Selfishness and greed among some members of the community can put us all in danger — and that’s no matter whether the issue is a virus crisis or a climate crisis.
“No sugarcoating – this moment is really scary. I know many of you might have family members you’re worried about, for health, financial and emotional reasons. But it’s also a moment for action. The reason so many of us have been fighting all these years is because we knew the system was broken, and we saw the cracks widening. This is a chance to rewrite the rules, for good.”
~ Paul Oosting, CEO, GetUp Ltd
The world confronts a pandemic with major health impacts and financial consequences. For some of us, an inconvenient deprivation of our the freedoms we’ve been taking for granted – to move around, socialise and be entertained. To others, financial bankrupcy, loss and pain.
What the recent Black Summer and now the corona pandemic shows us, once again, is that our leaders are not prepared at all when the real crisis hits the fan. Epidemic diseases are not accidental events that, by a freak of nature, strike individual communities without warning. And neither is climate change.
Every society has its specific vulnerabilities, and they are a result of our choices and our political priorities. Now we honour our collective plight to do what it takes to fight this acute crisis that threatens the most vulnerable in our society.
It is the exact same solidarity and drive we need to take with us further into the climate fight. We need to see it from the politicians too. Our responses to this pandemic is a dress rehearsal for the next round of the climate crisis we are already facing.
However, the other day, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and his Labor Party did quite the opposite when they lifted our state’s ban on dangerous, climate-wrecking unconventional gas-drilling.
We encourage our leaders and everyone else to “go hard and go early” on the virus – because all research shows us that the sooner and harder we step in, the better the outcome. That, again, is no different than what we have been saying for years already: that we must go hard and go early on the escalating emissions crisis. Waiting with taking action only makes the problem worse.
Coronavirus shows what’s possible
As Jamie Margolin, co-founder of the group Zero Hour in the United States, points out, the world’s — and the news media’s — mobilisation in the face of coronavirus shows what’s possible if the climate emergency were also taken seriously:
“Every time I meet with lawmakers and tell them that we need rapid transformation to halt climate change, they tell me “change that fast just isn’t possible.” But the COVID-19 world response has proven that rapid change and disruption of business as usual is possible!
What would it look like when the world actually decides to take on the climate crisis? It would look like what we’re seeing right now. Media coverage of the issue 24/7. Consistent headlines about updated death tolls. Experts appearing on the news daily to update the public on the crisis. Everyone stopping everything and putting the world on pause to deal with the immediate crisis at hand. The coronavirus response is showing us how people can mobilize and do their part when it is properly communicated to them that we are indeed in an urgent crisis.”
~ Jamie Margolin, co-founder of the group Zero Hour in the United States
As our streets, restaurants and cinema theatres are emptied, planes are grounded and staff is fired, the air pollution is going down. The global carbon footprint is decreasing.
The corona crisis is showing us that we can change habits at short notice, when we set our minds to it. Let’s do our best to help curb both the corona crisis and the climate crisis.
In solidarity and for the common good, The Sustainable Hour and all members of Centre for Climate Safety has now gone into volunteer self-isolation and will be doing our research, interviews and radio shows remotely.
“Political leaders actually do have the ability to make rapid change happen if they want. So where is that rapid response for the climate crisis?”
~ Jamie Margolin, co-founder of the group Zero Hour in the United States
→ TeenVogue – 18 March 2020:
Coronavirus Shows Us Rapid Global Response To Climate Change Is Possible
“In this op-ed, a Zero Hour co-founder says we should treat both crises like the emergencies they are.”
“Something remarkable is happening in the shadow of the corona crisis. The community, which has or has not been given any high recognition among the business elite in recent decades, is suddenly being praised. The state and public sector, which has been seen as a burdensome millstone around the throats of productive private business, is now a friend in need, and business organisations are flocking to the finance minister with long wish lists for community assistance. This is how coloumnist Pelle Dragsted describes the situation we are seeing right now, defining it as a paradigm shift,” wrote the Danish newspaper Information in a podcast newsletter on 21 March 2020.
Imagine what would be possible if we did the same with climate change
“As we bring all our cleverness and humanity to face down the common enemy of a microscopic virus, let’s imagine what would be possible if we did the same with climate change.
If we just did all that we already know how to do, we could keep global warming to under 1.5 degrees and then draw down further, putting life on Earth back on the path to wise stewardship and future flourishing.
