Tag Archives: COVID-19

COVID-19: Where are we now?

I’ve just spent an hour zooming with infectious disease experts re: what individuals and communities can do given what we know about COVID-19.

I have the privilege of being able to do this because I work at Sydney Uni.

So I feel compelled to share what I have just learnt and hope you find it useful because access to expert information that is unpoliticised, to questions about what we can do and why in these uncertain times, might just save lives and promote positive social hygiene behaviours.

C-19 is transferred via both contact and droplet transmission.

These droplets can be ‘aerosolised’ (aka air borne) and fall to a surface (table, bench, door handle etc) or be transmitted person to person.

We also know the affects of the C-19 virus on community groups is dependent on a number of factors (please note this is not an exhaustive list):

  1. The Amount of Exposure to the virus
  2. Age – the virus is more severe in the elderly because of co-existing disease.
  3. Underlying genetic factors – For instance: The number of receptors for this virus to get into the body systems and then the cells. Because males and females have different numbers of these receptors in their cells the impact of the virus also varies.

The Australian Approach

In Australia, we are operating under a policy of ‘suppression’ rather than elimination of the virus because elimination would require severe lockdowns and create social and economic consequences beyond what we have known to date.

So, the current policy is very much in step with a fire fighters approach to ‘spot fires’. Where measures are designed to fight outbreaks as quickly as possible.

Hence the official directive is:

  1. Get tested. If you have a tickle in your throat or show any signs of possible infection.
  2. While waiting for your results – SELF ISOLATE at home away from others.
  3. Social Distance

The fallacy of the FACE MASK

There is a lot of misinformation around the function and effectivity of facemasks.

Facemasks are personal protection equipment. The reason they are recommended (currently mandatory in Melbourne) is because the face mask acts as a barrier in 2 ways:

  1. Protects the WEARER against the transfer of droplets
  2. Protects the wider population by limiting the extent to generate droplets (a known source of transmission of C-19) to the environment.

So when you wear a mask, you’re not just protecting yourself, but also your community.

You’re being socially responsible and community-minded.

Key Insights from the panel discussion:

RNA (the genetic material of the C-19 virus) must reproduce exactly and yet there are some errors every time it multiplies. This is not necessarily a bad thing because through the changes in the strains, tracking of outbreaks can be more precise.

In Australia, C-19 outbreaks in January 2020 were largely from China, then a strain was tracked from Iran.

These nationalised strains of C-19 are beyond interesting to me and something no doubt worthy of further exploration, but by the experts – not me 🙂

I hope you have found this useful in clarifying any questions, hesitations or reservations you might be harbouring during these uncertain times.

Keep your distance, wear a mask out in public, wash your hands, cough into your elbow!

By doing this, you’re contributing to the solution of breaking the chain of infection.

Our Educators are the Unsung Heroes of C-19

Rightly or wrongly, the responsibility for the daily health and well-being of Australian families rests on the shoulders of our educators.

Why?

Because our ability as CEO of our households sees us now responsible for feeding, clothing, educating and supporting our children while also managing through the financial complications associated with managing the delicacies of employment in the COVID-19 era.

If you’re a parent who has taken responsibility for the daily educational needs of your child/ren, you know the challenge is real.

If you’re like me, you value the quality of education your child receives.

And yet you know you are failing to keep up.

With life, with work, with your child’s education schedule and the house keeping!

In the first note after isolation was enforced, I couldn’t have loved my daughter’s teacher more.

‘Thank you for taking responsibility for your child’s education’ she said.

I cried. Knowing this was as hard for her as a dedicated educator to relinquish her daily responsibility to us – the unqualified.

As a tertiary educator and online educator for close to a decade, some might assume I had this in the bag.

I certainly wasn’t phased.

I’d downloaded the 13 page .pdf expertly crafted to scaffold both student and parent through this new educational reality.

It was articulate in the daily requirements and included links and hard copies in a folder painstakingly collated and that we’d excitedly collected (while observing strict social distancing instructions).

I was beyond confident.

Then I started reading….the first lesson was phonemes.

My daughter had been speaking about them for weeks and I had congratulated her excitedly.

Yet when it came to teaching them – I had NO idea!

Enter Dr Google… okay, I had a definition. I could make this work. I could participate.

Then I saw that the wonderful educators at her public school really had my back – they’d included an explanatory video!

Now I felt invincible. 🙂

As a working mum and sole parent, I knew the road ahead was going to be busy.

I never imagined it was going to be so challenging. But it was for my daughter and I was beyond committed.

As the days turned into weeks, I spoke to close friends and associates, my struggles, were also their struggles.

Now I was determined to ease the burden for all of us and let the teachers get back to teaching. After all, they’re the ones best qualified. And my daughter deserved them.

So I decided to build a solution to help us all.

In doing so, I’ve now built a wonderful team of like-minded Australian educators and parents stretching four generations who share not only my educational vision but also a  community spirit… and

Our School Online was born.

So if you’re a parent, I’d love to hear how you’re managing through via our online survey because it’s really easy to think you’re all alone on this journey.

And let’s be honest, those What’sApp class groups don’t help our self-esteem! 🙂

If you’re and educator, feel free to call 1800 469 233 or email us at admin@online-school.com.au to see how our custom-built solution can ease the operational burden of moving your classroom online.

After all, we’ve built this to honour and support the brilliant work you do and the dedication you show towards educating our children.

Consider this our Thank you!

xo