Athlone native, Oliver Healy, a long time resident of Perth in Western Australia, detailed his COVID-19 personal and professional experiences as the global pandemic continues to be a source of vast concern on a global scale.
“Western Australia was initially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in late February and early March and as the number of confirmed cases continued to escalate relevant regulations were swiftly implemented as April approached.
“Western Australia has a population of a 2.6 million people with the vast majority of the region living in the capital city Perth. Perth is the most isolated city in the world, ensuring it and the State were easy to manage with no incoming journeys permitted. Airlines were detrimentally impacted with Qantas forced to make 6,000 employees redundant.
The impact upon public life was immediate with relevant regulations swiftly implemented to suppress the spread of the virus.
“In early April all schools, bars and restaurants were informed that no more than 10 people were allowed in the same premises, except for food supermarkets, with a 4sqm radius put in place therein.
“Schools were prevented from organising gatherings of over 500, including swimming and sports carnivals, interschool carnivals, performances, concerts and exhibitions, so the implementation of restrictions impacted with immediate effect.
“Australia learned much from European Countries who unfortunately had not the time or resources in place to manage or avoid the pandemic spreading.
“Interest rates dropped in early March and the Government introduced a stimulus packages to support businesses and assist in the retention of staff.
“The State Government implemented six phases with regard to the gradual easing of restrictions. We are currently in phase three with playgrounds, coffee shops, bars, gyms, cinemas and sporting events now reopen and in progress,” Oliver asserted.
How it affected the Healy Family and their business
Pertaining to his role as sole Director of AndersElite, a privately owned PTY Ltd Technical Recruitment Consultancy in Perth, specialising in the recruitment of technical staff for State Government, Mining, Engineering and Finance sector in Australia, Oliver stated that no colleague were made redundant with the majority working from home.
“I attended my workplace on a daily basis during the pandemic to maintain a sense of normality and at this time, I fully intend to keep to a routine
Schools were closed for four weeks, excluding holidays, and visiting friends and close family was prohibited for a two month period.
“With social distancing and travel restrictions implemented by the State Government, we had to cancel trips to Melbourne and Vietnam. As we are in phase three with regard to the easing of restrictions, we are permitted to travel within the region and have booked a holiday in Coral Bay, a nine hour drive North of Perth.
“My wife, Elana, is a school teacher and home schooled our two sons, boys Einan (9 ) and Fionn (5 ) during phase one and two restrictions.
“Like many families in this particular situation, we struggled with the change of lifestyle and as we spend the majority of our lives in outdoor settings, we welcomed the management of the virus and felt blessed to be isolated from countries with such high number of cases,” Oliver concluded.