Nobody really knows how or when this thing will end. Our times are dangerous and uncertain and there are many more shocks to come as the impacts of the climate emergency are felt.
So let’s feed our common spirit of generosity in the face of crisis, and remember that human beings – when we work together – can achieve anything.
Let’s look after each other and redouble our energy and our determination; to not only stand together through fear, but to build the world of the future, capable of nurturing life in all of its magnificent diversity.
Stay safe and take care.”
~ David Ritter
CEO Greenpeace Australia Pacific
All government policies seen through the prism of coronavirus
“What would be mentioned in that solemn prime ministerial speech, broadcast live across TV networks? All homes and businesses would be insulated, creating jobs, cutting fuel poverty and reducing emissions. Electric car charging points would be installed across the country. Britain currently lacks the skills to transform the nation’s infrastructure, for example replacing fuel pumps, says Stirling: an emergency training programme to train the workforce would be announced. A frequent flyer levy for regular, overwhelmingly affluent air passengers would be introduced. As Turner says, all government policies will now be seen through the prism of coronavirus. A similar climate lens should be applied, and permanently.”
~ Owen Jones
→ The Guardian – 5 March 2020:
Why don’t we treat the climate crisis with the same urgency as coronavirus?
“No Cobra meetings, no sombre speeches from No 10, yet the consequences of runaway global heating are catastrophic.”
An Imagined Letter from Covid-19 to Humans
By Kristin Flyntz
Stop. Just stop.
It is no longer a request. It is a mandate.
We will help you.
We will bring the supersonic, high-speed merry-go-round to a halt
We will stop
the frenetic, furied rush of illusions and “obligations” that keep you from hearing our single and shared beating heart,
the way we breathe together, in unison.
Our obligation is to each other,
As it has always been, even if, even though, you have forgotten.
We will interrupt this broadcast, the endless cacophonous broadcast of divisions and distractions, to bring you this long-breaking news:
We are not well.
None of us; all of us are suffering.
Last year, the firestorms that scorched the lungs of the earth did not give you pause.
Nor the typhoons in Africa, China, Japan.
Nor the fevered climates in Japan and India.
You have not been listening.
It is hard to listen when you are so busy all the time, hustling to uphold the comforts and conveniences that scaffold your lives.
But the foundation is giving way,
buckling under the weight of your needs and desires.
We will help you.
We will bring the firestorms to your body
We will bring the fever to your body
We will bring the burning, searing, and flooding to your lungs that you might hear:
We are not well.
Despite what you might think or feel, we are not the enemy.
We are Messenger. We are Ally. We are a balancing force.
We are asking you:
To stop, to be still, to listen;
To move beyond your individual concerns and consider the concerns of all;
To be with your ignorance, to find your humility, to relinquish your thinking minds and travel deep into the mind of the heart;
To look up into the sky, streaked with fewer planes, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, smoky, smoggy, rainy? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy?
To look at a tree, and see it, to notice its condition: how does its health contribute to the health of the sky, to the air you need to be healthy?
To visit a river, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, clean, murky, polluted? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy? How does its health contribute to the health of the tree, who contributes to the health of the sky, so that you may also be healthy?
Many are afraid now.
Do not demonize your fear, and also, do not let it rule you. Instead, let it speak to you — in your stillness,
listen for its wisdom.
What might it be telling you about what is at work, at issue, at risk, beyond the threats of personal inconvenience and illness?
As the health of a tree, a river, the sky tells you about quality of your own health, what might the quality of your health tell you about the health of the rivers, the trees, the sky, and all of us who share this planet with you?
Notice if you are resisting.
Notice what you are resisting.
Stop. Just stop.
Ask us what we might teach you about illness and healing, about what might be required so that all may be well.
We will help you, if you listen.
The corona crisis becomes a test of who we are as a people
This corona crisis is not about whether you risk get infected by the virus. It is about our collective responsibility: Do we see ourselves as a part of society and act in a responsible, precautious manner in order to protect vulnerable groups and so that our healthcare system is relieved? Or don’t we?
So far, the virus crisis has exposed some pretty ugly examples of selfishness among Australians, putting at display that same mentality of greed and shortsightedness which is the root cause of the climate and ecological emergency.
