Behind the mask – R U OK? Time for kindness and care
A lot has happened in the last week – let alone the last year.
As I was writing my parliamentary update on hot issues that matter to thousands locally (housing, local infrastructure, access to hospital services, ambulance ramping), that wily disruptor of the last 12 plus months interloped and threw so many lives into disruption again.
As you know, COVID inexplicably escaped from a Brisbane hospital into the community and greater Brisbane was put into lockdown. All of Queensland was mandated to wear masks and anyone who had been in Brisbane in the last 10 days had to home isolate – including myself along with most of the 93 Queensland Parliamentarians as that’s where we were last week – in Brisbane for Parliament.
With today’s gadgets to allow me to video conference or phone constituents and stakeholders so we can keep working fairly seamlessly, that’s not a hardship however that’s not true for thousands of our small businesses here on the Sunshine Coast and in Queensland, particularly in the tourism and hospitality sector, who had stocked their shelves and fridges and employed extra staff for the Easter holiday season which meant so much to their bottom line.
I’m also aware that many people have loved ones in aged and disability care who have been particularly hard hit by lockdowns and restrictions which go beyond everyone else, limiting or banning visitors.
While the greater Brisbane lockdown has now been lifted, the restrictions continue (https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/urgent-covid-19-update).
But there are more masks in operation than the paper kind which we need to pay attention to probably now more than ever – and those are the human masks of stoicism that hide the inner world which may not match the “I’m okay” phrases we all easily utter.
So I wish you a Happy Easter and the hope this precious season is based on – of new life, a path to forgiveness, kindness and a tomorrow where you can breathe freely with peace and expectation of better days.
And let’s share our support with our local small businesses – and call a friend to let them know they’re not alone.