The start to 2020 has certainly been a difficult one, with the bushfires that caused so much destruction in parts of our State, and now COVID-19.
Our thoughts are with those in areas still grappling with rebuilding and recovery from the fires. And, indeed, with everyone, as we all now try to cope with this health challenge and its far-reaching effects.
We know that in recent months, as in the past, Victorians have demonstrated their resilience and their generosity in response to the bushfire crisis.
Now, more than ever, we need to pull together, to follow the advice and rules set by the experts, to be calm and clear-headed and to be mindful of each other’s safety and needs.
As our opportunities for workplace and social contact diminish, each one of us will feel the effects in different ways. To greater or lesser extents, we might all feel some sense of dislocation.
I encourage you to check on family, neighbours, the elderly, workmates and anyone who might be alone or doing it tough. Physical distance need not mean social isolation. Let’s keep working on creative ways to keep in touch with each other.
My husband, Tony, joins me in these thoughts and in particular in expressing our gratitude to the many Victorians working on the front line – not only our medical and emergency workers but all those working to care for the vulnerable, to look after our children, to keep essential services running and to respond to this unfolding situation.
We sincerely hope that you are well cared for and safe during this time of uncertainty.
Above all, we urge you to take care of yourselves and each other.