The current level of stockpiling is potentially unprecedented in Australia’s history. Supermarket have had to reintroduce rationing – as if we were in another World War – just because the trust in the collective mindset has disappeared. People are scared of losing out, and that makes them behave like greedy, selfish hoarders, preventing vulnerable people from getting the things they need.
Exposing how cynical people are ready to profit from exploiting the situation, the online marketplace Gumtree is now full of essential items for sale at exhorbitant prices.
→ Sydney Morning Herald – 19 March 2020:
Dutton says hoarders to be ‘dealt with’ by AFP, Border Force
“Police and Australian Border Force have launched a joint bid to catch people suspected of hoarding supermarket goods and selling them on the black market in Australia and overseas amid the coronavirus outbreak.”
“It’s an almost infinite list that grows by the hour, a dark catalogue that confirms how that most basic instinct underpinning the human condition – self-interest – takes over when the right amount of pressure is applied. So let there be no doubt. We have looked in the mirror and seen our true selves staring back. It has not been a pretty sight. But as the politicians will undoubtedly remind us, we need to get over the ugliness for there are lessons to be learned.”
~ Garry Linnell
→ The New Daily – 18 March 2020:
Garry Linnell: No amount of toilet paper can wipe up the mess caused by coronavirus self-interest
. . .
“In Greenpeace we often say, ‘We have no passengers, only crew members’. We are all part of the crew on this Earth. Right now, people at all levels of society are proving that they can and will do whatever it takes to curb a crisis that threatens us all. As citizens, we accept having to give up our habits and ideas, we call our most vulnerable and help those most in need.
Let’s move the same mentality into the climate fight that we must deal with simultaneously with the corona epidemic. This health crisis requires an effective, coordinated and consistent plan of action. In the same way, the climate and biodiversity emergency also requires undoubted action from our politicians, and we hope that they will show the same courage and determination to do what is right to protect our future generations.”
~ Mads Flarup Christensen, Greenpeace Nordic General-Secretary
. . .
A dress rehearsal for the next round
Our responses to this pandemic is a dress rehearsal for the next round of the climate crisis we are already facing. What it shows is that we are not prepared at all when shit hits the fan.
Does it remind you about something? Suddenly the disaster is there. The world goes into a major crisis, and everyone says: “Why weren’t we warned?”
Epidemic diseases are not accidental events that, by a freak of nature, strike individual communities without warning. And neither is climate change. On the contrary, every society has its specific vulnerabilities, as a result of our choices and our political priorities.
Global health expert Alanna Shaikh explains it this way:
Coronavirus is our future | Alanna Shaikh | TEDxSMU
“There’s going to be more outbreaks, and there’s going to be more epidemics. That’s not a maybe; that’s a given. And it’s a result of the way that we, as human beings, are interacting with our planet. Human choices are driving us into a position where we’re going to see more outbreaks.
Part of that is about climate change and the way a warming climate makes the world more hospitable to viruses and bacteria. But it’s also about the way we’re pushing into the last wild spaces on our planet. When we burn and plow the Amazon rain forest so that we can have cheap land for ranching, when the last of the African bush gets converted into farms, when wild animals in China are hunted to extinction, human beings come into contact with wildlife populations that they’ve never come into contact with before, and those populations have new kinds of diseases: bacteria, viruses – stuff we’re not ready for.
Bats, in particular, have a knack for hosting illnesses that can infect people. But they’re not the only animals that do it.
So as long as we keep making our remote places less remote, the outbreaks are going to keep coming,” says Alanna Shaikh in this TEDxTalk.
The similarity between the pandemic and the climate crisis is that we cannot just sit and wait. We need to make decisions. Our approach to how we tackle climate change and pandemics needs to be similar as well.
“Over the past weeks I’ve read many people sigh that they wished we tackled climate change with similar drive as we are using to tackle Covid-19. Let me help you out of this dream.
It has been known for decades that a new pandemic would rise. It has been known through risk assessments that it would likely be a virus that switched from wildlife to humans. The locations where this would occur were known: SE Asia, China or tropical Africa, due to population density, life animal markets, proximity to or eating of wildlife.
Did we take preventative actions to minimize the chance of this happening?
We didn’t preventatively regulate wildlife trade or wet markets.
