Thank you for being a 90 percenter

By: John Richardson   |   Red Cross National Resilience Adviser   |

Our daily cases are dropping

It’s hard not to become obsessed with the morning updates of Australia’s COVID cases. 
To instead switch off and go about our new daily routine. To get out of our pyjamas and walk 10 metres to work, in our living rooms.
To get the kids ready for remote schooling on the kitchen table.
To stay motivated. 
To stay positive. 

The reality is, we are all lured by the daily figures. Because what happens next, how, and when depends on them. Because we all want to know if all that handwashing, keeping our distance from loved ones, staying home, is making a difference. If it’s making a BIG enough difference, for us to return, or move on, to a new normal. The one we are all dreaming about, and writing a list of all the first things we will do when restrictions are loosened. 

Visiting elderly parents. Popcorn and ice-cream at the movies with friends. Drinking coffee, whilst actually sitting in the coffee shop.  
We at Red Cross are urging you to become 90 percent heroes in the fight against coronavirus. Why 90 per cent? 

Researchers from the University of Sydney suggest that at least 80 percent of us need to stay home and limit our contact with others. Others like Victoria's Chief Medical Officer, Brett Sutton, are going further. He suggests - and we strongly agree - that anything less than 90 percent and our fight to flatten the curve will be lost. 

This is why governments have introduced physical distancing measures. It is why we promote simple measures such as handwashing and cough etiquette. These measures are all about putting distance between ourselves and the virus. But social distancing does not have to mean we lose our social connection

We have all been buoyed by news this week, that a number of states recorded no new cases, and other states have dropped to an all-time low.  

By being a 90 percenter, it allows the 10 percenters - the doctors, nurses, cleaners, bakery assistants, supermarket re-stockers, logisticians, emergency managers - to do the very best they can to help us get through the greatest challenge in generations.  

Our daily cases are dropping, but we must keep going. There’s an analogy doing the rounds regarding lifting restrictions, because the curve is flattening, and decreasing. 

“The parachute has slowed our rate of descent, we can take it off now.” 

We know that staying at home is wearing thin. It’s becoming more stressful and challenging in different ways. Adding to the load, parents and care givers who will be remotely schooling their children for the first five weeks of the term. 

Being a 90 percenter takes creativity, resolve and kindness, to others and yourself. It takes a heroic effort.  

There are ways to make the time easier. We have guidance and useful tips so you can stay at home, be healthy and stay happy and hopeful.  

How to stay safe and sane, by managing close confines, looking after your mental health, and looking after people who might be quarantined and self-isolating.  

So as the weeks pass, remember we can all get through this together, with a dash of the Australian humour #BinIsolationOutings 

Apr. 22, 2020

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