Now is not the time for complacency
A SMALL number of Toodyay residents tested positive for the deadly Covid-19 virus after returning from overseas travel.
We are happy to say all are recovering well after having completed 14 days’ home quarantine monitored by your local police.
The people are among 19 confirmed cases in the Wheatbelt lockdown area, which stretches from Wagin to Jurien Bay and extends from Morangup to Southern Cross.Read more
We conducted regular checks on the families in Toodyay who were either in quarantine or self-isolation after the State Government declared a statewide public health emergency on March 15.
As an unfortunate result of the lockdowns and restrictions on businesses and social activities, we have seen an increase in the need for police intervention with family violence incidents.
Please be patient and tolerant because the end of these restrictions is now in sight.
Sadly, there has been a spate of death-related matters – suicides, fatal car crashes and sudden deaths by natural causes which have kept us very busy.
Toodyay is unique compared with other country towns because most other places have the majority of their population based in and near their central business districts.
However, most Toodyay residents live outside of town which means it can take police up to an hour to travel from one job to another.
POLICE roadblocks are in place to prevent the spread of the virus, which is why we have one on Toodyay Road at the intersection of Morangup Road (left), and another at The Lakes turn-off on Great Eastern Highway.
They are being run by officers from Perth because we simply don’t have the resources in Toodyay to man these points 24/7.
However, local patrols are doing random checks elsewhere, such as on Julimar Road, Lovers Lane, River Road and Morangup Road.
Initially we have been issuing cautions and turning people around.
Be warned however, that if you are caught trying to avoid the roadblocks and you are not an exempted traveller – you will be fined.
This doesn’t mean that people can’t go about their everyday lives if they have an exempted reason to travel.
For example, if you live in Toodyay and you are driving to Midland to purchase goods not available in this region there is no problem.
Save yourself the interrogation and have some sort of evidence to support your travel.
There is no issue with passing through the checkpoints for employment, medical, etc..
Remember the virus itself doesn’t move – people move it.
The reason we have roadblocks is to avoid the spread of the virus because if nobody moved, the virus would disappear in a few weeks.
TOODYAY police visited the locally quarantined and self-isolated households daily for the mandatory 14 days to check the occupants’ wellbeing and to ensure they stayed home, which they did without issue.
Neighbours for many stepped up and showed great community spirit by helping them out, which I think is a big positive to come out of this – they were fantastic.
Like everyone else in the community, police officers are also having to take precautions by minimising personal contact.
This is why the local police station front door has been closed.
As a result, we are engaging in face-to-face contact with people only on a needs basis when it is essential.
Of course, there are times when we have no choice but to be in close contact with people.
If we need to physically hold onto someone to prevent offences or an escape, then we will.
Each officer has been issued with ‘personal protective equipment’ – a ventilated mask, and safety glasses to prevent infection through their eyes, nose and mouth, as well as gloves and coveralls.
Everyone in the community should see how serious this pandemic is.
We are very lucky that we are not faced with the illness and deaths seen in other parts of the world – the loss of life across the world has been horrendous
Love or loathe them, it clear our political leaders and their advisers are doing a good job.
I expect there will be a tendency for some people to become complacent as the restrictions go on with very few new cases now being identified.
Hang in there, do the right thing and it will be over.
The virus has killed more than 233,000 people worldwide by the start of this month, including 93 in Australia and eight in WA.
Now is the time to remain steadfast and comply with social distancing – it’s the number one thing that we must do to prevent further danger.
POLICE are often referred to as the ‘blue canaries’, which comes from bygone mining days when canaries in cages were taken down shafts to show there is enough air to breathe.
We are often the first to arrive at a scene and in many cases need to go towards danger before fellow emergency services personnel can arrive to determine whether it is safe.
We often have to go to places where others probably wouldn’t or shouldn’t.
For instance, officers were first to arrive at a recent incident that required them to start cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a person before St John Ambulance officers with Covid-19 protection could arrive to take over treatment.
Our great local ambo volunteers recognised that we often get there first and have better equipped us by donating two heart defibrillators (pictured bottom left) – one for each police car.
This is another great example of how our combined efforts are helping to make Toodyay a safer and better place to live.
My closing message this month is “Stay home” as much as possible, stay safe and please keep your distance from others in the general community – including in shops and other similar places – until State health authorities tell us it’s safe to relax those restrictions.