Protecting Our Vulnerable

By Rachel Hardy

Protecting Our Vulnerable

Our highest priority must be protecting the health of the most vulnerable in our community and easing the effects of the disruption to food supplies and other essential services to them.

The major supermarkets have announced the introduction of special shopping hours for the elderly and disabled. Retailers have been swamped by home delivery requests, as well as having their shelves stripped of items; they’re putting on a reserve army of casuals to cope. This is an opportunity for neighbours to step up and help isolated people. It may have sounded stale a few weeks ago when Mr Morrison suggested to take around a curry to rural folks who don’t have access to Uber Eats. But his advice to drop off a casserole to those in need, as an act of kindness, suits the times.

Protecting our most vulnerable people always requires harsher restrictions on movement and services, as well as more dedicated resources. But it will also call for displays of the Australian spirit, acts of kindness to strangers, self-control and patience. The way we interact with our family, for instance, may change for the next several months: less face time and more FaceTime.

Try to look out for the elderly. As the Prime Minister has said, our job in the coming days, weeks and months is to work together to slow the spread of the virus. For those of us who are more healthy, we have a duty to protect the most vulnerable.

I would like to urge everyone that can spare some time contact the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349, or get in touch with the following charities: Hopelink, Food Centre, Salvation Army or St Vincent de Paul.