How Has The Coronavirus Pandemic Affected You Share Your Story
We’re asking Australians to tell us how COVID-19 has transformed their lives.
In a year like no other, what were the highs, the lows and the standout moments of your experience of the pandemic?
Have you had firsthand experience with the virus? Lost a job? Been separated from loved ones? Or have you flourished while the world was in crisis? No matter how you’ve been impacted, we want to hear from you.
The information collected will not be used for any other purpose than that described, nor will it be shared with third parties. For details about how we handle the personal information we collect when you contribute your content, questions or views, see the ABC Crowdsourcing Collection Statement.
Household Impact Of Covid
Individuals who work for businesses heavily involved in international trade have felt the impact most directly, with loss of bonus and other incentive pay often followed by furloughs and possibly even temporary or permanent job loss.
Workers with medical concerns or who have children with such concerns have found it more difficult to return to the workforce while the Delta Variant of the coronavirus continues to fill many hospitals intensive care units with largely unvaccinated patients.
Even in the current state of diminishing panic at the government, business, and social levels, you will continue to see financial disruptions in your day-to-day spending options.
Who Is Most At Risk Of Dying
People aged over 60 years with underlying health problems are at highest risk of severe disease and death.
For people aged 60-69, 3.6% of those who are infected will die from COVID-19. This rises to 8% for for 70-79 year olds and 14.8% for those over 80.
Among people under 50 years, just 0.2-0.4% will die from the disease and this rises to 1.3% for 50-59 year olds.
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How Does It Spread
COVID-19 is transmitted through droplets generated via coughing and sneezing.
This means it can spread during close contact between an infected and uninfected person, when its inhaled, or enters the body via the eyes, mouth or nose.
Infection can also occur when an uninfected person touches a contaminated surface.
How Affected Passenger Transport Is Identified
We post transport as “affected” based on information provided by:
- provincial and territorial health authorities
- international health authorities
- public websites
Passenger transport is considered affected if a person with COVID-19 travelled on it while they were considered infectious. This means they’re potentially able to spread COVID-19 to others.
Check the tables below to see if your transport is listed.
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Economic Impact Of Covid
Since it broke across the world like Noahs flood, COVID-19 has had a massive and devastating effect on economies everywhere, even if it has not hit everyones household budgets. From the cancellation of major sporting events and local religious gathers to the closing of travel between the US and other countries, international trade and small-town markets have been severely disrupted.
While Americans tend to pride themselves on our rugged independence, sometimes even to excessive isolationism, we have seen over the past couple of years just how interconnected we are economically to countries around the world. As the exchange of goods between the US and Europe and Asia came to a virtual standstill for weeks and even months in some cases, everyday products began to disappear from retail shelves and sales lots. Fear of the unknown added to the problem, leading to runs on toilet paper, bottled water, and many other household supplies.
This seemed like a boon to American Made brands, but fewer consumer goods being sold overall means fewer purchases, which means lower business profits, which in turn means less income to hire and pay employees.
We saw its effects when world economies experienced the largest drop in production ever in the spring of 2020 when there were so few people working other than at home.
Unintended Strain On Healthcare System
Women make up almost 70% of the healthcare workforce, exposing them to a greater risk of infection. They often cannot attend work because of childcare obligations that result from school closures. In fact, in the U.S., the healthcare sector has one of the highest rates of childcare obligations in the broader economy, with approximately 28.8% of the workforce responsible for providing care to children aged 312. At best, this means that school closures put pressure on health workers in systems already strained by COVID-19 caseloads. At worst, this means that some medical professionals may not be present at health facilities altogether.
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Schizophrenia And Delusional Disorder
Schizophrenia and delusional disorders both have the presence of delusions as a common feature. These disorders are not as common as the other disorders listed here, but they, too, can be easily exacerbated during the pandemic. Some people may become convinced they have contracted COVID-19 even if there is no evidence supporting this. Additionally, just searching the news or social media, you can see a number of conspiracy theories that have arisen since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, the effects the pandemic is having on the availability of common household products and medical supplies can lead to mistrust of one another and authorities. All of these can be challenging for someone who is already prone to suspicion.
Event Cancellations And Covid
Even though most major sporting events and seasons returned in 2021, including the delayed summer Olympics, many continue to limit their crowd sizes so long as COVID continues as a pandemic rather than an epidemic.
Consequently, employees of the companies that depend upon these events may continue to feel their own economic contraction. From vendors and retail shops nearby to hotel and airline companies to many in the gig economy such as Uber and Lyft drivers, smaller events will mean less side income or less income at all.
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A Surge In Depression And Anxiety
Research into the extent of the pandemics impact on depression and anxiety in various populations worldwide is ongoing. So far, both data and personal anecdotes suggest that the negative effect is one to be reckoned with.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , for instance, cited in Nature, show that 11% of surveyed adults in the U.S. reported symptoms of anxiety or depression in 2019. In 2020, this increased to 42% .
