COVID-19 and surviving isolation, a shutdown, and now opening up

I think it is well past the time that the Federal and/or State Governments released details of how individuals, couples or a family during 14 day isolation period or in a complete shutdown can acquire food, medication prescriptions or other essential items.
A good strategy made public should reduce if not stop the panic buying we are currently experiencing. As supermarkets shelves are quite bare you are not able to purchase food, pharmaceutical’s or essential items to last through a week let alone a 14 day isolation period or even worse a complete shutdown…


I’ve let my neighbors know they can rely on my help, and they have assured me they’re there for me.
It’s always been the way of life in Au to give a hand to neighbours in times of need.


Should there be a lockdown and everyone has to stay home what will you do? There are also people who are loners or don’t get along with the neighbours. There needs to be a process that will accommodate all citizens.


By the same token that could apply to all sectors. I find your scenario too apocalyptic.

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Italy is in complete shutdown and New York was placed in complete shutdown today. I just hope it does not happen in Australia.


A lockdown is not everyone being confined to their homes, full stop. They have exceptions for essential services like acquiring groceries, medicines, and healthcare. Those businesses and services continue to operate. Once the panic buying is over and supply has caught up, the groceries are currently committing to restoring home deliveries although that is not available everywhere. Regional and bush resident people will have a different experience and set of problems to those in major built-up areas. It is probable the T&C of how they operate will need to be modified, and neither governments nor businesses are oblivious to the problems of keeping safety up front while keeping ‘life support’ in operation.

It is not as dire as you imply, but personal inconvenience will become a daily reality as will cabin fever (boredom).


I am just saying that people need to be aware of what they can and can’t do in a total lockdown and that this information should ease if not stop the panic buying.


There was some comment in one of the recent presentations by the PM about putting arrangements in place to provide deliveries, aside from the paid online services.

As close as I can find in the current advice.

It would be better if there was a complete simple guide on what to do and how. There is a lot going on so perhaps it is all coming into place, but not being widely communicated.


That’s the problem. People are being told not to panic-buy. At the same time they’re told that they might need enough stocks at home to survive for 14 days. For the anxious, it’s only natural to ignore the former and prepare for the latter.


Indeed. That’s twice in recent months that the Federal Government has been somewhat lacking in coming forward with what is required in a time of crisis.


Well done. You have called out what this government is good at, ‘lacking…’.


In your considered opinion Phil, what is it that you think the Government is lacking?

Quite frankly I think the Government, and the Prime Minister are doing a great job to keep people informed as to where they can get help, and assisting them financially.

You should think yourself lucky you are not living in Italy, UK, or the US, as they have not been pro-active like the Australian Government have.

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Coherent policy, proactive rather than reactive actions, and yes, our government seems to be going better than the US or UK, neither being much of a challenge w/Trump and Johnson ‘leading’; Italy I cannot comment on noting their dire situation.

Closing the doors to incomings and then allowing 4 cruise ships to dock with known CV-19 cases and letting a few thousand pax go home to self isolate as state responsibilities? (States) Waiting to strip casinos of their special status until today? Yes, very impressive all around. They have been doddering to make hard decisions hoping they would not have to, all in the face of reality escalating quickly. As for helping financially so far it is talk; if their robodebt mentality is part of the model it will go so well; a few dollars helps those in need if it gets into their hands timely but considering the hit to the economy and loss of jobs and probably businesses going to the wall I doubt governments have a coherent plan but that is my opinion. Whether it becomes fact we shall see.

Before I close I must reference the Federal refusal to talk to the firies before the bush fires so nothing got marshalled, and it happened. State problems, no worries. Until it started looking bad for ‘Marketing’.

We can chose to disagree.


Not everyone agrees:

An infectious diseases expert interviewed recently on the ABC said that what our government is doing now would have been appropriate a week and a half ago. Being late will cost lives.


This could be true if the panic buying was rational. As evidenced by the completely irrational run on toilet paper there is no critical or clear thinking, or logic by the panic buyers. This debaccle is like the irrational fear some people exhibit in the water when they try to climb on top of another swimmer, just to get that bit higher.

