15th July, 2021

 

Well the good news so far is that unemployment has fallen to 10 year lows of 4.9% in Australia.

However that’s where it’s stopped as the Delta Covid variant has outrun Covid testing authorities.  The ease of transmission has meant faster and wider spread rates.  So Sydney is in the middle of a 4 week lockdown and Melbourne has just entered a 5 day lockdown.  Will it be longer?  Probably.

It’s tempting to say .. just let the virus rip and get out of lockdown. But this should be tempered by the Delta variant infecting people of all ages. Young people under 40 are currently in ICU.

To July 15, 9.6 million Australians have had at least one vaccination. That’s nearly 40% of our population.  We are judging the government on how many Australians have had both jabs. That I believe is unfair, as even 1 dose provides effectiveness against Covid.  More Pfizer vaccine is arriving and this will mean younger Australians can be inoculated.  We remain optimistic that by October the need for lockdowns will not be required because of widespread vaccination.

VISIONCHART Sydney and Melbourne operations remain working under extra safety regulations.

Get the jab. Mask up.  Sanitise.  Remain positive.   This too … we shall overcome !

 

Mark Bowdern

Managing Director

 

 

 

28th June, 2021

 

What a difference a few days make regarding the spread of transmissions.  All of Greater Sydney, Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains LGA’s are now in lockdown.   What does this mean for VISIONCHART and our customers?  Those Visionchart employees who can work from home are now doing so.  Those in the office, warehouse and manufacturing continue to work with appropriate sanitising, distancing and face masks.  Deliveries and installations are still being managed in a safe and responsible manner.  Many of our orders and deliveries are for hospitals, government and schools so VISIONCHART is proud, in our small part, to help the wheels of our economy continue to keep moving.  VISIONCHART warehouses in other states of Australia continue to work without restrictions.  We remained very concerned about the mental health impact of the lockdown on small businesses, particularly in hospitality.  For those who may be finding it particularly difficult, please click on this link to the Beyond Blue foundation who are working with small business:

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/newaccess/newaccess-for-small-business-owners

 

Stay safe and once again, thank you for your support.

 

Mark Bowdern

Managing Director

 

 

25th June, 2021

 

Following on from our June 7 update, 4 LGA areas in Sydney have now gone into a Covid lockdown. They are :

Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick and the City of Sydney.  NSW recorded its biggest rise in daily Covid-19 cases since the latest outbreak began on Friday, with 22 new locally acquired infections bringing the total to 70.  Residents and workers in those areas cannot leave those areas for non essential reasons. As like Melbourne earlier in the month, the Delta variant has been responsible for the transmissions. This as we are informed, is a more contagious variant.

Lockdowns are not a measure of success.  They represent a last resort effort to control the virus. Sanitising, safe distancing, mask wearing and Covid testing remain at the forefront of our defences.  And it would help if the vaccination rollout had been better managed months ago however it’s noted that 6.8 million people have had at least their 1st dose to date.

To their credit and that of NSW Health, the government has fully contact traced all infections and those infected are all in isolation.

VISIONCHART is fully operational with enhanced safe shipping, receiving, delivery and installation procedures in place.

 

 

Mark Bowdern

Managing Director

 

 

7th June, 2021

 

In the ensuing months since our last update, the biggest news has been the release of the Covid vaccines to the Australian population.

These vaccines have meant that if we can achieve immunisation then there is a path forward to permanent borders openings within Australia and international travel can be brought forward. Much politicking has occurred over the Federal governments speed to vaccination however such criticisms should be tempered by a vocal percentage of the population who refuse vaccinations.  Vaccinations are not mandatory.  Pleased to say that Visionchart employees of appropriate age are getting vaccinated with Astra Zeneca and Pfizer.

The most pressing current issue is the Victorian government’s 14 day lockdown. This has occurred as an Indian variant of Covid (Delta strain) has infected over 60 people at the time of writing. As I have written over a year ago now, this all is quite an expected pattern of virus mutations.

The key is getting more Australians vaccinated. The UK and the US have had stellar vaccination rollout programs.  Australia is still lagging however the 4th Melbourne lockdown has, it could be argued, changed the philosophy of ‘getting the jab’.

We await to see if further State lockdowns will occur however this is not a Virus that can be eliminated. Only managed.  I continue to remain concerned for the mental health of people subjected to harsh lockdowns.  Better contact tracing and high higher vaccination numbers remain our hope.

