Bega GP Erika Jaensch has made a public statement regarding the appropriate actions to be taken as the COVID-19 pandemic becomes more prevalent in our region.
Dr Jaensch shared her views via Facebook on Sunday evening and the post has been widely shared and praised since then.
"The community were feeling they lacked leadership on the matter and were floundering," Dr Jaensch elaborated via phone on Monday.
"I have made an informed decision for my family and decided to share it because if it's good enough for my family, it's good enough for the whole community."
Read Dr Jaensch's statement in full below:
I do not wish to evoke panic but want us to take decisive actions now that will make a difference to our infection rateDr Erika Jaensch
"Dear Friends and wider Bega Valley Community,
I am a General Practitioner working in Bega and mother of four.
As most of you know, I shy away from social media and prefer to keep my opinion to myself. However, I cannot stay silent on this matter as I feel our leadership has been too slow to act. There have been two people diagnosed with COVID-19 in the Bega Valley.
I would like to let you know about the choices I have made for my family and why.
I asked my elderly parents to isolate themselves, including from us, last week. We will have no physical contact with them, but will of course continue to stay connected over the phone and online.
I informed my children's school last week that from this coming Monday they will be continuing their studies from home. The teachers have been tasked with an impossible task. Schools are not set up to implement the social distancing and hygiene requirements the rest of the Australian public has been asked to enforce. The teachers are just as vulnerable as the rest of the population. We know children get sick with COVID-19 and whilst they may not get as sick, will share the infection with those more vulnerable who will then go and share the virus with those close to them.
My family will practice self isolation and will not be socialising or attending sports or other activities. They will be staying in touch with friends and the wider community online.
I will continue to work as a General Practitioner and will work at any other medical service where I can possibly provide assistance, but am also willing to isolate myself from my family should the need arise.
The reason I am willing to implement the above extreme measures is because socially isolating ourselves and shutting down non-essential services works to flatten the curve. I have been listening to my medical colleagues from Italy who have been imploring us to learn from their mistakes and move to social isolation early in infection detection.
I do not wish to evoke panic but want us to take decisive actions now that will make a difference to our infection rate now whilst we have a healthy community.
Please take care of each other with love and compassion.
- Third virus case confirmed in Bega Valley
- Students staying away as schools plan remote learning options
- Is your business still open? Let us know
- There are at least 1600 confirmed cases of coronavirus nationally to date and evidence shows at the current trajectory there could be 10,000 cases by the end of March.
On Monday evening Bega Valley Medical Practice notified their patients, "To protect our patients and staff, BVMP has closed our waiting room. Please wait in your car and call reception or stay at home and call us for a phone consult."