I was in touch with Ananagu friends living on remote …

Comment on Coronavirus strategies in the bush still a work in progress by Ralph Folds.

I was in touch with Ananagu friends living on remote communities on the weekend.
They are scared, really terrified that the virus will cause deaths in their extended families.
But they have no idea what the risk factors are, who is especially vulnerable etc.
Even worse they say they have heard nothing locally about how to protect themselves.
I gave them some basic advice and they were thankful but I was left wondering whether information is getting through on the ground in remote communities.

Ralph Folds Also Commented

Coronavirus strategies in the bush still a work in progress
@ Evelyne: The latest death toll in Italy is more than 2,500.
What did they do that we should follow?


Coronavirus strategies in the bush still a work in progress
@ Evelyne. We can’t keep the virus out or prevent around 70% of the NT population from being infected.
What we need to do is slow the spread of the infection so our health system is not overwhelmed.
If it is overwhelmed the most vulnerable, the elderly and sick will die in large numbers.
Once in bush communities the virus will spread very quickly with a high morbidity and mortality.
It would be better for everyone if we could keep it out of communities for as long as possible.
An ideal scenario would be for the virus to gradually infect people living here in Alice Springs and have most of us in recovery when it gets into bush communities.
It’s all about flattening the curve of infection so our health system can cope.
To flatten the curve we actually do need to isolate communities from Alice Springs as much as possible.
That is the best way to make sure we have the capacity in our health system to treat vulnerable Aboriginal people.


Coronavirus strategies in the bush still a work in progress
@ Evelyne: Yes so how would we do that?
My thoughts:
Shut down the Bush Bus service.
Defer non serious medical appointments at the hospital from bush community residents.
Treat sick residents in their communities unless they have life threatening illnesses.
Confine Yirara students to the College grounds and cease taking new enrolments from communities.
The prison should be locked down with new arrivals and exiting prisoners tested for the virus.


Recent Comments by Ralph Folds

The task ahead is rebuilding
@ Charlie Carter: I know two families whose income has been severely hit by the Casino closure, two more who lost their jobs when gyms closed, another made part time at a local business. Unemployment is soaring throughout the nation and our town is no exception.
This is why Morrison has stepped in to support the newly unemployed.
As well, food prices are extraordinarily high which is another blow to the struggling.
But I don’t accept that Town Council employment should be supported by our very high rates.
No way! The Council should cut its cloth to the present circumstances just as the rest of us are doing.
The town has few residents from remote communities, no need to patrol the river, it is much quieter. Many ranger duties are not needed now.
$1.2m for Rangers. Is that about 15 positions?
Halve the numbers and save half a million.
Those stood down can get the government wage support.
The work gangs are out there as if nothing had changed, breaking the social distancing rules which is inevitable in a gang of workers.
Parks and Reserves $1.4m. Reduce to urgent works and save $1m.
Library $1.9m. Take away books will never work as the pandemic gathers pace.
Each book and every page would have to be cleaned to make sure it is safe.
Get a Kindle, Charlie.
Huge savings to the library budget.
I could go on and on.
Many millions could be saved and passed on to residents by way of a rate cut that will be welcomed by the growing ranks of the unemployed.


The task ahead is rebuilding
@ Charlie Carter: Unemployment and underemployment is growing in our town and there is no escaping to other places for employment.
The Feds are spending huge sums to ease the burden.
In this context “small government” is not bullshit if it contributes to the national effort to take pressure off struggling families and out of work casuals.
Would you like to increase the size of the Town Council and add to the rate burden?
Improved efficiencies and downsizing the Council to cut rates would be very timely.
The Council will not do this voluntarily, they will defer rate payments but not cut the rates.
This is a completely out of touch response.
A review of Council operations and staffing is needed.
The beneficiaries are likely to be most residents.
By the way, the NT has a record debt of around $7 billion, the interest on which is $1.2m per day.


COVID-19 calls for straight answers
Irresponsible of the NT Health Minister to say that the Territory is the safest place in Australia.
Testing about one Territorian in 100 is insufficient to draw that conclusion.
Nowhere is safe and health messages should not imply otherwise.


The task ahead is rebuilding
@ Pseudo Guru. Agree we need a grounded discussion.
Very hard to grow the economy but we can cut costs to give residents more money to spend locally.
Start with rates.
We have a bloated town council and sky high rates.
A public review of the Council’s operation and staffing is long overdue.
Is it meeting residents’ needs? (Note the out of touch response to the Coronavirus emergency with huge job losses).
Is it overstaffed?
Are the high rates justified?
Are there alternative models that deliver better service less expensively?


Aborigines may defy orders, come to Alice for food: CLC
Very few remote community residents travel to Alice Springs to shop for a healthy food basket.
Keeping the price of healthy food low on communities will not prevent people from coming to town.
There are fast food attractants in town, plus the availability of alcohol that draws remote residents to town.
But the healthy food basket is not one of them.


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