 

Mark Bowdern

Managing Director

 

 

 

22nd January, 2021

 

Covid-19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019) has proved to be as resilient as most other viruses.  It has mutated into a faster spreading virus and this appears to have occurred initially in the UK. It is part of the virus’ survival mechanism and in most parts is to be expected.  As will another mutation and then another before finally this particularly virus, is either eradicated or we develop an immunity.

So as of this date, we await the vaccine rollout in Australia.  Who receives it, when .. what is the efficacy?  And what does this mean for healthcare and business ?

Vaccines have been developed in an extremely short period in part because Covid-19 closely resembled genetically other corona viruses – Sars and Mers in particular.

As of this date, local transmissions (those outside quarantine hotels) are very low, or non existent.  This is due to most people observing health guidelines from their various State officials. Borders are still closed to Victoria and WA and NSW still has restrictions on the number of people allowed at functions etc.  The Australia Day long weekend will present transmission opportunities so the wearing of masks in close public areas and hand sanitation remains paramount.  If infections over the holiday period are low then it presents a positive environment for a return to some business normality in February. And the first benefit of an improved infection rate would be the re-opening of all Australian borders.

Stay safe.  Follow the rules.

 

Mark Bowdern

Managing Director

 

 

 

30th November

 

In our response to Covid-19, Australia is the envy of the world.  Our testing protocols and our harsher restrictions have reduced outbreaks of Covid to manageable ‘bubbles’. Most current infections are isolated in quarantine hotels from returning international arrivals.

Victoria moved to last step restrictions on November 22. And borders between NSW and Qld are re-opening on Dec 1.

Much appears positive, especially the news that vaccine trials have progressed well and offer over a 90% success rate. It has been suggested that first Australian innoculations will begin with health care workers early in 2021.

The economy appears to be more resilient than many economists predicted. The harsh lockdowns destroyed many peoples life dream of investing in a small business.

Despite some Australian states pursuing almost a separatism attitude, there also appears to be a flipside willingness to tackle the economic future together. Buying local, supporting Australian business and to be blunt, spending money, to help revive our economy.  $66 billion dollars is spent on overseas holidays. Much of that spend will remain here.

However the virus will do what all viruses do, that is mutate into different strains in its efforts to keep spreading (when its stops spreading, it dies).

So we the public have a vital tole to play in the future. That’s you and me.  We need to scan barcodes to enter establishments, we need to follow health protocols and safely distance. And we need to hand sanitise.

People are already forgetting the basics, especially hand sanitation, often walking past dispensers.

We collectively hold our breath that our health and economic trajectory remains up.

Wishing everyone the opportunity to meet again with friends and family, especially at Christmas.  Stay well and safe.

Merry Christmas.

 

Mark Bowdern

Managing Director

 

 

15th September

 

Covid-19 transmissions as of this date, within Australia, are largely confined to Melbourne and Sydney.  Thankfully the downward infection trend continues but State governments continue to push elimination versus management of the virus health arguments.  Tragically, 729 deaths have been recorded in Victoria, with Australia’s total standing at 816.  35 new infection cases were recorded in VIC and 4 in NSW as of 14/9/20. There were no new positive tests in the rest of Australia.

I will refrain from political comments however it is desperately clear that people’s mental well being is a serious concern that is not being effectively recognised by Government’s. The economic health of small business is in a similar dire condition. Many businesses will simply not re-open.  Support your local business if they are open. You may not get a second chance.

If State governments are slowly reopening their economies, it is now critical that we all continue to maintain safe practices including hand sanitation and safe distancing.  If you feel unwell, get an immediate check from a Covid testing station.  We do not need more lockdowns in the future.

Melbourne’s curfew will run for another month we are told as of September 14. Masks are still mandatory. So in Melbourne, VISIONCHART are still managing all aspects of deliveries and installations.  Depending on the size of the board, we are also drop shipping from Sydney. All drivers are instructed to perform a contactless delivery. For the rest of Australia it is Covid mandatory safe delivery practices with continued anti bacterial wipe downs, sanitising and masks for deliveries and installations.

 

Mark Bowdern

Managing Director

 

 

10th August

 

The daily transmission rates for Covid-19 significantly increased in Victoria (particularly Melbourne) within the last 4 weeks.

On August 5, 725 new cases were reported. Hopefully this represented the peak infection, as the transmission rates on the 10th were under 400.

On August 2, the Andrews government introduced strict new lockdown laws referred to as Stage 4. This lockdown will remain in place until September 13.

During this time retail businesses will close. Some warehouses will remain trading, particularly in the food supply chain, as will some office/furniture suppliers for essential items.

