By now most Australians realise that COVID-19 is not going away any time soon. Until scientists have an effective vaccine, restrictions of some kind are here to stay. Economic recovery will depend in large part on consumer confidence. How we all choose to move forward from here is important.
At the height of the pandemic, we saw what was taking place in Asia, Europe and America and we were rightfully afraid. Where once distance was considered a curse, the beautiful oceans surrounding this country provided an advantage. Shutting borders to international travellers protected us and though some argue that the initial response was too slow, it’s clear that Australians have overall, been extremely fortunate.
Even our worst time here in Australia was so, so much better than it could have been. We saw a lot of fear and confusion, received contradictory and at times incoherent messaging from our political leaders and public servants that led to the Ruby Princess mess in NSW, devastating outbreaks in aged care facilities, healthcare worker in Burnie, Victoria’s hotel quarantine debacle, the Cedar meats cluster and sadly we did see some significant loss of life as a result.
After the initial “Team Australia collaborative effort” we saw our various State Premiers forging their own paths, tussling it out with each other and with the Commonwealth to the point where at times you’d be forgiven for wondering if we’re still all part of the same country. We’ve endured heavy lockdowns, heartbreak, hard border closures, travel restrictions, competition for loo paper, mass job losses, financial hardship, seen business interrupted and thousands close. But while most of us have supported the actions taken on our behalf and complied with directions, we’re a bit fed up and eager to get the show on the road. It’s been hard on so many.
Where to now?
It’s easy to get fixed on the downside of COVID. This thing knocked us all for a six. Now, as things begin to settle, businesses have their COVID-safe plans, we’re generally ok with social distancing (but we miss hugs) most of those still with jobs are back at work, most of those without having access to financial support, we’ve got masks (just in case we need them) and plenty of hand sanitiser and our health authorities are quick to jump on to contain outbreaks, we’re starting to relax and nervously accept this new norm.
Looking for the good
In case you haven’t noticed, South Australia has so far managed this crisis extremely well and we’ve been enjoying many freedoms as a result. Our risk management and damage control have been comprehensive. NSW has had a tougher job but they too have done incredibly well at juggling health responses and social needs without killing their local economies. When we compare any Australian State or Territory to the COVID responses in the rest of the world, we should all be shouting a collective Hallelujah!
We can all be forgiven for wondering if this day would ever come but this month has seen Melbourne reopening to something closely resembling normal. Now that Victoria has their outbreak under control and a whole new set of management processes bedded down, this should bode well for our economic recovery, retail Christmas spending and consumer confidence generally as well as for those hoping to reunite with interstate loved ones for Christmas. There is much work to do and while not trying to be insensitive to those who have suffered a personal or financial loss, this is a really good time to pause and see the positives. Let's take a look at some.
12 reasons to be positive!
1. South Australia's management of COVID-19 and borders has been second to none.
2. In South Australia, we’ve been able to get about mostly as normal within the State for some months now. Amazing!
3. South Australia is open for business to the ACT, NSW, QLD, NT, TAS and WA with all but WA reciprocating.
4. South Australia’s employment growth is going gangbusters adding over 13500 jobs in September alone. Consumer confidence and retail spending continue to improve and we’re leading the nation in the growth of apprentice and trainee commencements.
5. Richmond beat Geelong! haha (though we all know the game should have been in Adelaide, not Brisbane)
6. Restrictions continue to loosen and we’re seeing a steady increase in interstate travellers. Australia is COVID-safely receiving an increased number of travellers, international students and seasonal workers into the country although the one-way travel bubble New Zealand is a bit odd.
7. There seems to have been a shift in values generally in Australia to balanced position and a clearer idea of what really matters. We’re prioritising, appreciating the little things and stopping to smell the roses.
8. The Commonwealth is working to bringing more and more Australians’ home in time for Christmas and as numbers improve nationally, more domestic border restrictions are easing. WA is opening to all States from the 14th with some restrictions still in place for NSW and VIC. NSW is opening to Victoria on the 23rd of November.
9. For most, enjoying a bit of Christmas cheer will be made possible through Government support such as JobKeeper, JobSeeker etc. and for those doing it particularly tough, communities appear to be more sensitive to each other and be more charitable.
10. Though most regional Christmas pageants aren’t going ahead, the Adelaide Christmas Pageant is still set to bring joy and cheer going ahead on the 14th November in a modified form as a ticketed event at the Adelaide oval with restrictions on visitor numbers.
11. Lobethal Lights will switch on from the 13th December to the 23rd December 2020. The opening celebration will include a fireworks display at 9.00 pm. There is opening night entertainment including the Living Nativity and there is a Pageant Night on the 23rd December at 7 pm.
12. Rowe Partners Accountants & Business Advisors have not taken our eye off the ball once in 2020. We’ve worked tirelessly to support all our clients through COVID-19 and we’ll be here providing more next year! What an amazing team we have.