COVID -19 and Australia: Government Health Measures and Economic Stimulus | AUSPOL EXPLAINED

COVID -19 and Australia: Government Health Measures and Economic Stimulus | AUSPOL EXPLAINED


Hello and welcome to a special episode
of Auspol Explained. Normally I try and explain the Australian political
system. Normally this channel is not about current affairs so don’t expect
that as a regular thing, but there is some important information
to share about COVID-19. This video was filmed March 24th 2020 so not all
the information in it may still be accurate but I do tell you places to
find more up-to-date and accurate information. The World Health
Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11th and since then a
lot has happened. International travel has been restricted in Australia.
Currently all travel has been asked to be reconsidered anywhere in the world.
Large gatherings have been banned and that number is getting smaller and
smaller. Lots of places are shutting down whether their venues or businesses. I’m
going to be addressing a few things in this video. First off is health
information, the second one is the Australian Government’s response, and
then finally what do we do now both to keep entertained and make sure our
mental health is okay. First off: how to get important information about COVID-19. Visit www.health.gov.au to get the latest information about COVID-19 You’ve probably heard this a lot but for those
who don’t know the symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, flu-like symptoms, such as
coughing or sneezing, difficulty breathing which can turn into pneumonia,
sore throat, and fatigue. I have read more on the internet but this is an official
government list of symptoms so that I know to be accurate. If you have these
symptoms please contact a doctor. To minimize the risk of infection they
recommend that you call ahead of time and describe your symptoms to a doctor
so they can assess whether or not it’s safe to be in the room with you. There’s
also the National COVID-19 Hotline 1-800 020 080. To avoid the virus please take precautions. You’ve probably
heard this next bit a lot but in case anyone hasn’t got a
clear picture of how to avoid spreading the virus the health.gov.au website
recommends the following: take good hygiene measures such as: covering your
coughs and sneezes with your elbow or tissue instead of a hand, dispose of
tissues properly, wash hands often with soap and water – you may have heard from
various sources that you should do this for at least 20 seconds. Yes
soap does work. You should clean and disinfect surfaces especially ones that
are used often like mobiles, keys, wallets. Practice social distancing where you
stay 1.5 meters away from people especially if you are sick and avoid
contact with others. There’s also the World Health Organization website www.WHO.int for advice to the public. As of this video there isn’t a vaccine but lots of
people are working on it. The government also recommends getting a
flu shot when it’s available because contracting both COVID-19 and the flu
will negatively impact your health. So why is it important to follow all these
measures even if you are a young healthy person? Even if you don’t think that you
will contract the virus or even be that poorly affected by it is important to
practice as many safety precautions as possible to avoid contracting it and
passing it on to somebody else who isn’t as fortunate as you to have such a good
immune system. The more people who contract it the more people that they
can pass it on to and the more people die. Unfortunately that is what is going
to happen. To prevent this: social distancing and isolation.
It’s literally where you put distance between you and other people.
This means staying at home for anything that isn’t completely necessary like
work, if you still have a job, or getting food from the grocery store and when you
do have to go outside avoid physical contact. Again, that 1.5 meter rule comes
into effect. It may be difficult but it is important – especially in the earlier
stages of the pandemic. The quicker we limit the amount of exposure to other
people the better the entire community is. Yes this does mean that you shouldn’t
invite all your friends around to your apartment for quarantine parties
or whatever. So please stay inside for as much as possible for the good of the
community. This is not just like the regular flu season. I’m not trying to
alarm anyone – we should just be safe. You may have heard the phrase “flatten the
curve.” Here’s a picture to demonstrate that where there’s option A where the
curve goes really high up and then really sharply down or the curve like
is kind of flat and long in the horizontal way. There’s a line to
represent hospital capacity. If we slow down the rate of infection then at any
given point in time there’s less people who need urgent medical care. Because
hospitals only have so much space and resources if we overload that capacity
people will die and not just of coronavirus. And if we flatten the curve it
doesn’t peak over that line. So yeah this is why a lot of things are being