One MNT reader, who said that they were 75 and had diabetes and heart failure, reported that their mental health has significantly deteriorated during the pandemic.
They told us that they now need to start taking antidepressants and are unable to sleep more than 4 hours at a time.
This experience is distressing, they said, explaining that they are not living just existing. There is a big difference.
People all over the world have reported increases in anxiety related to fears about contracting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Such anxiety has spurred racist and xenophobic sentiments, as some people have come to associate the new coronavirus with the place where it was first identified: China.
A study published in the American Journal of Public Health in November 2020 notes that Anti-Asian discrimination and assaults have increased significantly during the pandemic, contributing to a secondary contagion of racism.
She then explained:
Help Young Adults Stay Socially Connected
During times of increased social distancing, young adults can still maintain social connections and care for their mental health. Phone calls or video chats can help them feel socially connected, less lonely, or isolated.
Explore different types of resources available to help support young adults social, emotional and mental well-being during COVID-19 and beyond.
Get immediate help in a crisis and find a health care provider or treatment for substance use disorder and mental health.
Children and youth can be particularly overwhelmed by stress related to a traumatic event, like the COVID-19 pandemic. They may show stress through increased anxiety, fear, sadness or worry. When children and youth are struggling to cope with stress, they may exhibit unhealthy eating or sleeping habits, changes in activity level, substance use or other risk behaviors, and difficulty with attention and concentration.
Parents, caregivers, and other trusted adults can serve as sources of social connectedness they can provide stability, support, and open communication. They can also help children and young people express the many different feelings and thoughts on their mind.
Below are some resources to help you learn more about PFA and other tools for parents and caregivers to help children and youth cope:
- National Child Traumatic Stress Network
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I Don’t Have A Rapid Test But I Do Have Symptoms What Should I Do
Again, it depends on where you live and whether tests are available.
A study from the United Kingdom shows the most common symptoms associated with the Omicron variant are the same as the common cold: runny nose, headache, sneezing and sore throat.
“It is really hard for people to know the difference, which is why it is so important to get tested,” Carr said.
Ideally, you should book a molecular COVID-19 test with your local public health unit. But that’s harder to do in some areas than others.
In Ottawa for example, where test centres are overwhelmed, people have been told to assume the worst until they can get in.
“If you have symptoms, you should assume you have COVID-19 and self-isolate,” Ottawa’s chief public health officer Dr. Vera Etches said in a statement Friday.
The Investment Needed Is Only A Fraction Of What The World Is Losing Due To Covid
Without tangible solutions to stop the virus from spreading and treat those who fall ill, the pandemic will continue to steal lives and livelihoods.
The greatest investment we could make now is in the research, development and fair distribution of tests, vaccines and treatments.
Securing this funding now will prove to be the wisest investment humanity has ever made.
Jeremy Farrar, Wellcome
The good news is that the investment needed $16.8 billion this year, as estimated by the ACT-Accelerator is small compared to what the world will keep losing if we dont act. For every months delay in expanding access to Covid-19 vaccines, tests and treatments equitably around the world, the world is losing 120,000 lives and $460 billion in economic output, the International Monetary Fund estimates.
The investment needed relies on countries and international organisations showing leadership, pooling resources together and acknowledging that this crisis can only be overcome if we act together.
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Facing An Even Wider Gender Wage Gap
Women who experienced a layoff during the pandemic and were able to find another job, generally received lower compensation offers than men who had been laid off and got another job, according to an analysis by PayScale.
Getting on track: Know your worth when it comes to salary negotiations. Use sources like PayScale or Glassdoor to gather information you can use to ask for more. Even a small increase in your compensation can make a significant difference over time.
Inaccessibility To Mitigation Strategies
The effect of school closure on academic achievement has been studied in the summer months. Many of the strategies used to prevent academic slump, such as attending summer school, visiting libraries, and/or participating in literacy-rich summer-based activities are not available during the pandemic. Reading every day to a child, an option available while staying at home, reduced the rate of loss by 42%.
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What Are The Symptoms
COVID-19 causes similar symptoms to the flu. Fever is the most common symptom, occurring in almost 88% of cases, while a dry cough is the next most common, affecting almost 68% of those with the virus.
Data from 55,000 cases in China also show other symptoms can include:
- fatigue, in 38% of cases
- producing sputum or phlegm, 33%
- shortness of breath, 19%
- sore throat, 14%
- headache, 14%.
Unlike other coronaviruses that cause the common cold, COVID-19 is hardly ever associated with a stuffy nose. This is seen in just 5% of cases.
Diarrhoea is also uncommon, affecting only 4% with the virus.
Leaving The Workforce Due To Caregiving Responsibilities
Millions of women either lost their jobs or left them during the pandemic, in order to meet caregiving responsibilities as day care centers and schools closed. In April, just 54.6% of adult women participated in the workforce, the lowest level since 1987.
