Look for the positives
One of the devastating effects of the pandemic will be the lasting effects on our community.
People have died, people have suffered permanent health problems, people have lost their jobs and businesses, communities have fractured, and the country will endure a severe economic depression into the foreseeable future.
Our community is more than just a geographical location, it is a place where we care about each other and feel that we belong.
Individually, we are our own little islands where we have these complex overlapping relationships with people from our work, people who share our interests and hobbies, sports, and interactions within the wider community such as going to your friendly local pharmacist.
The effects of community lockdowns, the loss of work or working from home and social distancing has affected this sense of community which has had negative consequences on our health.
Research on the benefits of a sense of community has shown that our immune systems are boosted, blood pressure is lowered and cognitive decline (e.g. dementia) can be guarded against.
By simply joining a community group lowers the risk of early death.
Therefore, our sense of community and belonging is especially important for our health and survival!
From the petri dish of the enforced community breakdown are the seeds to grow a stronger and more resilient community.
I have seen many of my fellow Huon Valley people go above and beyond to help their neighbours and wider community.
It is not all doom and gloom but an opportunity to grow and form a stronger community for all our health.
As we climb out of this pandemic, look for the positives, look to belong to the community for the sake of your health and for the sake of Tasmania.
If you do feel that things are getting on top of you, talk to your family, your preferred health care provider or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.