The ‘rapid responses’ that we are seeing are all mitigating actions, similar to relocating people afterfloods and hurricanes that are increasing due to climate change. We are not tackling root causes at all.”
~ Willemijn Heideman
“Make no mistake, they are connected, these disease outbreaks coming one after another. And they are not simply happening to us; they represent the unintended results of things we are doing. They reflect the convergence of two forms of crisis on our planet. The first crisis is ecological, the second is medical.”
~ David Quammen, Spillover
Time to reflect and rethink
Lotte von Cappeln wrote on Facebook that she is concerned that the coronavirus will adversely affect governments’ climate action plans, because they will now have to make their decisions on a much more insecure economical foundation. “Is the climate action movement at risk losing its momentum?,” she asks.
We don’t know, but there is also a good chance that it could go the other way: that this will be that disruption the climate movement needed — because it will force many people to wake up from their ‘business-as-usual’ routines and rethink their lives, getting a sense of where thinking “out of the box” can get us to — and also because it exposes how selfishness and greed among some members of the community can put us all in danger — and that’s no matter whether the issue is a virus crisis or a climate criris.
In other words, this could become that crisis that brings us closer together and creates a new sense of community and collective attitude — and teach us all new ways we can work and collaborate without polluting the atmosphere.
Tine Lindhardt posted on Facebook: “Interesting times 😗 Who are we without travel, consumption, jobs, colleagues, titles and hectic everyday life?”
By Pablo Neruda
Now we will count to twelve
And we will all keep still
For once on the face of the
Let’s not speak in any language
Let’s stop for a second
And not move our arms about so much
It would be a exotic moment
Without rush, without engines
We would all be together
In a sudden strangeness
Fishermen in the cold sea
Would not harm whales
And the man gathering salt
Would not look at his hurt hands
Those who prepare green wars
Wars with gas, wars with fire
Victories with no survivors
Would put on clean clothes
And walk about with their brothers
In the shade, doing nothing
What I want should not be confused
With total inactivity
Life is what it’s about
If we were not so single minded
About keeping our lives moving
And for once could do nothing
Perhaps a huge silence
Might interrupt the sadness
Of never understanding ourselves
And of threatening ourselves with death
Perhaps the Earth can teach us
As when everything seems dead in winter
And later proves to be alive
Now I’ll count up to twelve
And you keep quiet and I will go
“In moments of crisis – like the one that confronts us now – our imagined realities are tested. Politicians assure us that ‘we are all in this together’ while their actions show that to be mere sham. Perhaps this crisis will prove to be the opportunity to rethink our mutual responsibilities, so that, when we are on the other side, we will start working towards better, kinder societies.”
~ Francois Matarasso, UK writer
Author Naomi Klein wrote: “What a moment of crisis like this unveils is our porousness to one another. We’re seeing in real time that we are so much more interconnected to one another than our quite brutal economic system would have us believe.
We might think we’ll be safe if we have good health care, but if the person making our food, or delivering our food, or packing our boxes doesn’t have health care and can’t afford to get tested — let alone stay home from work because they don’t have paid sick leave — we won’t be safe. If we don’t take care of each other, none of us is cared for. We are enmeshed.
Different ways of organizing society light up different parts of ourselves. If you’re in a system you know isn’t taking care of people and isn’t distributing resources in an equitable way, then the hoarding part of you is going to be lit up. So be aware of that and think about how, instead of hoarding and thinking about how you can take care of yourself and your family, you can pivot to sharing with your neighbors and checking in on the people who are most vulnerable.”
~ Naomi Klein, author
The Great Shuttering of 2020
“There is good reason to be afraid. Hundreds of businesses might close, thousands could lose their jobs as the social distance between us grows. There are no good options in this battle, only bad ones and worse ones,” wrote journalist Chris Uhlman in a commentary in The Age on 18 March 2020.
I would turn that statement upside down and claim instead that there’s every good reason to be couraguous and unafraid, because there some unique and unprecedented options in this battle that could lead to real change, big thinking and increased awareness of that we are in this together, and the better we learn to collaborate, the faster we can fix the crises that confront us.
American senator Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put it this way:
. . .
“People everywhere are called on to do what we can to slow the progress of this pandemic. Advice from healthcare professionals and experts is to self-isolate and limit social contact to slow the spread of Coronavirus.
