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COVID-19: FAQ - What is a state of emergency?

Sonder Safe   |   Mar 18, 2020 3:44:10 PM
Image credit: Tonik.Health

Find the answers to all your pressing questions and concerns surrounding COVID-19, using only the most trusted sources. 

Related Article- Coronavirus: the facts

Q: What is a 'state of emergency'?

A: A declaration of a 'state of emergency' sounds scary, but it's an effective method for the government to ensure it has the resources and capability to respond to natural disasters, medical pandemics/epidemics, civil unrest, or armed-conflict. Although each state and territory has varying thresholds for activation, the results are very similar. In declaring a state of emergency to combat COVID-19, the government has additional powers to slow the spread of infection. Travel restrictions, event cancellations and enforcement of isolation/quarantine are all levers the government can introduce as part of the declaration. It is a direct effort to reduce pressure on the healthcare system and reduce the number of people impacted by the virus. 

Q: What does this mean for me?

A: A state of emergency means we need to prepare, but not panic. You can prepare yourself by keeping informed of official information about COVID-19. Sonder recommends official government or World Health Organisation sources.

As you plan, it is worth considering potential decreases in essential supplies in the short to medium term. Although people are purchasing excessive amounts of toilet paper, the more appropriate consideration is essential medicine (30 days of prescription), non-perishables (canned goods, pasta, beans, rice), hygiene products, and cleaning products (e.g., hand soap, disinfectant spray). Ensure you are following the government rules and guidelines, and ask for help or clarification if you don't understand them.