Hello delightful Squishy book lovers,
We are making some decisions here at Squishy to minimise the impact and transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Starting from 4pm tomorrow (Saturday) we will be moving online and keeping our little shop closed for the time being. For people in the Macedon Ranges we will do free delivery and as always we can post around Australia (more details about this later).
This decision has not been an easy one however Public Health experts are clearly saying that the way to reduce transmission is by social distancing. Here at Squishy we are in a position to help minimise transmission and believe it is our social responsibility to do so. We love our little community and want people to stay well. As regular visitors to Squishy know, people stay in our little space for extended periods of time and little hands like to do lots of touching.
The risk to our community is the need for many people to access hospital care at the same time. If the transmission is slowed down the impact on health services can be greatly reduced ensuring health care is available for everyone, especially those who might need it urgently.
From looking at what is happening in Iran and Italy there is absolutely no doubt that the sooner social distancing occurs, the better it is for everyone. Australia is in a privileged position to be watching the impact on countries who did not social distance as compared to ones who did. We are not fearful nor alarmists, but the evidence is very clear that the only way this outbreak can be managed at this moment is through self-isolation and social distancing – countries which have done this (eg. South Korea, Japan) have far different progressions of the virus compared to countries who did not (eg. Italy, Iran and now the USA).
This article from Italy beautifully surmises our sentiments https://medium.com/@Marisa_Garreffa/facing-fear-in-a-time-of-coronavirus-b2b37e847107
We encourage each of you to do what you are comfortable doing, and this is what is comfortable for us. Lucky and I both have professional scientific qualifications (I have a Masters in Public/International Health and Lucky a PhD in Medical Physics) and this education and understanding of the scientific advice offered thus far along with love and regard for our community are what inform this decision. I have written this with consultation of all the senior staff (Ellie, Connie, Liz & Lucky) at Squishy and together we stand by this choice.
Now one of the challenges in this whole situation is the abundance of information, a lot of which is not backed by science. Here are a few articles we think are interesting and worth sharing.
How washing your hands can help fight COVID19:
What happens to People’s Lungs when they get COVID19:
General Advice for the Public:
This piece is written by a doctor in a rural indigenous community:
I’ll update very soon on what our home delivery and online situation will look like as well as our contingency plans for online book clubs and streamed storytime. In the meantime, we’ll leave you with some words from the Director-General of the World Health Organisation which ring true to us.
“Let hope be the antidote to fear.
Let solidarity be the antidote to blame.
Let our shared humanity be the antidote to our shared threat”
– Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (WHO Director-General)
With love, Kristen & Team Squishy