On Easter Monday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had announced students of essential workers could come to school when Term 2 started up 20APR2020. It was planned for this to be in effect until the 22nd of May with them to be reviewed come the 15th of May. For the first five weeks of term, the majority of students would learn remotely.
When Term 2 started up in Victoria on the 15th of April the advice was as many students to learn from home as much as possible.
In South Australia the decision was left with parents to make with school set to resume on the 27th of April.
With the same term start date, NSW and WA were not yet to make a decision but NSW with the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country was having teachers prepare most strongly for remote learning.
Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory had the same policy as Queensland.
In the Northern Territory attendance of students at schools was expected from 20APR2020.
Post the long Easter Weekend I worked from home the rest of the week from the 14th of April to the 17th of April 2020.
I saw the narrative in the news and on social media shift.
People started asking how long until restrictions get loosened.
People would question the COVID-19 numbers which was fair enough. The old “Just as deadly as the flu.” belief from early March started making the rounds again. Do you know anybody who has it? If we’re allowed to go a supermarket, why can’t we got to a restaurant? How many active cases are there now in our state?! These and other questions were uttered. I understood the urgent need to get back to work for some.
However on the 14th of April I looked up the date of the highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases in Australia.
The date was March the 28th and it was 650 cases in one day.
It had only been two weeks since our daily increases had peaked in the country!
For the people seriously impacted by this financially I understood the need to go back to work.
However on the 15th of April there was a strong reminder of the need to make good choices in combating this virus.
Just a kilometre or so away from the Bronx in New York City is Hart Island.
Known as Potter’s Field, it has been the burial site of those unclaimed by kin.
Stillborn, unidentified and the very poor are buried in Potter’s Field by prisoners and have been for 150 years after the city bought the land.
With morgues filling up, the time to claim bodies was cut from 30 days to 15 days.
Until recently prisoners from Rikers were burying the dead on an average of 25 a week. Contractors in safety hazmat suits have taken over in recent weeks and the weekly average of 25 has now become the number buried in a day.
On the 17th of April the World Health Organisation reported there were now more than two million confirmed cases globally.
There were 2,080,235 with a daily increase of 81,839.
139,507 people had died so far. The daily increase was 8,473.
There were 6,468 confirmed cases in Australia with a daily increase of 10. 63 Australians had died.
In Canada there were 28,884 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 1,344. There were 1,048 dead Canadians with a daily increase of 94 taking the death toll into four digits.
In the United Kingdom there were 103,097 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 4,617. The number of dead in Great Britain was 13,729 with a daily increase of 861.
In Spain there were 184,474 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 4,400. The number of dead 19,130 with a daily increase of 551.
In the United States there were 632,781 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 28,711. The number of Americans who had died from COVID-19 tallied at 28,221 with a daily increase of 2.350.
I just hope that we remember that none of these numbers are acceptable, they’re not preferable to a larger number, they’re thousands of lives lost in a matter of days.
I realise I am very fortunate but I will always believe we needed to be safer rather than sorry.
As sorry as I am to see those bodies being buried in an island near the Bronx.