canceled and it’s a good thing. Sporting events have been canceled, I had to
cancel my wedding plans, my honeymoon – it sucks but this is necessary. Please
listen to the government. Speaking of the government: what are they doing and how
do you stay up-to-date? Both the state and federal government are coming up
with more and more ways to mitigate the disease. The more that we ignore these
instructions the more the virus spreads and the worse the lockdown will be. Any
information I give you right now about what those restrictions are will
get outdated very quickly but generally: gathering’s are getting smaller and smaller,
there are restrictions on visiting aged care facilities, and borders are shutting
down. All non-essential travel is being urged to be reconsidered or canceled. One
current major restriction is that only Australian citizens residents and
immediate family members can travel to to Australia from overseas. All travelers
incoming are required to self isolate for 14 days at home or in a hotel.
Information about these restrictions comes straight from the Home Affairs
website or www.homeaffairs.gov.au. Travel restrictions are subject to change. I
don’t know when that’ll be so please visit their website for more
information. Also to learn more about the various
measures being rolled out by state or territory you can visit the respective
government websites of your state or territory. I will put links to all of
them in the description. They do form a very similar pattern though in that it’s
the www dot state or territory abbreviation gov dot au so for example WA.gov.au, SA.gov.au, NT.gov.au the exception is the Tasmanian state
government website for some reason they don’t have a link on their front page so
go to DHHS.tas.gov.au for the Department of Health. You get the idea.
There’s also the federal Australian government website www.Australia.gov.au for the latest news about the restrictions and response. You can also
use social media to stay up to date. I recommend following the ABC on Facebook
and Twitter, that way you can receive the latest information without having to
constantly google the state or federal websites. There’s a lot of unemployment
so both the states and the federal government have rolled out different
stimulus packages. I don’t have time to go over all the different state stimulus
packages and those are subject to change but I will go over the gist of the
federal one. They have announced a hundred and eighty nine billion dollar
economic relief plan this is divided into its initial seventeen point six
billion dollar package and then a second economic rescue package of 66 billion
and then more than a hundred billion in emergency banking measures to prevent
against a credit freeze. Again, you can learn more about your respective state
or territory stimulus package via their websites. To summarize there are some key
points to the federal stimulus package. There is an unprecedented welfare
increase that is currently a fortnightly $550 coronavirus supplement for the
people on the job seeker payment, youth allowance, parenting payment, farm
household allowance, and special benefit. It possibly also applies to more I’m not
entirely sure. This applies for the next six
months. It may be extended I don’t know. You can apply for this via the my gov
website that’s my.gov.au Please be patient with Centerlink staff. They’re
normally understaffed and underfunded at the best of times and right now there is
a massive sudden influx of unemployment so they are very stressed
just like you. Please be respectful to staff in general, especially also retail
workers. There’s also a one off seven hundred and fifty dollar payment to those
already on Social Security, veteran, and other income support. Around half of the
people that benefit from this are pensioners. People in financial distress
will also be able to access their super and take ten thousand dollars from it
from the 2019 to 2020 financial year and another ten thousand dollars again in
2020 to 2021. You can apply for this via the my gov website.
that’s my.gov.au There’s also wage subsidies of a cash refund for up
to a hundred thousand dollars for small businesses and not-for-profit charities.
This is paid out automatically by the Australian Tax Office.
The government estimates that this will help approximately seven point eight
million people. There’s also one point two billion subsidizing fifty percent of
an apprentice or trainees wage for up to nine months. Look, this is only some of it
but probably some of this applies to you. They’re also waiving the waiting time
for applying to Centrelink. More information will be coming from the
government soon. Again, use the resources for the state and federal government
website to learn more. Also on the issue of government: Parliament isn’t working
as normal. They sat on Monday March 23rd to pass the stimulus package and then
the Parliament was suspended until August 11th. The federal budget, which is
also usually in May, has been delayed until the October 6th. It’s impossible to
