WITH the Stage 4 lockdown now extended to September 13, a Jewish medical leader has urged the community to observe the rules, be cautious about remedies, and care for our mental health.
Australian Jewish Medical Federation Victoria president Dr Jack Green said the lockdown regulations and the four exceptions described in detail by the Department of Health and Human Services are extremely important. “Don’t go out of your house unless it’s for one of the four reasons [essential work, caregiving, exercise and essential shopping within a five-kilometre radius]. The government has placed us in lockdown for good reason, because it’s these measures that work. A vaccine is still in development and we need to keep to these measures until that occurs.”
Green urged Jewish Victorians not to neglect their mental health and wellbeing, seek help if they need it, remember to look after loved ones in isolation, and take part in regular exercise.
He also recommended that members of the Jewish community be “guided by the science” when it comes to taking or advocating so-called remedies. “Don’t rush to unproven remedies. There’s a temptation to look for a quick fix, but the reality is that we need to go with what’s proven, such as social distancing, using hand sanitiser and observing lockdown rules.”
Green added, “It’s particularly disappointing that senior members of our community are making comments supporting unproven remedies such as hydroxychloroquine. If somebody is in a senior position in the community, they need to be careful what they say and need to stay within their sphere of knowledge.
“It’s irresponsible for senior leaders in our community to make comments about medical issues on which they’re not qualified to comment – and on which they might be making incorrect statements. It risks misleading members of the community who might look up to these leaders for their opinions – whether they’re religious leaders or other leaders – when they shouldn’t be giving an opinion in an area in which they have no expertise.”
He said only products that are listed with the Therapeutic Goods Administration can be trusted. “We’re all desperate, we’re all frustrated, we also want this to end. It’s very easy to get trapped in wanting to find quick-fix, unscientific, unproven remedies. That’s not going to help us.”