I want to tell you a story.  I had a phone call at the beginning of August from an amazing and inspiring woman.  Her name is Cathy Oswald, I have only met her over the phone and online.  I am in awe of her strength, organization, compassion, and empathy.  I hope that one day I can have a small amount of the impact and bring the joy she does everywhere she goes.

The reason that Cathy called was that she was trying to source prescription safety glasses for The Alfred’s ICU staff.  Cathy looks after the staff at The Alfred ICU in Melbourne, the largest public hospital in Melbourne and they have a designated COVID area and deal with a high number of COVID patients.

She had observed the difficulties that the staff was having with their PPE.  They are required to wear their prescription glasses along with safety over specs than the face shields over that.  She had seen the problem and determined a solution.  This solution required her to find a supply The Alfred’s ICU staff with good quality, affordable positively sealed prescription safety glasses.  So that they would only be required to wear their prescription safety glasses and a face shield.

Cathy has a no bull shit manner, that easily gets to the root of the problem and comes up with a solution.  She can’t stand for people to waste time, I  imagine this is the case for most people working in ICU they don’t have time or energy to be wasted.  Within 3 days we had a done a deal.  A personalized form was created, pricing was locked down and logistics worked out.

We have created a subsidy scheme for the Allred’s ICU staff so that they are able to access the prescription safety glasses they need with little cost to the staff.  The Alfred’s Foundation is subsidizing their safety glasses, as the hospital and the foundation wish to keep their staff safe.

I am proud to have been able to help this hospital in their endeavor to keep their staff safe.  I love hearing their stories and hope that we are playing a small part in making their job a little easier.

Living in Queensland I believe we have been sheltered from how hard it is has been for those living in Melbourne particularly and especially those working in health care.  Hearing last night that Cathy was eating out of her freezer as she couldn’t visit the grocery store as it is after curfew when she finishes work.  She is also unable to visit her mother in the ICU.  Her mother is seriously unwell and having to deal with this stress and her job which has ridiculous hours and stress without all of the additional demands of COVID.  I can only imagine how she can continue to keep everything ticking along.

Through chatting to Cathy I have had a small glimpse of what life is like in Melbourne at the moment and it is very hard.  It is difficult to hear and understand for those of us that have only had one isolation and no curfew.  The number of people that are having to rely on friends and family for financial support as there isn’t any government support available to them, or it hasn’t kicked in as yet.

My heart breaks to hear these stories, but I believe it is important for people to understand the difficulties that people are facing in other states and locations.  That way we can provide a shoulder and ear to those who need it, in the very least.  I believe that kindness is more important than ever at the moment.

Mental health is at an all-time low for so many Australians.  I believe that by smiling where we can (hard behind a mask I know).  Showing some kindness or thoughtfulness you can make a real difference to a person’s life.  A small gesture can make such an impact that you will be surprised.

For anyone that is working in healthcare or any other essential service, we are still open and operating as normally as we can.  The only real difference to our service at the moment is that delivery is taking much longer, as Australia Post doesn’t appear to be coping with the increased volume of the post.  So should you require any eye/face protection we can help?  Our labs are located in Australia and lenses are fitted here.  We are a small Australian business, but we are trying to help keep as many people safe as we can.

Please look after yourself and stay safe.