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We Should All Be More Concerned About The Homeless Population

How do you self-isolate without a home?

For most of us, self-isolating, staying indoors and avoiding large gatherings is relatively easy amidst the coronavirus crisis – but what about the people who don’t have a place to call home?

Today is Youth Homelessness Matters Day, which aims to raise awareness and public discussion about youth homelessness so that we can develop sustainable and innovative solutions for not only supporting the needs of homeless young people, but supporting their dreams.

Hear about how Melbourne City Mission is working to combat the risk of COVID-19 amongst young homeless people below:

For those who are homeless or sleeping rough, avoiding the spread of COVID-19 is near impossible. With weakened immune systems, poor hygiene, having to live in close proximity with others, less access to medical services and communication, and an inability to self-isolate or quarantine – homeless people are extremely vulnerable and at risk of testing positive for the virus. 

According to the 2016 ABS Census of Housing and Population, there have been over 116,000 homeless people living in Australia on a single night, and the rate of homelessness in our country has risen by 13.7% in five years. But that’s just in Australia. 

All over the world there are people living without a roof over their heads, and according to the experts, “it’s inevitable” that coronavirus will hit the homeless community on a global scale. This follows reports that soup kitchens in the UK have closed and a homeless shelter in Hobart was forced to shut its doors due to fears of coronavirus. 

There was also a shocking report that French authorities had been fining homeless people amid the country’s lockdown.

The good news is, there are worldwide efforts being made to try and lessen the impact the pandemic is having on those without a home. In the UK, hotels and offices are being converted into safe spaces to protect rough sleepers from coronavirus, and in some parts of the States, organisations have set up hot water hand-washing stations, restructured the bedding layout of shelters, and are working to provide on-the-ground education about the virus’s spread and prevention.

Here in Australia, homeless help provider Strike it Out has been handing out hygiene packs to members of the homeless community to try and limit the risk of contracting and spreading the virus. 

Tasmania’s State Government has also announced it will be providing $1M in aid to Communities Tasmania so they can support vulnerable people with food hampers, medical supplies and counselling. 

ABC News reports that in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 amongst the homeless community, things like hygiene stations need to be easily accessible, shelters need to be restructured and things like communication plans and designated quarantine sites need to be set up. 

We can only hope the rest of Australia, and the world, will continue to help protect the physical and mental health of those who are already struggling on the streets from this deadly virus.

If you want to help put homelessness to bed, head to Melbourne City Mission’s official website and donate.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

Best Believe In Karma Cos Harvey Weinstein Reportedly Has Coronavirus

What goes around, comes around.

As the old saying goes: what goes around comes around, and that couldn’t be more relevant right now with the news that convicted sex offender and disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has reportedly tested positive for coronavirus.

Hear about Harvey Weinstein’s watershed conviction below:

According to prison officials via the Niagara Gazette, Weinstein has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently in isolation at Wende Correctional Facility in Western New York.

Apparently, Weinstein was already positive for coronavirus when he entered Wende last week from Rikers Island. The Niagara Gazette states that Wende acts as an intake centre for new state inmates, after which they’re “typically sent to other facilities…after medical and security concerns are assessed.

Harvey Weinstein has been treated for a number of health concerns between beginning his trial in New York and being convicted in February. During the trial, Weinstein was treated for high blood pressure and chest pains, and how could we possibly forget his infamous walker he used each day in court? 

While many believed Harvey Weinstein didn’t actually need the walker and was merely using it to gain ‘sympathy,’ his lawyers insisted “he is in pain. He’s having surgery.”

It’s one thing for Harvey Weinstein to test positive for coronavirus while in jail, but what about all the other inmates? Michael Powers, the president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association has acknowledged the need to ban all ‘non essential’ transfers of inmates during the crisis. 

“There is no better breeding ground for this virus than a closed environment such as a correctional facility,” he said. The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision has also prohibited visitors from seeing prison inmates to avoid the spread of coronavirus. 

We can only hope Harvey Weinstein, and others who are infected with COVID-19 in the prison system are being isolated as soon as possible so the situation doesn’t escalate any further.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

‘Lost’ Star Evangeline Lilly Reckons 'Freedom' Is More Important Than Stopping COVID-19

"We all make our choices."

Despite every health authority, news outlet, and Tom, Dick and Harry on social media telling us to STAY INSIDE to prevent the spread of coronavirus, there are still plenty of people who insist on getting around and defying the rules around social distancing. One of these people is Lost actress Evangeline Lilly, who recently said she values her “freedom” more than stopping the pandemic from escalating. 

In a recent Instagram post, Evangeline Lilly said, “Just dropped my kids off at gymnastics camp. They all washed their hands before going in. They are playing and laughing. #businessasusual.”

Lilly’s post was quick to receive backlash from fans who labelled her “extremely selfish and irresponsible” for denying the reality of the coronavirus crisis. 

In response to the criticism, Evangeline Lilly wrote, “I am also immune compromised. I have two young kids. Some people value their lives over freedom, some people value freedom over their lives. We all make our choices. With love and respect.”

Listen about how quarantine has brought out the best in society below:

Later, she wrote, “Where we are right now feels a lot too close to Marshall Law for my comfort already, all in the name of a respiratory flu.”

“It’s unnerving…Let’s be vigilant right now. And kind. Watchful and gracious — keeping a close eye on our leaders, and making sure they don’t abuse this moment to steal away more freedoms and grab more power.”

This morning, the Australian Government Department of Health reported that across the world there have been more than 204,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 8,400 deaths. It has also been widely reported that the coronavirus death toll in Italy has risen to 3,405, overtaking China.

It’s pretty hard to understand how these numbers aren’t a clear indication of the severity of the situation. They are at least a red, flashing sign telling us that we need to do everything we can right now to stop the spread of this deadly virus. Is Evangeline Lilly choosing to bury her head in the sand because it hasn’t directly affected her yet?

Singer Billie Eilish made a very good point about coronavirus in a recent Instagram story. She told her followers, “I did not realise that it’s not about me. So everybody that’s thinking, ‘I don’t care if I get it,’ it’s not about you. If you do happen to get it or if you’re near somebody that gets it, you can transfer that to somebody else who’s much weaker. And that’s completely irresponsible.”

“You could get it and you could be fine, but you could give it to your parents, you could give it to your grandparents, your aunts, your uncles, your friend’s mom. I realised it’s not about me and I should be worried about the people around me.”

It’s easy not to care when it’s not happening to you, but knowing that it’s our responsibility to stop it from spreading to those who are more vulnerable – that should be enough for Evangeline Lilly, and everyone else, to take this pandemic seriously. 

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

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