COVID-19 Resources for Young People

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What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face. 

The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).

At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments. WHO will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings become available.

From <https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1>

Signs & symptoms:

The COVID-19 virus affects different people in different ways.  COVID-19 is a respiratory disease and most infected people will develop mild to moderate symptoms and recover without requiring special treatment.  People who have underlying medical conditions and those over 60 years old have a higher risk of developing severe disease and death.

Common symptoms include:

  • fever
  • tiredness
  • dry cough.

Other symptoms include:

  • shortness of breath
  • aches and pains
  • sore throat
  • and very few people will report diarrhoea, nausea or a runny nose.

People with mild symptoms who are otherwise healthy should self-isolate and contact their medical provider or a COVID-19 information line for advice on testing and referral.

People with fever, cough or difficulty breathing should call their doctor and seek medical attention.

From <https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_3>

For the latest advice on preventing infection and news around the COVID-19 Pandemic, head to the Department of Health and Human Services website.

For Young People

For most young people, this period of time where the world is facing drastic changes has seen a huge rise in unemployment with our local schools ending the school term early. While spending large amounts of time at home, it's important to take steps to care for your wellbeing.

As things become more and more saturated online, the eSafety Commisioner can offer more advice in terms of adopting safe online habits during this time.

Stay Active

Although fitness centers are closed, there's still plenty of ways you can stay fit and healthy form your home. You can still go for a run or a bike ride - just make sure to keep a 2m distance between you and others and avoid touching public surfaces. Keep a mask on you at all times when outside exercising. Here's some of our fitness activity recommendations:

You can have fun with this and seize the opportunity to spice up your workout routines! You can also video call your friends to set challenges for each other as though you're working out together in person.

Mental Health

During this time where people are spending extended time periods inside, it's easy to slip into a negative mindset. Taking the steps to best care for your mental health is paramount, especially in this time of uncertainty. At Hobsons Bay UP we offer free counselling services to young people aged 12-25. Appointments are currently being help via audio/video calling for the time being. Visit here to learn more or email us at adminys@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au to arrange an appointment. From 12 to 3pm each Wednesday, you can skip the queue and access the counselling team in a low-commitment Single Session. 

You can also undertake guided meditation to ease your stress and anxiety levels. The Headspace App has a variety of short, calming exercises to help you practice mindfulness during this time of increased anxieties.

It is also important to note that being mentally well also includes forgiving yourself if you are less productive or active.

To access more resources, head to the Headspace website or Head to Health.

If you or anyone you know is showing signs of extreme mental health declination and requires urgent attention please call Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14 or call the Kid's Helpline at 1800 55 1800

Job Security & Financial Support

Due to recent temporary closures of many businesses, many members of the workforce have been left either in temporary or permanent unemployment.

Hobsons Bay City Council has undertaken the Working for Victoria initiative to employ 130 new staff. Learn more about this program here.

The Australian Federal Government has recently announces a $550 fortnightly supplement to all recipients of the following payments:

  • JobSeeker Payment (perviously known as the NewStart Allowance)
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Youth Allowance for jobseekers
  • Parenting Payment Partnered
  • Parenting Payment Single
  • Partner Allowance
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Farm Household Allowance

From <https://www.sbs.com.au/news/what-is-the-coronavirus-supplement-and-who-is-eligible>

If you are someone who is a recipient one of any of the above payments, you do not need to contact Centrelink to arrange a claim. This supplement will be automatically added to your current payments. For all other questions or concerns regarding government payment schemes, please contact your nearest Centrelink branch. Please note that the Newport Centrelink branch has closed and that the nearest branches to Hobsons Bay will be either Footscray, Sunshine or South Melbourne. Trading hours are between 8:30am - 4:30pm.

Remember, while young people have a lower risk of fatality if contracting COVID-19, they are often carriers to someone who is at risk. At risk people include those with compromised immune systems, disabilities, and elderly people. Take social distancing rules seriously to avoid contracting and passing on Coronavirus to someone who potentially won't see it through.

 

For Families

With more and more workplaces going remote or on hold and kids now home while school is on holidays, it's important to keep healthy and occupied. If you're anxious about communicating with your kids as this situation unfolds, there are some options available to you.

With online spaces becoming more and more saturated with negative content during this time, the eSafety Commissioner has a great resource of information on how to best approach it in your life.

Communicating with young kids

It's important to support your children without contributing to the hysteria. Keeping routines in place with some adaptions can help maintain a sense of normality. Managing frustrations, both of your own and of your children, will be an important part of keeping the home moving forward. If you notice any increases in unusual behaviours with your child such as tantrums, shutting themselves in their bedroom, or exhibiting any other anxious behaviours, it's important to be patient with them. Showing that you understand can be the first step to managing these tensions. Use this increase in time spent together as an opportunity to spend more time. Go for a (socially distant) walk, take them out the front of your house and teach them how to kick a footy, be responsive to what your child is interested in doing.

Communicating with older kids

Many teenagers will struggle to adapt to this new climate and may be frustrated that they can't see their friends. Show empathy for their situation and validate their disappointment, but ensure they take the social distancing requirements seriously. Supporting remote education practices will be extremely important, especially for young people with learning disabilities who may not be equipped to transition to online education. For more resources on how to deal with these changes in education delivery, click here.

 

View the current available emergency relief services in the Western Region here.(DOCX, 87KB)

More helpful information can be found here.

 

If you or your family require further assistance from the youth services team (Hobsons Bay UP), contact us at adminys@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au.