwide lockdown</a>.</p> <p>In the <a href="https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfBy610VGu_lUZ9hm_ahGgO4CL7ZXqd3wN0gysT_s6BiCiikg/viewform">petition</a>, the doctors asked the government to establish more measures, including “a national shutdown of non-essential services and enforcement of strict social distancing” to slow or halt the virus transmission.</p> <p>“Doctors are not activists; they don’t put their names or emails or roles to petitions,” said intensive care specialist Greg Kelly. “To have thousands of my colleagues sign it indicates just how united we all are on this and how worried we are about it.”</p> <p>The AMA has encouraged the government to introduce “more and stronger social isolation measures”, including further closure of non-essential services.</p> <p>“It is a big call for governments to direct the population to cease work, suspend schools, and only leave home for essential needs, but the AMA will back governments in making this call,” said federal president Dr Tony Bartone.</p> <p>“New Zealand has adopted broad community isolation measures. The United Kingdom has instructed its population to stay home except to shop and seek medical help.</p> <p>“It’s time for governments to act on their local evidence, while avoiding further confusion, to increase home isolation. More people need to be at home to flatten the escalation curve.”</p>

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Coronavirus distancing measures: Here are 3 things to ask yourself before you see someone

<p><em>This article is based on the coronavirus and COVID-19 situation as of March 23. It’s important to remember that the situation is rapidly developing and official advice may change.</em></p> <p>If the flurry of new orders released in the last 24 hours has you feeling confused about what’s OK and what’s not when it comes to social contact, you’re not alone.</p> <p>It’s so difficult to adopt a set of hard and fast rules with the advice changing so quickly. Government departments have put out detailed guidance but that won’t cover all situations. Experts in the public sphere will give different advice.</p> <p>The fact is, if there’s an activity you want or need to do and you’re not sure if it’s advisable, often you’ll have to make a call. After ensuring that it doesn’t breach public orders, your decision will need to be based on your assessment of the risks and benefits.</p> <p>Whatever activity you’re considering, it can help to first clearly list your options. For example, if I’m talking to a friend with kids, we could organise to meet at the park, in a house, online or not at all. Or if I want to catch up with my sister, I could do it in person or on the phone.</p> <p>Then ask yourself some important questions as you consider your options.</p> <p>Here are three considerations that should help you make an informed decision on behalf of your family and the wider community.</p> <ol> <li><strong> What’s the latest advice of my state or territory health department?</strong></li> </ol> <p>The first is to look to the latest advice for your state and territory health department, and be aware that they may change from day to day or even within a day. So keep checking.</p> <p>Some departments are now developing quite detailed lists of dos and don'ts that are being updated as quick as is humanly possible.</p> <ol start="2"> <li><strong> Do I know the latest on how the virus moves between people?</strong></li> </ol> <p>Understanding as much as you can about the way that the virus moves between people can help you make an informed decision about whether an activity you’re considering doing poses a higher risk of passing coronavirus on or picking it up.</p> <p>The coronavirus causing COVID-19 is currently thought to be passed on through contact and droplet transmission. It comes from the mucous membranes (meaning the wet parts of your face - mouth, nose and eyes). A person with the infection might cough or sneeze or touch their mouth or nose and then touch another surface where it can remain infectious for a time.</p> <p>The virus is able to move to another person through direct contact with droplets from the cough or sneeze or if they touch that surface with their hands then touch their mouth, nose or eyes. The more symptomatic somebody is, the more easy it is to get the infection but people with very mild symptoms can still pass it on. More is being learnt about the virus and this knowledge may change.</p> <p>That is why handwashing and cough or sneeze etiquette is so important.</p> <p>COVID-19 is currently thought to be mostly spread by people who have symptoms and have been in close contact with others. Those more at risk of it are those who have had contact with someone who has been diagnosed with it or have recently returned from overseas.</p> <p>However, that is changing as it moves more in the general community in Australia.</p> <p>That basic understanding of how it moves can help people make decisions of who to see, how to see them, how to behave in public places and at home.</p> <ol start="3"> <li><strong> How do the risks of a certain activity weigh up against the benefits?</strong></li> </ol> <p>Whenever you are considering doing some activity with somebody, you need to weigh up the risks of harm with the potential benefits.</p> <p>First, make sure you are abiding by the public health orders. Also remember that this is not just a decision about your personal risk. We are all reducing the chain of transmission by reducing our contact with others as much as we can.</p> <p>Sometimes, we will still want or need contact with others.</p> <p>First of all, we need to accept that we take a risk whenever we have contact with another person and we need to weigh that risk against the potential benefits.</p> <p>There might be really important social benefits, for example, for seeing a person for whom contact with others is extremely important.</p> <p>There might be benefits in helping someone who has less access to resources than we do – for example, helping a neighbour in need.</p> <p>In these instances, if you decide to take the risk, it is important to follow guidance on doing everything you possibly can do to minimise the spread of COVID-19 within that encounter.</p> <p>That means proper hand hygeine; washing hands when arriving and leaving. Try to stay 1.5 metres or more apart. Never go out and meet with others if you have respiratory symptoms such as a cough, or a fever. And it means trying to avoid contact with people at greater risk of severe disease, such as those with existing chronic disease, an older person, or person who is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.</p> <p>If the COVID-19 risk is really high to that person, then maybe the benefits don’t outweigh the potential harm. You may be forced to make a really hard decision.</p> <p><strong>Hard decisions ahead</strong></p> <p>There’s no magic cut off where you stop all risk. We have got to accept it is about degrees of risk and what we collectively do to minimise it.</p> <p>If we choose to have contact with another person, while staying within the boundaries of what is permissible based on the government requirements, then it’s important you have a set of evidence-based principles that helps guide your decision-making.</p> <p><em>Written by Julie Leask. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-distancing-measures-are-confusing-here-are-3-things-to-ask-yourself-before-you-see-someone-134394">The Conversation.</a></em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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“Patience, confidence, courage, solidarity”: Prince Albert of Monaco's health update and personal message

