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A time for understanding and gratitude

12 July 2020

RANZCOG President Dr Vijay Roach delivers an important message to all Victorians during the coronavirus crisis.

Watch the video message.
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Dear colleagues and friends,
 
As the lockdown goes into effect in Victoria and cases of coronavirus increase, our emotional response will vary. For many there will be a sense of despair. We thought that it was over. We had started gathering again, going to restaurants and bars, visiting friends and family, returning to the office. Sure, there was going to be a new normal, but after four months of disruption to our social, economic and personal lives, we had something to look forward to.
 
And now we’re back where we started. We were warned that there would be more infections but we didn’t really believe that it would happen. We understood the purpose of diligent hygiene and social distancing. We accepted the restrictions and the financial burden…and now we’re being asked to do it again, for 6 weeks, 6 months, who knows?
 
My message to you is that if this seems unfair, if you feel disenchanted or a sense of hopelessness, or if you feel angry or upset, that’s ok. It’s fair enough and it’s normal. Give yourself permission to feel those things. This wasn’t the way that 2020 was supposed to pan out.
 
In our thoughts are those locked in housing-commission towers, people struggling to make ends meet, families and individuals who are separated from friends and loved ones, lonely, isolated, confused and distressed.  We need to reach out to those for whom Australia is a new home, migrants and refugees, those whose level of understanding is limited by culture or language. Those with the most resources have struggled to understand this disease. Let’s not judge those who have “broken the rules”. Scapegoating never made the world a better place and demonising individuals, communities, leaders and institutions isn’t going to fight the virus.
 
Instead, mutual respect, understanding, compassion and kindness have always been human’s most powerful weapons against hardship and adversity. To the Sikhs who deliver food, the artists who post online performances, the organisers of Zoom parties, the healthcare workers, doctors, nurses, cleaners and clerks, the bus and train drivers, police and our politicians, thank you. At a time when we are all challenged, thoughts and words of gratitude are far more powerful than derision and criticism.
 
While it doesn’t feel like it at the moment, this too will pass. Be gentle with yourself and with each other. Look past our differences and find the good. That’s the way we’ll get through this and find a better place.



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