judge the economic outlook of Australia right now and so we’ll need time to
figure it out. These dates could potentially change as things unfold. A
lot is up in the air and multiple politicians have
contracted coronavirus. I know this all sounds alarming but please don’t panic –
especially panic buying. There is plenty of food and toilet paper it’s just an
issue of getting it into stores fast enough. Also if you see anyone who is hoarding
toilet paper and other essential goods then selling them off for a profit then
the Australian Federal Police is after them. It’s not okay to profit off a
crisis and create an artificial shortage of essential goods. We are all in this
together. An artificial scarcity of essential
goods harms the most vulnerable people in our society like the homeless, poor
people, and the elderly. You can report people that you know are hoarding goods
and selling them for a profit to Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or you can use their website www.crimestoppers.com.au Toilet paper is mostly
manufactured in South Australia so it’s not imported. We’re not gonna run out of
it even if like all imports and exports with other countries just get shut down.
You will be able to get toilet paper. Also don’t panic buy surgical masks – it’s
important that we don’t have a shortage of those for doctors. They’re also only
helpful for people who have the disease and want to stop it from spreading to
others. There’s little evidence that it’ll help you prevent from getting
sick yourself. Also: during this time mental health can be strained. It’s one
of the biggest challenges not just to keep ourselves physically healthy but
mentally healthy as well, especially because this is a heightened time of
stress and anxiety. So please reach out to your friends and family, talk to each
other, make sure people are okay, give each other support. You could find
information and resources on how to maintain your mental health from places
like beyondblue which is www.beyondblue.org.au they also have a telephone
support service 1300 22 4636 there’s also headspace that has information on how to
cope, there’s a chat online function at www.headspace.org.au and if you’re in
real dire straits there’s Life Line for suicide prevention, which you can call at
13 11 14 or access online services at www.lifeline.org.au I know I told you earlier how to stay up to date with all the news but consider
maybe just taking a break if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Maybe log off social
media or don’t check the news all the time. I personally feel overwhelmed when
I’m on Twitter for too long because it is the same problem and complaint over
and over and over again. So look after yourself. What do we do now with all our time inside? Well we find ways to entertain
ourselves this is perhaps the most time you’ll ever have to write a book or
learn a language but if that’s not your thing: free ways to entertain yourself
can include downloading free ePub and kindle files from Project Gutenberg
which is www.gutenberg.org and you can then just read tons free books directly
on your phone. Now’s a great time to listen to some podcasts – please resist
the urge to make one your own. There are already too many. Personally for podcasts
I recommend anything by the McElroy brothers. brothers like my brother my brother and
me which has over 500 episodes and The Adventure Zone which has fantastic story
arcs. My fiancee has been playing Animal Crossing like… A LOT. Netflix Party is a
chrome extension that allows you to watch Netflix simultaneously with other
people. It also has a text chat function in the same window as the video you’re
playing. So that’s what I did on my birthday. I watched Detective Pikachu
with Netflix party. So comment down below your recommendations for how to look
after your mental health and ways to entertain yourself while in isolation.
Stay safe everyone. This won’t last forever and we will get through this.
Thank you so much for watching there is a patreon uh etc normally I actually do
just videos about the Australian political system so if you want to learn
more about the function of government please subscribe

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5 thoughts on “COVID -19 and Australia: Government Health Measures and Economic Stimulus | AUSPOL EXPLAINED

  1. I wonder how to NBN will cope with all this, and, all those video conferencing services' servers with the sudden influx

  2. Even as I uploaded this video the Prime Minister held a press conference to announce even further restrictions and lock downs. You can still go outside to exercise but there are serious restrictions. Shopping centres (as of this comment) remain open but food courts are closed. Each retail space must display signs informing people how many people can be in the store at any time. Don't rush out for food out of panic – food stores will remain open. That's essential.

  3. I'm trying to follow all of this advice, but even though I have all the symptoms, I have tried to get tested and been turned away every time.

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