Rebels are encouraged to hold meetings online wherever possible, and to think carefully before organising in-person gatherings. Slowing this virus down will make a big difference to how well we can care for people who are affected. By limiting our contact with others, where possible, we can relieve unnecessary strain on healthcare providers and save lives.
As rebels, we can choose to engage with and support our local communities in this crisis. This is an opportunity to prefigure the world we want to build: one that chooses life and regeneration over despair and fear.”
~ Excerpt from Extinction Rebellion newsletter, 14 March 2020
. . .
Carbon corona connections
Somini Sengupta, climate correspondent for The New York Times, draws lessons for addressing the coronavirus situation from the climate crisis. She points out that the World Health Organization cited “alarming levels of inaction” to characterize the global response to the virus, adding: “It is a familiar refrain to anyone who works on climate change, and it is why global efforts to slow down warming offer a cautionary tale for the effort to slow down the pandemic.”
→ New York Times – 12 March 2020:
Climate Change Has Lessons for Fighting the Coronavirus (login required)
. . .
In The New Republic, Kate Aronoff focuses on the benefits of a four-day work week for both crises — climate as well as coronavirus: “A four-day week could have a ripple effect throughout the economy on how Americans — a notoriously carbon-intensive bunch — consume.”
→ The New Republic – 20 February 2020:
The Coronavirus’s Lesson for Climate Change
“What society can learn from the tragedy’s impact on carbon emissions”
. . .
In his Climate Crisis newsletter in The New Yorker, Bill McKibben points to a range of new patterns we’re getting comfortable with as a result of coronavirus — staying off cruise ships and working remotely, among them:
“There’s nothing good about the novel coronavirus—it’s killing many people, and shutting millions more inside, with fear as their main companion. However, if we’re fated to go through this passage, we may as well learn something from it, and it does strike me that there are a few insights that are applicable to the climate crisis that shadows all of our lives.”
~ Bill McKibben
→ The New Yorker – 5 March 2020:
What Can the Coronavirus Teach Us?
. . .
“We are shutting down entire countries, democratically, within our conventional economies, to diffuse Big Risk. Why can’t we do a fraction of this mobilisation on a much Bigger Risk – the climate crisis?”
~ Johan Rockström
“No room for complacency folks. Protect those we love. Protect ourselves. Social distance and self-isolate where possible. I hope some clever researchers develops a vaccine/ cure asap.”
~ Heidi Edmonds
“Welcome to 2020 where I’m trading rice for eggs and making a no holds barred pact with family members to divvy up any toilet paper we get our hands on. How’s your apocalypse going?”
~ Sarah Hathway
Government’s responses “reckless and beyond stupid”
Infectious diseases expert Dr Bill Bowtell, Australia’s world-leading AIDS/HIV campaign brains, “says the federal government’s responses have been “reckless and beyond stupid””.
ABC’s resident medical expert, Dr Norman Swan, believes we will pay the price for our piecemeal approach in 14 days’ time: “we don’t have a day to waste”. He accuses the Morrison government of not being straight with the public but rather using “public relations Valium”. Australia should be following the lead of Singapore by shutting schools, sanitising public transport and forcing the entire population into self-isolation.
It is galling to think that the Morrison government was elected because they were going to be better economic managers! This is another lie the LNP has been propogating for years. After the GFC Wayne Swan was celebrated internationally as getting Australia through the GFC unscathed. I don’t think ScoMo will be celebrated for anything except utter incompetence in dealing with this pandemic and the economic fallout.
“The reality on the health front is that, like the bushfire crisis, we were not prepared for the pandemic that every expert knew would turn up one of these years.”
~ Suzie Brown
Build a secure and sustainable energy future
“The coronavirus is turning into an unprecedented international crisis, with serious repercussions for people’s health and economic activity. Although they may be severe, the effects are likely to be temporary. Meanwhile, the threat posed by climate change, which requires us to reduce global emissions significantly this decade, will remain. We should not allow today’s crisis to compromise our efforts to tackle the world’s inescapable challenge. Governments are drawing up stimulus plans in an effort to counter the economic damage from the coronavirus. These stimulus packages offer an excellent opportunity to ensure that the essential task of building a secure and sustainable energy future doesn’t get lost amid the flurry of immediate priorities.”
~ Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency, 14 March 2020
→ IEA – 14 March 2020:
Put clean energy at the heart of stimulus plans to counter the coronavirus crisis
. . .