Getting on track: Take advantage of this employees job market and look for a new role with a company that offers remote work or other flexible options that will make it easier for you to meet both your personal and professional obligations.
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Anxiety Disorders: Coping With More Uncertainty
There are many types of anxiety. The most common form is generalized anxiety disorder , which is excessive and persistent worrying over various aspects of life, commonly including health, relationships, and finances . Besides adding to existing worries, this pandemic is additionally hard for someone with GAD because of how much uncertainty is involved. When will it end? Will it come back? Will I get sick? Will I lose my job? In my experience, people who have GAD cope with this uncertainty by ruminating over worst-case scenarios and constantly planning for them. This is stressful and exhausting, often leading to physical health symptoms, like stomachaches or headaches, trouble sleeping, and feeling on edge.
Women In The Workforce
Many working mothers dropped out of the labor force to take care of their children during school closures and online learning. In places where part-time school attendance or fully virtual learning is implemented, working parents are typically left with a choice of either arranging childcare or to stop working during days when their children are not at school. However, childcare is often difficult to find or unaffordable, due to its increased demand and closures of daycare centers during the pandemic, making it not a viable option for many parents.
A study from Washington University in St. Louis found that mothers have reduced their paid working hours four to five times more than fathers from February to April 2020, which widened the gender gap in working hours by a maximum of 50%. According to authors of the study, the disparity may lead to droves of women leaving the workforce and massive layoffs for women.Betsey Stevenson, an economist at the University of Michigan, warned that the exodus of women from the workforce during the pandemic may lead to long-term impacts in women’s labor market outcomes. Because working hours are a major cause of the gender pay gap, and periods of non-employment has adverse impacts on future earnings and job mobility, expertsr warn that the pandemic-induced reduction can set women’s advancement back for decades.
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Do I Need To Inform Anyone I Have Covid
If you get tested by public health, the authorities will already be aware of your positive case. If you can’t get in, you can still give them a call to let them know, said Dr. Katharine Smart, president of the Canadian Medical Association.
You should tell your doctor.
“It’s always good for your doctor to know what’s going on so that they can advise you,” Smart said.
“The risk to the individual may vary based on their vaccination status, based on their underlying health conditions, based on people in their family. So those sort of individual decisions are best made with your health provider.”
It’s also important to get reach out to anyone you’ve recently been in close contact with so they can take precautions as well.
The sick person’s employer or school should also be in the loop.
How Often Do People Die Of It
The case fatality rate refers to the number of deaths among those who have tested positive for coronavirus. Globally, the case fatality rate today stands at 4%.
But this rate varies country to country and even within countries. These variations may partially be explained by whether hospitals has been overwhelmed or not.
The case fatality rate in Wuhan was 5.8% . In the rest of China, it was at 0.7%.
Similarly in Europe, Italys case fatality rate is , greatly surpassing that of Germany .
However the case fatality rate only includes people who are tested and confirmed as having the virus.
Some modelling estimates suggest that if you calculated the number of deaths from the total number of cases the proportion of people who die from coronavirus might be more like 1%.
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Travel Bans And Covid
As domestic and international travel bans began to lift, conference planners began their tough work of rescheduling and even reinventing their future events. Many associations and organizations continue to offer a virtual-only conferences. Most seem to be comfortable offering hybrid events with the option to attend in person or online.
In-person conferences offer welcomed news to the hospitality industry, which has suffered greatly since the arrival of COVID. Hotels still have plenty of room for travelers, but the return of business travelers bodes well for convention centers, their employees, and the businesses surrounding them.
Manitoba Announces 400 New Covid
WINNIPEG Despite rising case counts of COVID-19 and the threat of the Omicron variant in the province, Manitoba public health officials would not commit to tightening restrictions, instead saying they will monitor risk factors as the holidays approach.
Manitoba reported 400 new cases of the virus Wednesday for a total of 2,622 active cases. It also announced two new deaths linked to the virus.
One new case of the highly contagious Omicron variant was also reported for a total of 18.
Dr. Jazz Atwal, deputy chief provincial public health officer, said the Delta variant still remains dominant, but he expects Omicron will account for one-quarter to one-third of new cases.
“We know that over time Omicron will become the dominant strain,” he said. “On a day-to-day basis, we’re seeing increased number of Omicron positives in our samples as well.”
Tighter capacity restrictions came into effect in Manitoba on Tuesday in the face of the emerging Omicron variant.
Gyms, movie theatres and restaurants — which have all required people to show proof of vaccination — are limited to half capacity.
Private indoor gatherings with vaccinated people are limited to household members plus 10 other people, while gatherings that include anyone who is unvaccinated are limited to one household plus five guests.
Wednesday’s numbers show there were 137 Manitobans hospitalized with COVID-19, including 24 receiving intensive care.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 22, 2021.
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