I am looking forward to the time when I no longer have the inclination to write about COVID-19. But as it is foremost in my mind it is my topic once again. The buzz word about business is how they can pivot and keep afloat with little or no income. Or do they need to pirouette? Will they survive the economic and mental health impact of extended lockdowns?
Some small businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector will not make it. Also, smaller retail outlets. It does not matter how much they pivot it will not help. Even a pirouette, a full turn around, it will not help. Business capital is eroding. Not everyone has the potential to diversify their business and prevent failure.
But I am an optimist. Once lockdowns are a thing of the past businesses will thrive once more. People will come out in their droves. The economy will bounce back. New ideas and enterprises will arise. People want to engage with life, and they will. Once again, Sydney will be a thriving megalopolis. The same in Melbourne.
Queensland has not experienced the full impact of school closures such as New South Wales and Victoria. Apart from a few short lockdowns, schools have remained opened.
But things are different for children in other parts of Australia who cannot go to school. There are reports that children are suffering from mental health problems. All bought on without face-to-face learning and interaction with their peers.
But what about the resilience of children. They can pivot, pirouette, and come out the other side with new ideas, new hopes, and new dreams. All they need is encouragement to give new things a go; new ways of giving schooling a go.
Take for example children who never get to sit in a classroom with other children. Those kids who attend School of the Air, distance education. Queensland is a big state and not all children learn the traditional way by sitting in a classroom.
Children who live in remote locations do all their schooling online. They pivot and pirouette and do it well. Take a look at the website and video from the Longreach School of Distance Education. Could some of the schools in lengthy lockdowns link up with these children. Those who learn through distance education. They could make new friends. They could learn new skills and learn how to adapt in a different learning environment.
Get the Jab
New South Wales has announced more freedoms for those who are vaccinated. But what about those who choose not to get the jab? Will they be left on their own and isolated? All because they believed misinformation they got through social media.
My son Matt was talking to a mate in Western Australia who lives south of Perth, down near Margaret River. Matt is fully vaccinated with Pfizer. His mate’s response was that Matt would be dead in two years because he got vaccinated! This is the type of misinformation that is spreading in communities. No thought of a pivot or two or even a pirouette to take the short trip to get vaccinated.
Matt’s mate might think he is safe in his corner of Western Australia. People in Sydney thought the same, until the Delta strain took hold. People get sick, they die from COVID-19. That is the reality.
Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers
In Toowoomba, where I live, we are living life as usual. No masks and businesses are open. The Carnival of Flowers is the longest running floral event in Australia. For the first time since 1949 the program runs for the entire month of September.
All will be well as long as everyone follows the rules. Use the ‘check-in’ app, practice social distancing, wear a mask if you need to and practice good hand hygiene.
Looking at Queens Park Botanic Gardens, from a distance on Friday, the park was pulsing with people – the carnival has begun.
After a further pivot or two and a pirouette, Australia and the rest of the world will return to a normal life. Life as it was before COVID-19.