“Think the corona virus is disruptive and dangerous? The escalating climate crisis will bring much worse. Time to Unite Behind the Science for both to protect people’s health and safety.”
~ RW Climate
. . .
We are completely unprepared
“The deaths of thousands of people worldwide should serve as a lasting reminder of the precious fragility of life. We humans frequently ignore or repress uncomfortable thoughts of death and extinction, on an individual and planetary level. We would rather get on with our lives as usual, as if we were immortal and invincible, thinking everything will somehow work out in the end. Only in the face of suffering and death are we forced to view the bigger, longer-term perspective — and this is what is needed in order to react appropriately to climate change.
The current epidemic shows us that we are completely unprepared to deal with future outbreaks of diseases that will occur as a result of climate change. Not only will climate change increase the number of diseases passed from animals to humans due to changing boundaries of habitats and decreased biodiversity, but the melting ice and permafrost are releasing long dormant bacteria and viruses, like anthrax. The novel coronavirus has sent alarm bells ringing throughout the world. It’s time for us to wake up, listen to the primordial Earth goddess Gaia, and act…”
~ Madhvi Ramani
→ The Week – 5 March 2020:
Coronavirus is an environmental wake-up call
Climate crisis will prove more severe than any epidemic
The UN weather organization, WMO, has just released its annual report on the global situation, ‘The State of the Climate’. 2019 was the second warmest year ever measured, and climate change is spreading disease and hunger, it says. In the long term, the climate crisis will prove more severe than any epidemic, Brian Hoskins, professor at Imperial College London, pointed out:
“It is a catalogue of weather in 2019 made more extreme by climate change, and the human misery that went with it. It points to a threat that is greater to our species than any known virus – we must not be diverted from the urgency of tackling it by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to zero as soon as possible.”
. . .
Love versus the coronavirus
“As governments intensify efforts to combat the global outbreak of coronavirus, and give scientists time to develop the right vaccines and treatments, people’s actions are central to flattening the curve of the epidemic, and saving numerous lives.
I therefore commit to KEEP CALM and:
🏠 STOP THE VIRUS at our doorstep, minimising the risk of infection for myself and others — by washing my hands often and properly, staying at home, avoiding crowds as much as possible, and cancelling unnecessary travel.
🙌🏼 SPREAD WISDOM by proactively sharing reliable, factual information and guidance. It is our best way of countering the fake news and conspiracy theories that are fueling mistrust, panic, and reckless behaviour – threatening our collective response to the epidemic.
👵🏽 SEEK CONNECTION and mutual support within my family and members of my local and global communities. To do so, I will reach out to make sure all, particularly the most vulnerable, have the necessary information and support that can protect them against infection and unhealthy anxiety, or to get adequate medical assistance.”
→ Sign the pledge on www.avaaz.org
. . .
Navigating corona virus and keeping our communities safe
What you can do to stay safe:
• Wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
• Maintain social distancing – at least 1-meter distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
• Practice good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze – dispose of the used tissue immediately.
• If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, stay at home, we’ll have one for you instead.
• Stay informed and follow the advice given by your healthcare provider.
What you can do to keep your favourite restaurants and cafes alive:
• Don’t let fear hide you away – think before you cancel and make informed decisions
• Share your snaps, like and engage with bars and restaurants online
• Review your favourite hotspots
• Stay connected by signing up to newsletters
• Avoid the supermarket mayhem and treat yourself to a midweek feast
• Remind your friends that tequila and whiskey are two of the cleanest drinks available
• Bring the good vibes, enjoy yourself and keep on groovin’
. . .
Advice from the Action for Happiness team:
1. Listen to the experts
Leading authorities tell us that our actions now can reduce the burden on the healthcare system and help save lives. We all need to respond.
2. Keep calm (but don’t carry on)
In light of the latest advice, our recommendation is to avoid non-essential face-to-face gatherings to help slow the spread of the virus.
3. Make wise & kind choices
We can all help to reduce the impact of this virus by looking after our own health, washing our hands, self-isolating and being considerate.
There will be difficult times ahead, but this crisis also has the potential to bring out the best in human nature and remind us all how interconnected we are.
Let’s all try to respond in the calmest, wisest and kindest way we can 🙂
→ Find out more about each of these on: www.actionforhappiness.org
. . .
