Will the road to recovery be paved with casualties?
View and download report here: Forum #3 report
The third of our COVID-19 community forums was held just before the uptick in community transmission rates caused the Victorian state government to selectively reimpose Stage 3 isolation restrictions.
Interestingly, many of the issues raised by participants in the forum presaged the gaps and failures of policy that have now been identified as contributing to increased community transmission.
This includes recognising the logistical (as distinct from behavioural) challenges of maintaining social distancing in public places, the absence of clarity and consistency on social restriction advice, the lack of guidance on how to manage interactions within the home, official equivocation around the protective value of face masks and the need for a strategy to protect the vulnerable as economically driven community interaction resumes.
The forum also identified common community concerns including an increase in stress and anxiety associated with public outings, confusion about the safety of children at schools and a sense among the vulnerable that they have been left to their own devices to protect their ongoing health and safety.
These findings reinforce the lessons from previous forums that the real value in community consultation is its ability to pre-empt potential policy gaps, unintended consequences and perverse policy outcomes before they occur through active engagement with the people who are at the front-line of those policy initiatives.
View and download the full report here: Forum #3 report
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