Reef Check Australia friends, family, volunteers and community. It is clear we all face a great deal of uncertainty in these unprecedented times. While things are changing minute by minute, the Australian Government has just asked Australians to stay at home unless essential, and will be closing down public venues this week. State Governments are also taking matters into their own hands, imposing strict social distancing measures that are likely to ramp up over the coming weeks.
What this means for Reef Check Australia
Your safety has always been, and will always be, a core value of Reef Check Australia. In order to stay ahead of the curve (and in this case, ‘flatten the curve’), we will have to make sacrifices to reduce the risk of the virus spreading and to keep vulnerable communities safe. For RCA, this means:
- Across our entire organisation, we are taking a proactive approach to respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation and will work hard to support all our members throughout this difficult time.
- As we grapple with the enormous scale and impact of this pandemic, our global Reef Check community continues to support and learn from each other. We have been closely following all developments related to COVID-19, and are going to continue to review our policies around all activities to ensure the continued safety of you, our team and RCA as a whole.
- If you feel unwell, we respectfully request that we all follow the advice of health authorities and refrain from visiting friends, family, co-workers, and Reef Check Australia.
- Our RCA office will be scaling down over the next few weeks, with limited staff. Please feel free to reach out, but please note we will be on limited hours and may not reply straight away.
- We will keep you informed of updates and changes to scheduled events, venues, gatherings, etc. as soon as we receive them. We are currently reviewing each of our planned survey dives, training and community events, and will send updates via email, Facebook and personal phone calls.
- We have been testing various online platforms to take our events digital, given the new restrictions. Stay tuned for more details on this soon.
We also want to take a moment to recognise that the Coronavirus outbreak not only affects our day-to-day activities and our economy, but it’s also having a significant impact on people’s mental health and levels of stress.
Therefore, we want to ask that you join us in maintaining a positive attitude and continue to look for new opportunities in the face of these challenges. Maybe use this time to reconnect (virtually, of course) with those who you haven’t touched base with in a while, and offer your support. We invite you to also share your questions, ideas, and comments with the Reef Check community on Facebook so we can all stay better informed. To get started, here is a great evidence-based resource from some of Australia’s top experts. If you’re looking for fact-based information about COVID-19 and how it spreads, there is also Science Matters: Let’s Talk About COVID-19, a free course by Imperial College of London, one of the top public health research universities in the world.
You can also check out our friend Daniel’s Free Live Weekly Online Yoga and Meditation Group to help you revitalise your mind, body and soul. And be sure to stay tuned for some of the awesome RCA online activities that we have planned over the next few weeks until we are able to reconvene with face to face activities.
On behalf of the team at Reef Check Australia, thank you for your ongoing support.
This is an uncertain time, and the situation is changing by the minute. Please take care of yourself and those closest to you. We are all in this together, and that is how we will get through it.
Reef Check Australia