Coronavirus

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This is one of the biggest challenges we've faced.

As coronavirus continues to spread across Australia, I know that the coming days and weeks will be tough and full of uncertainty for so many of us.

For older Australians and people with underlying health conditions, for whom this virus is very serious.1

For casual, gig economy, and contract workers who are still being pushed to choose between putting their colleagues at risk and putting food on the table.

For those on income support struggling to get everyday items from supermarkets as panic buying worsens.2

For the Chinese and Asian communities who are facing growing racism and xenophobia, being harrassed in the streets, online and even at work.3

It's clear that in times like this, we need to respond as a community, care for each other and do what we can to help. From calling neighbours who might need the company, to proactively practicing social distancing to minimise the spread.

As a million-strong people-powered movement, what we do now matters. For those of us that can afford to take extra precautions, let's do a bit more. Together, we can protect our communities, fight misinformation and instead encourage care for our neighbours.

Head here to get the latest health information and updates, and share with your family and friends.

Right now, everyday heroes, helpers and public institutions are stepping up. From our dedicated healthcare workers on the frontline, to vital updates and coverage from the ABC and CSIRO scientists working to help develop a vaccine.4

These coming weeks and months are about those of us who can, doing a little more. It's about:

Responding as a community
Whether it's calling out racism towards the Chinese community, or taking extra precautions to keep yourself and family away from events and crowds to stop the spread. This is a time for solidarity.

Caring for ourselves and each other
Through this time, we need to support each other. Calling elderly neighbours, making sure people who are self-isolating have supplies and (digital) company, doing what we can to minimise the spread and minimise the risk for those most vulnerable.

Calling out misinformation
The tabloids and social media continue to spread misinformation and fear. Together, we need to call this out, and make sure it's the sensible advice from medical experts that dominate.

Head here to get the latest health information and updates, and share with your family and friends.

We know that coronavirus has already had a huge impact on the economy, but the government's stimulus package doesn't go far enough in boosting the social safety net for the people who need it most. We'll be working on this now and in the lead up to the May budget to make sure the budget responses to this crisis are focused on those that need it most.

Whatever comes next, we're all in this together. Now is the time for solidarity. Now is the time to come together with love and compassion.

Onwards,

Paul for the GetUp team

P.S As coronavirus continues to unfold, we want to hear from you about how the GetUp community can be supporting each other, and what we can be doing to help. Can you take this short, 2 minute survey and let us know what you think?

P.P.S I keep thinking about the words of World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, "We're in this together, to do the right things with calm and protect the citizens of the world. It's doable."

References:
[1] Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19), World Health Organisation, 9 March 2020.
[2] 'Selfish' stockpiling of cheap food staples is hurting low-income earners, The New Daily, 6 March 2020.
[3] As coronavirus fears spread, Chinese restaurants are reporting an 80pc drop in business, ABC, 13 February 2020.
[4] Working against the new coronavirus, CSIRO, 13 March 2020.
 
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