Hey all 

Well I guess there is noone in Australia who is not being affected one way or another by the impact the Corona Virus or COVID-19 is having on our people, our country and our world.

We have all been asked to take measures to help get this situation under control  For many of us that means spending a lot more time at home or in what is called “Self Isolation.”  We are trying to practice Social Distancing.  We don’t shake hands or hug or even stand too close to others. 

National RSL events have been cancelled, many social gatherings, performances, holidays and outings also cancelled. Many people are choosing to stay home and minimmise their interaction with others outside their homes unless absolutely necessary. 

I know that many are feeling alone, isolated or unsafe.  At the very least people I know are feeling rattled, unnerved and uncertain.

So what can we do about it?

My experience tells me that lots of you are probably already doing this, but when I spoke to several people in the last couple of days and said I was thinking of writing this post, I had a very positive response. Some even said that sometimes we need reminding to do what might seem obvious. 

I think now is the time to reach out to those you are not seeing at the moment. 

I think we need to unite to get through this.

We need to make sure that noone is feeling alone.

I want to challenge everyone to take a little time out of your less busy day, and check in with those you would usually see at the gatherings/events that have now been cancelled.  Give someone a call, send them a text, message them on Facebook or Facetime.
Don’t assume that everyone has someone checking on them. 

Don’t assume all of your friends have family to look after them.  

Think of the people you would normally see regularly and pick two or three that you might not normally call and touch base with them.

We might be surprised to find that many people are a lot more lonely than we might think when you take away their regular outings, jobs, social activities. 

Let’s make our communities stronger and draw people closer to us; emotionally if not physically. Let’s strengthen the bonds that we take for granted and make a point of looking after those we might not be otherwise thinking about. 

And while you are at it….
Let’s spread the kindness and connection a little further…
Comments on facebook have reminded me that there are many people who are being put under pressure by the effort to deal with the current situation: 
Shop assistants, medical professionals, our first responders, shift workers, teachers, our ADF members to name a few and the list goes on. 

Let’s find little ways of spreading some kindness to those around us who we are relying on to keep the world turning and who have to deal with the fallout of this new uncertainty. 

Finally, I want you to share positive stories of kindness and compassion.  It can be anonymous if you like to respect people’s privacy.  You can message stories you want to share and I will share them on the blog to encourage others. If you think of a novel way of saying thank you or showing your appreciation to someone then share it with me so that I can “on share” it and encourage others. 

Let’s spread the positive, the encouragement.  Let’s draw people in as much as we can. Lets build up the community, not shy away from it. 

I have come up with three hashtags.  You don’t have to use them if you don’t want to but they illustrate what I am saying. 

Till next time…. choose kindness, stay connected and happy stitching!

Jan-Maree xx