From the devastating bushfires that raged on and tore through our nation for months, to flash flooding and storms, Australia has had a pretty rough time, but in true Aussie style, we came together arm-in-arm to lift each other up and get through some of the worst times.
In the midst of this, a new crisis was brewing in the background. A world crisis creeped up on the shores of a nation still reeling from heartache. But this time, it’s every man for themselves - and it's sad to see.
The coronavirus loomed over us in a disturbing fashion. Is it really just like an influenza? Can you really die in a matter of days? Can it be treated? Who knows. One thing we know is the state of panic a lot of people are in, and the sensationalist approach media have taken has no doubt encouraged that. Headlines are continuing to focus on the growing number of victims, instead of covering it from a positive lens with recovery rates or other positive facts that would alleviate fears. The press is quite occupied with talking about how things will and should change, but what no one is really talking about is what should remain the same. What shouldn’t change is our nations strong sense of compassion, comradery and resilience, and it's crucial for the media to shine a light on the importance of keeping these elements alive.
In any case, communication is key during this trying time, and if our media can't do the job, business leaders and organisations have a role to play in easing the panic and reassuring the people. Just like media are bombarding us with clicky headlines, employers should over communicate with employees to show them the situation is under control, and also be prepared with a plan of action, should employees be forced into quarantine and/or work from home. How will businesses communicate the situation to internal and external stakeholders, and shape their change management plan? If, as a business leader, you don't already have answers to these questions, now would be a good time.
I believe there’s no disaster that could tear this nation apart, including this crisis. Instead of climbing on top of each other to grab the last roll of toilet paper (Australia's strange response to the issue) we should be rationalising supplies, helping the elderly stay safe and resist any form of racism now (and ever!).
Keep calm, be kind and stay hygienic.
Coronavirus is taking over Australia, with schools closing, concerts cancelled and an economic slowdown imminent.