The Continuing Fight Against COVID-19 in Australia
Updated: Jul 14, 2020
Like most Aussies, I had hoped after lockdown started easing across the states and territories we'd begin returning to normal. The reality of the situation is that the transition back to the way things were is going to be a long process and frankly, it may be impossible to live in a world completely free of COVID-19 until there's a widely available vaccine. A bit of a downer to think about, right?
The recent surge in cases across Victoria has a lot of Aussie businesses, schools, universities, and community groups wondering how we can all do what we need to do while still minimising the risk of a second, third, or fourth wave of virus spread. There's no quick fix, but things we should consider doing include:
Keeping High Standards of Hygiene
I'm sure you're all sick of hearing about needing to wash your hands with soap and warm water, but the truth of the matter is that this simple, everyday action is one of our best weapons against viral spread. If you can't wash your hands with soap and water, then using hand sanitiser made from alcohol is your best bet to kill the germs lurking on your hands while you're on the move. Also be wary of touching your face with unwashed hands, as you can easily transfer viruses and bacteria into your body through simple acts such as rubbing your eyes.
Implement Body Temperature Screening in Workplaces, Schools, etc.
Thermal screening is one way simple, non-invasive way we can keep an eye on the health of individuals in some of the busiest places in the country. Thermal imaging cameras, such as the ones from Ava Safe, are installed so you can scan the body temperature of those entering your premises. If someone has an elevated body temperature, this is frequently indicative of illness, with an elevated body temperature being a common early symptom of things such as Influenza, COVID-19, and countless bacterial infections.
By stopping those that present with such a strong symptom of disease, you can prevent the spread of illness in your work environment. Nobody wants to unwittingly get their colleagues or clients sick because they went to work feeling a bit under the weather only to find out later that they had the flu! Temperature screening is one way to help prevent further clusters of sickness across suburban Australia, when used in conjunction with the rest of the suggestions on this list.
Continue Social Distancing
We've heard the term 'social distancing' ad nauseam since COVID-19 started its spread, but keeping your distance from others really is an effective way for us to fight back against the virus. When we keep recommended social distance from one another we are minimising the chance of spreading disease via microbial spray (our saliva while speaking, our sneezes, etc.) or by coming into contact with trace particles on people's skin/clothing. Installing social distancing screens in the office or at restaurants is a great way to maintain distance while still being able to see and interact with each other. Similarly, using labels such as the ones we see on public transport can help people be mindful of keeping a good social distance.
Consider Disinfectant Fogging
We all know that it is important to keep our workspaces and homes clean, but disinfectant fogging is an additional service specifically designed to kill viruses and bacteria that settle on surfaces normal cleaning can't reach or cannot thoroughly decontaminate using normal methods. Fogging refers to how the non-toxic disinfectant is administered, through a device that sprays ultrafine sanitising microparticles in a "fog" that will settle on areas normally out of reach to difficult to access, ensuring nasty bugs are killed no matter where they are in your workplace. Disinfectant fogging isn't meant to replace your normal cleaning routine, but it can be a helpful addition when you have staff nervous about returning to the office or if you've had a recent flu outbreak.
Continue to Do Your Best
Taking preventative measures is vital if we hope to overcome this pandemic without slipping back into continued infection. However, we also must continue to be observant and care for each other during this difficult time. The lengths we have to go to in order to impede the spread of COVID-19 can be frustrating, especially since we've had a good run in recent weeks, but we're all in this together and if we support our community and do the right thing, we'll get on top of this outbreak.