“As we all battle this virus, I think it is time we realise that the human race has been extremely selfish. It’s time we introspect. We share this planet with many other species. Development is important but not at the cost of killing other species. We will overcome this but we must realise that messing with Mother Nature comes at a cost.”XR Belgium
“Australia, you are in covid-19 denial”
“Dear Australia. I say this from Italy not as an epidemiologist but as someone who has been studying Australian denialism closely for a decade: you are in #covid19 denial.
2 weeks ago in Italy the headlines were “protect the economy, business must go on”. Health should be the big priority now.Don’t wait for the government to act. If you can minimise human contact, do so NOW even if you are healthy and strong, it will slow the spread of the virus for others and buy time for the hospitals.CANCEL THINGS. Your event doesn’t matter as much as someone else’s life. Reduce the spread now before the load on medics becomes overwhelming.
Don’t panic! Just don’t organise or attend crowded events or travel unless you have to. Doctors and nurses will be there for you when you need them. There are things you can do now that will help them later.”
~ Jennifer Mills
Doctor in Italy: “We are drowning”
“I’m a doctor in a major hospital in Western Europe. Watching you Americans (and you, Brits) in these still-early days of the coronavirus pandemic is like watching a familiar horror movie, where the protagonists, yet again, split into pairs or decide to take a tour of a dark basement.
The real-life versions of this behavior are pretending this is just a flu; keeping schools open; following through with your holiday travel plans, and going into the office daily. This is what we did in Italy. We were so complacent that even when people with coronavirus symptoms started turning up, we wrote each off as a nasty case of the flu. We kept the economy going, pointed fingers at China and urged tourists to keep traveling. And the majority of us told ourselves and each other: this isn’t so bad. We’re young, we’re fit, we’ll be fine even if we catch it.
Fast-forward two months, and we are drowning. Statistically speaking — judging by the curve in China — we are not even at the peak yet, but our fatality rate is at over 6 percent, double the known global average.
Put aside statistics. Here is how it looks in practice…”
Continue reading in Newsweek:
→ Newsweek – 11 March 2020:
Young and Unafraid of the Coronavirus Pandemic? Good for You. Now Stop Killing People
→ Dr April Armstrong shared a concerning message on Facebook which was since removed. She said that the Australian government has underestimated the seriousness of the COVID-19 situation and many, if not most GPs are calling for much more drastic measures.
→ ABC News – 14 March 2020:
Hospitals won’t cope with escalating coronavirus outbreak, senior Queensland doctor says
A carefully balanced equation
Kenneth Jensen, head of the intensive care unit at the hospital in Næstved, Denmark, put the situation on a formula in a chronicle in the newsprovider Altinget: “The population (DK = 5.8 million) x infection rate x hospitalisation rate x time in bed = bed time needs.”
Then he visualised two scenarios. A best case scenario with common Influenza A as a model, and a worst-case scenario based on how Covid-19 has behaved in China and Italy.
Denmark has 500 intensive beds = 200,000 annual “bed days” in the hospital’s intensive care units. If Covid-19 behaves like a regular flu, it will occupy half of them. Here we are within the manageable area.
However, if the rapid spread of Covid-19 infection breaks through, it will require 500,000 intensive bed days. In this scenario, Jensen used words such as “horrific” and “indescribable”. It would involvement surgical beds being seized, scaling down or cancellation of planned surgeries, doctors and other healthcare professionals getting infected and consequent downscaling of the available health care.
In other words, society relies on a carefully balanced equation, and Covid-19 can become that unknown factor that makes it all break down.
“What we do from right now, for all of us, determines whether the death rate from the pandemic is towards the bottom end of the scale around 0.5% or to the top end, around 6%. Much depends upon whether we can flatten out the transmission curve enabling the public health and hospital system to be able to cope with those needing hospital and acute care. This will affect not only those with Coronavirus, but any one else that needs hospital care. If hospital resources become stretched, medical staff will employ triage to choose who should receive care and at what level.
Climate campaigning will, by necessity, be reduced in priority. But we must ensure we don’t lock-in fossil pathways. Use the time to draw what parallels can be made with recognition of climate science and rapid action on emissions reduction.”
~ John Englart
→ Check out the WHO advice for more details on how to protect yourself and others