Updated: Apr 9, 2020
The current COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis that is going to affect everyone at some point or another. With the Australian Government restricting gathering sizes and strongly recommending social distancing, it’s important to understand how the virus is going to impact you and where you live.
The experience of a pandemic in a rural town compared to a major city is a very different one. Since major cities are more densely packed and contain airports which connect Australia to the rest of the world, they are the place where the virus first appears (and indeed did appear) and where a lot of the early spread will happen.
But this doesn’t mean that rural towns are entirely shielded from the virus. The distance of rural towns from major cities means it will take longer for COVID-19 to reach them, but based on what we know about the virus, it will end up in rural Victoria before long.
This delay of infection is absolutely a good thing. The buffer period gives people in rural towns more time to prepare and educate themselves about how to avoid the virus and protect vulnerable people in their communities.
The main way people, including you, can do this is through social distancing; avoiding non-essential social interactions and large gatherings, and purposefully distancing yourself from people who have symptoms such as fever, cough or sore throat. As well as washing your hands, not touching your face, and practicing general cold/flu hygiene.
Limiting the spread of the virus is especially important in rural Victoria, due to the overall higher age (and health risk) of the population as well as the smaller capacity for intensive care in rural hospitals.
If the spread of COVID-19 in rural Victoria is slow, the hospitals will be able to keep up with the number of patients and provide adequate care for all.
But if people are careless, and ignore health recommendations like social-distancing and frequent hand-washing, the number of rural cases could swell past hospital capacity and result in an unnecessary level of suffering and death. Wash your hands. Practice social distance. Avoid the virus. COVID-19 will undoubtedly reach rural Victoria sooner or later, and when it does, it’s up to you to mitigate the spread and protect those who can’t protect themselves.
If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with us to see how we might be able to help; we’ve recently increased our telehealth availability so please call if you’d like to book a distance appointment. If you are in need of urgent care, please call 000. Breathe Well - Live Well
This article is from Keystone Medical Media, a sub-entity of Keystone Content.