Good strategies should have been in place right from the beginning, now the fear of missing out and hoarding has been imprinted on far too many people, and is going to be hard to dispel.


I am astounded that the Government apparently did not have any contingency planning in place to deal with MASSIVE scale disasters (whether that be from fire, flood, famine, biological, etc.). If there was any sort of contingency planning in place then things would have been very different and action started much earlier, established plans implemented, key personnel making rapid knowledgeable decisions, materiel and medical material in place to be rapidly accessed, etc.

Sadly, this LNP Government has been dragged along from crisis to crisis responding when they have to. The only ones saying they have done a good job is the LNP and their media fan boys/girls. The people at the coal-face paint a complely different picture.

For the bushfires hardly any assistance has yet been given out because implementation was slow to come on stream and it is so arduous to apply. Human Services are asking people who lost absolutely everything in the fire to give copies of documents they don’t have and even if they had couldn’t get to the Department because there is no technology in the areas yet. So much talk, but very little action to actually help.

According to the people directly affected by the fires, the real help being received is from private sources, donations, and charities. These are doing what the Goverment should be doing.

For COVID-19 the information provided by the Government, particularly to do with the medical issues has been at times completely wrong and often contradictory. The assistance offered, hasn’t really started yet.

The same lack of contingency readiness also applies with COVID-19. Apart from basic medical supplies, Government assistance hasn’t really started yet. It will eventually become available, even if it is hard to get; but in the meantime people don’t have money to pay their food, utilities, rent/mortgages, fuel, etc. purely due to what is happening with the pandemic. Money will get out to recipients of Human Services, but money for businesses and researchers etc.that could be a long way off.

So, no this Government and the PM are not as helpful to Australia as you suggest.


It is my humble opinion that the Government is more reactive than proactive. There have been warnings for weeks that COVID-19 could become pandemic. The main emphasis from the Government was about people entering the country and 14 days isolation. The Government should have released detailed information of what people can and can’t do during 14 days isolation and during a shutdown should it occur. The only information I am aware of from the Government is to arrange things with family and neighbours. Useless information during a shutdown. Also this does not cover people who have no family close by or people who keep to themselves. I know there are good people in Australia who will help others, on the other hand the panic buying has shown there are no doubt more people who care only for themselves. I also think the Government was irresponsible in saying do not panic buy and in the next breath saying you should keep enough food etc to last through a 14 day isolation period. Talk about stoking the fire.


I agree about the panic buy+14 days prep warnings, though it’s human nature for many to assume and prepare for worst case scenarios; it’s just how some people are wired.

I think yes, our government could have been more proactive, though we are doing better than some, and it’s not an eventuality that most believe will happen to them.

I think in terms of aid moving from PM statements to reaching actual individuals in need, it’s a BIG job (especially at speed) and hence there will probably be big instances of the aid failing to materialise where and when it’s needed. That’s where community comes in to stopgap.


I read in the Sydney Sun Herald this morning that Boris Johnson launches unprecendented pay for workers. Britain will pay workers up up to 80% of their wages up to a maximum GBP2500 per month provided the worker is not fired. The scheme will be stay in place for as long as it is needed. This is a great strategy to protect workers and have businesses and employees ready to kick start the economy once the Government gives the the ok for people to go back to work etc. It will also allow people to pay bills and buy the essentials during the shutdown which then keeps the economy ticking over slowly.

There was another article on Los Angeles about the Safer at Home order which effectively closed the cities non essential businesses. Other businesses such as supermarkets, Banks, Post Offices remain open and everyone else behind closed doors. People can still go the supermarket, order takeout food, visit the doctor or other essential services. This is the information we need to hear in Australia, what we can and can’t do.


Unfortunately you cannot plan for everything. Australia was just coming out of a disastrous bushfire season and got hit with a once in a hundred year pandemic. How do you respond to that?

I heard about this, and it is a great idea - but probably too late for all the people who were queuing at Centrelink offices this morning.