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Prince Albert II of Monaco recently tested positive for COVID-19 last week, and has finally given a health update to the curious public.</p> <p>The reigning monarch is the second royal to contract the deadly virus, and over the weekend, People Magazine was able to give a look into the Prince’s condition.</p> <p>The 62-year-old is improving his health slowly and steadily as he continues to work from the confines of his home, under his doctor’s orders.</p> <p>“A little news. Condition unchanged. Little fever, little cough,” Prince Rainier III, who is the son of Princess Grace of Monaco told <em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://people.com/royals/prince-albert-health-update-after-coronavirus-diagnosis/" target="_blank" title="People Magazine. ">People Magazine.</a></em></p> <p>“Vital signs all good. The doctors are satisfied for now.”</p> <p>Prince Albert, who falls into the category of high-risk coronavirus patients, is undergoing regular temperature checks, and is consistently receiving news on his blood oxygen levels.</p> <p>An insider to the family has said the king messages, emails and calls ranging from celebrities and politicians to regular everyday people has been touching.</p> <p>Issuing a statement on his behalf, the Palace said Prince Albert was grateful and “touched by the many expressions of sympathy that have come to him from around the world.”</p> <p>“His Serene Highness wishes to thank all those who have shown him their support.”</p> <p>The prince tested anonymously last week in a bid to avoid being treated differently in the healthcare system.</p> <p>The royal exhibited mild flu-like symptoms and was later confirmed to have the virus by the labs of the hospital named after his late mother, Princess Grace of Monaco.</p> <p>It is understood Prince Albert is still unsure of where he could've come in contact with the virus.</p> <p>The royal signed off his official palace statement with a handwritten message of “patience, confidence, courage, solidarity” in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p>There are concerns for 71-year-old Prince Charles, who Prince Albert was with just days prior to his diagnosis as both royals attended the WaterAid Summit on March 10.</p> <p>Thankfully, it is believed Prince Charles did not come into contact with Albert during the event, and he has gone so far as to avoid handshakes during engagements and events since the beginning of March.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="post-action-bar-component-wrapper"> <div class="post-actions-component"> <div class="upper-row"><span class="like-bar-component"></span> <div class="watched-bookmark-container"></div> </div> </div> </div>

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Why coronavirus curve could flatten in “couple of weeks”

<p>The new measures introduced by the federal and state governments would help flatten the curve in the next couple of weeks, a Nobel prize-winning Australian scientist said.</p> <p>Immunologist Peter Doherty wrote the book <em>Pandemics: What Everyone Needs to Know </em>in 2013 and won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1996 for uncovering how human immune systems fight viruses.</p> <p>Speaking to <em><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/coronavirus/nobel-prize-winner-says-virus-curve-will-flatten-in-couple-of-weeks/ar-BB11Dl1x?li=AAgfYrC">The Sydney Morning Herald</a></em>, Doherty said the new measures will not instantly slow down the rise in the number of reported cases.</p> <p>“We may see an upward trajectory for another week – a lot of the people on Bondi may have been infected,” he said.</p> <p>The short-term surge is expected as “the average time to [display] symptoms is five to six days and maybe longer”, and only people showing symptoms have been allowed tests.</p> <p>“I think the steps announced by the Prime Minister and the premiers will dampen this down. I would expect to see the curve flatten in the next couple of weeks, see it start to come down,” he said.</p> <p>The Doherty Institute, the first lab out of China to decode the COVID-19’s structure and share the data to labs around the world, has received funding for research from federal and state governments as well as private donors and philanthropists, he said.</p> <p>“We are moving faster on this than on anything in human history,” Doherty said.</p> <p>“One vaccine in the US is already on trial, it’s already gone into people's arms, and the University of Queensland vaccine is being progressed here and with CSIRO.”</p> <p>He also called for more urgent clinical work, including antibody test on people who have had the virus and recovered.</p> <p>He said the people who may not have displayed any symptoms and not know that they have been infected “won’t spread the disease”, “are perfectly okay to go out and work and live and do anything” and therefore could help alleviate the pressure on the economy.</p> <p>Doherty previously told the <em><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-22/doubt-over-contracting-coronavirus-covid-19-twice/12075878">ABC</a> </em>that people are unlikely to contract COVID-19 twice. “I would think even if it was a reinfection, that your prior infection would give you very rapid immunity and you would recover very quickly,” he said.</p> <p>He estimated a vaccine to the new coronavirus would be available within 12 to 18 months.</p>

