WA borders will open to the rest of Australia and the world in a few weeks. Western Australians argue about whether this should happen now or later. Some of us would prefer to remain ‘in our cave’ or ‘under the doona’, as our detractors say. We’ve been safe for two years. Some of us like it like that!
For others, two years without physical contact with families and friends in other places has been both long and painful. Those who want to travel the world can’t wait to be free.
But whether you want the borders to open or remain closed, preparation of ourselves and our homes could be important.
My concerns about WA borders opening
I’m concerned (if I’m honest, I’m scared) on two fronts, and I have no control over either.
These are things I’d like to happen before the WA borders open.
- More people in Western Australia to get their booster vaccinations. Only 25% of those eligible (as on 18 January 2022) received three shots.
- Children between five and 11 years of age to have first and second doses. School goes back after the summer break a few days before the WA borders come down.
- An increase in the number of vaccinated First Nations People, especially those in remote communities in the north of the state.
- N95 masks (or equivalent, like NF95 and P2) readily available for purchase. The cloth and surgical masks we’ve depended on for two years do not meet standards required to reduce the spread of the highly contagious Omnicron variant.
- Rapid antigen tests (home and workplace tests) available, and at reasonable prices. Price gouging to stop.
- Oximeters (finger-tip blood oxygen monitors) available.
- Supply chains of food, medication and other essential goods, now hampered by Omnicron variant, stabilised Australia-wide.
- Panic buying to stop. Shops adequately stocked.
- The grocery duopoly of 60+% between Coles and Woolworths regulated so that supplies could flow easily.
Too many people I love are vulnerable because of age (too young to be vaccinated or too old to take risks). Some, including my children) have serious underlying conditions. Several of my granddaughters are pregnant. It’s all very well to say, ‘Let it rip,’ but I’m more cautious..
Things I’ve done so far
Personal wishes for closed borders don’t count for anything. However, some things we do will help prepare our homes and ourselves for the expected massive surge in cases.
First precaution, of course – get vaccinated and get a booster shot as soon as possible. We’ve heard this over and over. Let’s all do it!
Here is a link to the WA Government site Healthy WA which deals with COVID for more information about all things COVID
My apartment – is it ready for open WA borders?
I’ve prepared for quarantine if required, and also if one of us is infected. If we are both sick, I have no idea how we’ll cope. Might have to wait and see on that one!
- Access to health and medical advice and care, with numbers on phone.
- Worked out, as well as I can, how we will manage if one of us is infected. The minimum will be to have a separate space for the ill person to live separately. This will mean juggling bedrooms so the sick ones does not use the kitchen, living room, study.
- The meals in the freezer will last us for a week or more. I can order from one of the stores which delivers groceries and the apartment manager will deliver to our door. We can have meals delivered. During previous lockdowns, friends and family called regularly with offers (and delivery) of help we needed.
- We have a stash of hand sanitiser, antiseptic wipes, cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues, dishwashing and laundry supplies to last a few weeks.
Personal preparation for quarantine or illness
More personal preparations for the next few weeks.
- We have a small supply (about 40) of N95 or P2 masks, labelled disposable, but they can be reused if hung in sun and rotated. Much better than cloth or surgical masks.
- I’ve acquired two Rapid Antigen Tests in case we develop symptoms and to check later. The local pharmacy will let me know when they get more.
- A thermometer
- An oximeter (finger blood oxygen meter), also on order. Not essential, but it might be useful if we have increasing difficulty breathing and need medical assistance or even an ambulance. We’ll be able to quote the blood oxygen level as one of the signs of severe illness. (Perhaps an oximeter could be shared among friends or family members or other groups. I’m assured they can be wiped with sanitizer or antiseptic wipes).
- Panadol and enough prescription medications to last a few weeks. Scripts are at the pharmacy, which will deliver.
- We have Betadine for antiseptic gargles and some throat lozenges. There is Hydralyte and lemonade to ensure adequate hydration, and commercial ice blocks ready to freeze.
- A couple of jigsaw puzzles.
- New books.
- A half finished shawl to crotchet.
Here’s a link to an article by Louise Stone in this morning’s Guardian Australia. It deals with mental health when isolated with COVID-19
When I read through my lists, I thought I might have gone overboard with preparations. But as one of my sons often reminds me,
“Proper preparation prevents piss-poor performance”.Thanks, Tim!
If you live outside Western Australia, let us know what helps you cope. If you live here, please let me know what preparations you’ve made, and what else we can do. Please comment on this post or on Facebook. The more we share, the better we will all be during the next testing months.
In case you missed it, here’s a link to my post about boosting the immune system and maintaining health in COVID-19 times