‘Be part of the solution … not part of the problem’

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Grey nomads told to go home
'Go home grey nomads!' ... Dr John Hall

Rural doctors are calling on all grey nomads to return home or to stay at home if they are still there … and they are warning that to do otherwise could be downright danerous.

In a media statement, Rural Doctors Association of Australia president Dr John Hall said that reports of grey nomads still roaming throughout the bush were disturbing.

“We have had reports of convoys of grey nomads moving out into rural communities and quite frankly, that’s not acceptable,” Dr Hall said. “We can only assume that they see this as a way of keeping themselves safe, but we can assure them it is absolutely not the way to go about it.”

While in normal circumstances, this would be the time when many caravanners and motorhomers begin their migration north, these are anything but normal circumstances.

Dr Hall said this was not a ‘grey area’ for grey nomads.

“They are putting themselves in harm’s way by moving and circulating in the community, and that is not how you socially isolate, people,” he said. “They are exposing other communities, as well as other travellers within the grey nomad community, by potentially circulating the virus.”

The new paper reports that many rural hospitals have limited supplies of breathing machines, critical care equipment and staff, as well as limited access to air retrieval services to move Covid-19 patients to regional intensive care units.

“They are draining the local resources when it comes to both medical supplies and groceries. Many rural towns are finding it hard enough to resupply, without an influx of travellers adding to the burden,” Dr Hall said. “And, most importantly, they will be potentially putting a significant strain on rural hospitals and workforces that will already be at capacity with the surge of patients we are expecting due to Covid-19.”

He warned that travellers are actually putting themselves at risk in rural areas, because they might find themselves in a country hospital that is already at capacity and may find they are not able to access the essential care needed if they become seriously unwell.

“So we say again, go home grey nomads,” said Dr Hall. “In normal circumstances, we love having you visit our rural and remote towns but, right now … park your RV or caravan in your back yard, turn off the air-con, let in the flies, and use your imagination to live the dream.”

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31 Responses to ‘Be part of the solution … not part of the problem’

  1. This all makes perfect sense for those who have a home to return to but there are many Grey Nomads who literally live on the road. We self isolate in our fully self contained RV and use hand sanitiser whenever we venture out. Social distancing in a no brainier and I’d expect that 99% of those living on the road will be very similar. We do not want to, or intend to impact on country towns apart from using 30 square meters of parking space in a safe place.
    Stay safe and look after each other.

    • Dead right Peta, also all of a sudden we’re draining grocery supplies? Maybe the locals should stop panick buying, our buying used to be welcome.

      • That’s a fantastic sentiment Raymondo and very much in the spirit of “being part of the problem, not the solution”

  2. Where do we go if we don’t have a home ?

    • I don’t think the Dr has thought this through to well, living on the road full time and no home to go to. It seems they just want us to disappear.

    • Into a caravan park for a few months

    • I’ll add to what Disney said: pick a caravan park in a centre big enough to look after you should you fall

  3. In this climate of isolation wouldn’t a rural town or bush be the best place to be
    To go to a city if that is where home is even if you are in isolation you are greater risk. More people more risk
    If you are on the road why the heck would you go home. More travel means more contact with people more stops more refuelling at a browser that 500 other people have touched.
    Just stop don’t move is the safest

  4. We live in our van but won’t be on the road now for some time obviously. We are in a caravan park in perth . Have own en-suite empty toilet at night . We sit under our awning so we are self isolating as we want to at the moment

    • Well done Kerry, hopefully some of the less clued in who are posting here will follow your lead!

      • That’s great Alanc if you can afford to pay being in a park , what about the herding us all in 1 spot wouldn’t it be better if we could camp in the wide open spaces

  5. The arrogance of the removed from reality brigade. Centrelink know how many homeless people are Nomads or young travellers. They ought to inform our ignorant Prime Minister and the health leaders who have generally not kown hardship and homeless, having homes repossessed, debilitating illness etc. Then they can start offering sensible doable suggestions.

    • Marg , no need to point out the problems ,why not come up with a solution to the problem, we all know what the problems are ,where are your solutions . we need to think for ourselves. luckily for me and my wife we have a base.( No brainer) sorry if i am pushing some buttons we have to rely on ourselves not the government they only present the guidelines

      A waiting in the wings Nomad

  6. This is not the time for political bashing..it’s time for Australians to use common sense. Work within the rules and guidelines and be sensible for the good of yourself and fellow Aussies.

  7. What a joke they make decisions with no idea of the repercussions, what do we do now that we are still 2000 kms from home and they close all the caravan parks
    I guess we’ll just park anywhere we feel like

  8. Well…there will be lots of people whinging about everything and anything…
    Think of this…there are lots and lots of people in this country a lot worse off than you and doing it very tough, sick and losing loved ones…don’t be selfish..!

  9. The doctor is referring that they don’t want a increase of grey nomads in their regional towns especially people from cities trying to escape the virus as their medical resources would not handle the increased load putting every body at risk

  10. This is a National Emergency…not every single person can be catered for or spoonfed. All systems will be stretched to the limit. Some communications will not always be suitable or have clarity.
    So improvise, adapt and work within the rules and guidelines provided.Time to do something for your country and fellow Australians.

    • Yes Pat , very key words , Improvise and ADAPT… I’m a full timer, only home is my bus and will work it out somehow without impacting anyone or any community if I possibly can. I think authority are doing their best in uncharted territory. Let’s all make it to the other side …No!, NOT that other side .!

  11. There’s a general trend of thought they the grey nomads all have homes to return to. Many don’t. They sold or rent them to fund the travel. How about some compassion for them. Do not assume that they’re not frightened, scared of the virus to which they are highly vulnerable and tp the lack of care and support that they’re receiving.

  12. Over million people will lose their jobs, have family, can’t pay rent or buy or find food and essentials. Some are getting sick and some are dying…AND SOME..are whinging about things that are able to be worked out with some common sense.

    • There’s the problem Pat, there’s bugger all commonsense out there anymore 🙂

  13. If you haven’t got a home to go home too, you can’t. But if you have you should. And if you haven’t left home don’t. We had a four month trip planned to west Australia but have cancelled. We have travelled to the same area for four winters and enjoyed the hospitality given to us and hope to again. We personally think it’s unfair to possibly put these small communities under pressure for our pleasure. To all living on the road stay safe.

    • Well said Helen, shame there’s no “like” button for comments

  14. There is also the morality question for us, we have our house tenanted,
    so do we kick a family of four, one is a essential worker, one is on a disability pension & their two teenage kids out onto the street so that we could return home. We have found somewhere to hold up & we will have self isolate upon arrival, then the travels stop until this is over.

  15. Are those 24 hours or 48 hours Rest Stops along the roads still open? Otherwise it will be hard to “go home”. I haven’t seen any info about that. Thanks

  16. The thing is here this guy has not done his homework. The grey nomads are an isolated community who may get together a couple of times a year and limited in numbers anyway. What he is referring to is city slickers who are jumping in their RV’s and abusing the name for the Nomads. Most Nomads will be holed up somewhere quiet and well away from the maddening crowd, I know I would be and totally on my own.

    • Yes Paul were in Tasmania at the moment trying to get back to the mainland, we got asked to leave a free camp area that was at least 100acres with only 4 vans there totally in our own little area spending money in the town but now we’re sitting on the side of the road waiting for Tuesday to get on the spirit then the fun will start trying to get back to qld we’re our family is

      • How crazy is this getting

  17. My house is rented out til the end of the year. I was moved from a camp near Marlborough in Qld. Where am I meant to go? I can’t go home. Have called several caravan parks but either closed or no vacancies.

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