VISIONCHART will continue to supply Victorian customers albeit with an extra 2-3  days in such supply. During this period our warehouse is closed for pickups. There will be even greater awareness of the needs for contactless deliveries.  Face masks are of course mandatory and sanitation is conducted before and after all deliveries.  We are doing everything the Victorian government is requesting of us and more. It is a responsibility that VISIONCHART accepts, to ensure the limitation of virus transmission and the health and safety of our Victorian employees and our customers. Please refer to our customer service department for further details: service@visionchart.com.au

 

What we have done so far, and will continue doing:

  1. Additional Cleaning to high use areas in our office and warehouse sites.
  2. Daily anti-bacterial wipe down of all surfaces in staff work stations.
  3. Increased CovidSafe Signage in office and warehouse sites.
  4. Increased social distance and time restrictions in meeting areas.
  5. Sanitiser and stands have been distributed to all areas of the Business.

 

 

Mark Bowdern

Managing Director

 

 

7th July 2020

 

Our ability to constrain the spread of the Covid-19 virus is being tested, particularly in Melbourne.
There is new concern over how the virus can be transmitted. In a letter published this week in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, two scientists from Australia and the US wrote that studies have shown "beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are released during exhalation, talking and coughing in microdroplets small enough to remain aloft in the air."

The new bubble infection in Melbourne is a concern because many commentators have considered the virus safely under control in Australia. It remains so, in most States but the ability to spread quickly remains a concern. There has been little reporting on the degree of people’s infection which requires intensive care and the level of new deaths attributed to Covid remains very low.

The economic impact of this new range of infections will seriously have a knock on effect to reviving employment and our economy.

VISIONCHART remain committed to mitigating the virus, so hand sanitising and safe distancing remain in effect, as well as record of all visitors to our offices. All staff remain healthy, including our delivery drivers and installation teams. If any mild virus symptom is evident, the person is required to be tested. All results have been negative.

All deliveries to Victoria and Queensland remain unaffected to date, despite the historical closing of the NSW-VIC border at midnight tonight.

The last time the border was closed was in 1919 due to the spread of Spanish Flu.

 

Mark Bowdern

Managing Director

 

4th May 2020

 

Our Covid-19 response is still being effectively managed.  We have recorded no cases of the virus or it’s transmission.

We have been involved in a number of expansive installations, all safely completed.

VISIONCHART has pivoted some of our product range to offer better solutions for safe distancing.

We are also offering a range of mobile Sanitizer Stations which are also height adjustable. Plus a range of workstation screens.

Our services and product range continue to be offered so that our clients can continue to adapt to a Post Covid-19 working environment.

 

I want to recognise the great effort that all VISIONCHART staff have made. They have responded magnificently to a different operating environment and continue to focus on helping our reseller network to remain productive in offering exceptional service.

 

We continue to listen and implement government advice and also that of our Chief Medical officers, both Federally and State based.

 

Australia is preparing for partial re-openings in late May based on Government advice. VISIONCHART is fully supportive of this as the economic impact will reverberate for many years under an increased burden of debt.

 

We would encourage everybody to safe distance and contact friends and family to wish them well and simply ask them if things are OK at the moment.

To this end I invite you to visit https://www.ruok.org.au/

 

‘This too, we shall overcome’.

 

Mark Bowdern

Managing Director

 

 

25th March 2020

 

During the current COVID-19 emergency VISIONCHART has decided to remain open but we are paying close attention to the daily advice from government.

 

As a valued VISIONCHART customer, we wanted you to be aware of the actions we are taking to minimise the spread of infection, and to ensure we continue to meet your needs during this difficult time. Our first priority is the health and safety of our customers, our employees and our supply chain. We are enforcing the public policies prescribed to prevent personal infection, we have heightened disinfection processes at all of our facilities, and we are creating appropriate social space in our facilities.

 

All customer visits and tours of our showroom are suspended.

 

What are we doing?

• Our factory is in full production, albeit with revised hygiene practices in place, and able to assist with any of your visual communication needs.

• All of our offices and warehouses are open to process and ship orders.

• We are providing tools for our sales team to communicate with you.

 

We will keep you up to date as we move forward. Thank you for your continued support. We stand ready to continue providing you with our innovative products and the best service in the industry.

 

Thank you as always for being a VISIONCHART Partner and please don’t hesitate to reach out should you have any questions or concerns.

Please contact us by email service@visionchart.com.au or call us on 1800 067 278.

 

Mark Bowdern

Managing Director

 

 

VISIONCHART, COVID-19 AND YOU

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