How suddenly life can change! At the time of the last CTAL newsletter, our Aust. concern was the after-math of the summer bushfires and the trauma in the lives of those so affected. Relief had not yet arrived for the drought-affected farmers. They are not forgotten as recovery will take many years. So the rains came, and the farms and forest began to recover when, with the speed of lightning, all our lives were up-turned by the impact of the COVID-19 virus. We experience the deepest anxiety for elderly relatives and friends, for those suffering chronic illnesses and pray for their safety. It is such a frightening virus, pro-grammed for maximum damage. For some of us, it was with astonishment that we found ourselves classed as vulnerable by younger politicians. Nevertheless it is with good grace that we accept their kind offer of a holiday at home!! So keep safe everyone and may your anxiety about family members and friends, about employment and finances, your home schooling/ working ,your loneliness at not being able to visit those nearest and dearest to you and end soon.
That is our hope and our prayer for you, Margaret.
COVID-19 NEWS FROM PAPUA NEW GUINEA
It was announced on April 16th, that five cases of Covid-19 were diagnosed in PNG . Three related to border crossing refugees into Western province across the land border with Indonesia, a nation struggling with its Covid-19 caseload.
The PNG government declared a state of emergency to June 2nd in which international entry is banned and major highways and domestic airlines are closed to all but essential cargo and provincial borders are closed. Schools and colleges will resume at the beginning of May with close monitoring.
The disruption Many citizens now have no means of support other than the subsistence/ informal economy, remittances and extended family/ communal/ social networks as the formal economy and paid work/ trading is severely curtailed. Those in the settlement slums will be allowed to repatriate to their wantok communities when the state of emergency ends in June.
Under the leadership of PNG’s Joint Agency Task Force, the UNICEF and AUSAID are teaming up to help PNG. The UN estimates the current population of PNG at 8.95 million. The last advice is that 500 sets of PPE have been handed over to 22 provinces to share, and across the nation, 30 tents for screening patients who present with COVID-19 symptoms will be used to conduct pre-triage screening procedures. There is a media public awareness raising campaign to urge citizens to maintain social distancing and pay more attention to washing hands with soap and water. The potential for tragic consequences lies heavy here.
THE FACE MASKS FOR PAPUA NEW GUINEA PROJECT
What is striking about that information is the distance between ideal and practical reality. For villagers who do not have taps and can’t afford soap, the advice to wash hands and use soap or hand sanitizer will takes an effort, needing external assistance. We hope to help in two ways (a) volunteer sewing of face masks for distribution to ordinary citizens where an outbreak may occur and (b) donations for sewing materials, postage, soap.
FACEMASK PROJECT FOR THE PEOPLE OF PNG
There are Sisters, relatives and friends of Sisters around the Institute who are assisting at their sewing machines and sewing up masks at a rapid rate. See here, Faye Kelly, all ready to roll.
If you would like to assist, you can find a demonstration and face-mask pattern at the following link:
when you have made even a few masks, if you post them to Sr Mar-garet Ryan, P O Box 504, Carlton North, 3054, Marg will arrange despatch to our Sisters in PNG for distribution. Many thanks to the many helpers around the Institute so far, well done! Thanks especial-ly to Marie Masterson and Sandra Young who sent,or are sending 100 each.
HOW TO SEW A FABRIC FACE MASK
MATERIALS • 100% cotton fabric (with a tight weave) • 1/8″ flat elastic for ear loops, or 4 fabric ties (you can use the same cotton fabric to make strips, use premade bias binding, or strips of cotton jersey) • fabric scissors • ruler • pins or clips • sewing machine and thread
CUT LIST For an adult size mask:
• Cut 1 fabric rectangle 16″ long and 8.5″ wide • Cut 2 pieces of elastic, each 7″ long
For elastic ear loops:
• Cut 2 7″ long pieces for an adult mask • For For fabric ties, if you aren’t using elastic:
* Cut 4 rectangles 18″ long by 1.75″ wide. Fold the long sides to meet in the middle, then fold in half again to en-case the raw edges. Stitch down the length of the rectan-gles along the edge to create the ties.
Please go to the above web-site for further instructions as they are Copyright SarahMaker.