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Dolly Parton and others post heartfelt tributes to Kenny Rogers

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Dolly Parton has posted a heartfelt video tribute to her longtime friend, Kenny Rogers, who passed away on Friday.</p> <p>Rogers, 81, passed away “peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family” at his home in Georgia, according to the<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://twitter.com/_KennyRogers/status/1241244740957413376" target="_blank">Rogers family</a>.</p> <p>Parton posted the video on her Instagram account, explaining how she heard the news about her friend.</p> <p>“Well, I couldn’t believe it this morning when I got up and turned on the TV,” said Parton, “and they told me that my friend and singing partner Kenny Rogers had passed away.”</p> <p>“We all know that Kenny is in a better place than we are today, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to be talking to God sometime today…He’s going to be asking Him to spread some light on a bunch of this darkness that’s going on here.”</p> <p>“I loved Kenny with all my heart,” she continued. “My heart’s broken, and a big old chunk of it has gone with him today, and I think I can speak for all his family, his friends and fans, when I say, that ‘I will always love you,'” quoting one of her most beloved lyrics.</p> <p>“God bless you, Kenny,” said Parton, her voice cracking as she cradled a photo of her and Rogers. “Fly high, straight to the arms of God. And to the rest of you, keep the faith.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9_9UgElH-y/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9_9UgElH-y/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">You never know how much you love somebody until they’re gone. I’ve had so many wonderful years and wonderful times with my friend Kenny, but above all the music and the success I loved him as a wonderful man and a true friend. So you be safe with God and just know that I will always love you, dolly.</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/dollyparton/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Dolly Parton</a> (@dollyparton) on Mar 21, 2020 at 7:39am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Other celebrities, such as Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Billy Ray Cyrus have expressed their sympathies to the Rogers family.</p> <p>"No one bridged the gap between country and pop more often and better than Kenny Rogers. He will be missed, but his music and diverse style of story telling will live on forever,” said Billy Ray Cyrus on his Twitter account.</p> <p>“THANK YOU KENNY ROGERS- for decades of genre bending music and collaborations - for making music that travelled the globe .. and songs that became common threads for people from all walks of life !! GO REST HIGH BROTHER. With love and deep appreciation . KU,” country singer Keith Urban said on his<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://twitter.com/KeithUrban/status/1241453704416550914" target="_blank">Twitter</a>.</p> <p>"Country music has lost one of its pillars...sing with the angels and talk to God, Kenny. Bless you for being a part of so many lives..." expressed Carrie Underwood.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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“We’ve dealt with serious s**t before”: Russell Crowe sends encouraging message to Aussies amid coronavirus crisis

<p>Russell Crowe has sent an encouraging message to his fellow Australians amid the coronavirus pandemic.</p> <p>The 55-year-old posted a series of bushfire-themed photos to Instagram, reminding Aussies of all the obstacles they have faced in recent months.</p> <p>“Australia, just a reminder, we’ve dealt with serious s**t before, and we will deal with what confronts us now. Together (minimum 1.5 metres apart),” he captioned the post.</p> <p>The first photo was a snap of a eucalyptus tree with fire embers burning through it.</p> <p>He referenced social distancing when he spoke about staying “1.5 metres apart”, which can help reduce the spread of COVID-19.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9410KShgq0/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9410KShgq0/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Hey Australia, Just a reminder, we’ve dealt with serious shit before, and we will deal with what confronts us now. Together (minimum 1.5 metres apart).</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/russellcrowe/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Russell Crowe</a> (@russellcrowe) on Mar 18, 2020 at 1:19pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Russell also co-owns the South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL team, but the season could be shut down due to COVID-19.</p> <p>The NSWRL and QRL have already suspended their seasons, which isn’t reassuring for the NRL.</p> <p>“If we are going to continue our season, some revolutionary thought is going to be required,” Russell told the<span> </span><em>Daily Telegraph</em>.</p> <p>“Based on the information that this particular strain seems to be less potent in warmer climates, (the idea should be) to move all teams and coaching squads to northern regional centres.</p> <p>“The big cost to the game is not going to be lack of crowds in urban stadiums. The big cost, financially and culturally, is if the game is forced to halt and broadcast revenue dries up.”</p> <p>Due to the coronavirus, NRL games are currently being played without crowds as the government has banned gatherings of 500 people or more.</p>

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