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    Vic on the fast track to COVID freedoms

    Victoria is on track to reach its next major vaccination target ahead of schedule as Melbourne prepares to exit lockdown, meaning more freedoms are fewer than two weeks away. The city will emerge from its sixth shutdown at 11:59pm on Thursday, five days…
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    Victoria ends lockdown five days early

    Victoria will end its sixth long-running lockdown five days earlier than planned, as the state races to its 70 per cent fully vaccinated target. Premier Daniel Andrews made the announcement on Sunday, saying now was the time for Victorians to celebrate. "As…
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    "Not out of the woods yet", 51 casual contacts of infected teen

    The number of casual contacts linked to the COVID-positive Launceston teenager who breached quarantine has risen to 51. "They're mostly people who were at the airport at the same time as the case, or at the IGA. Those numbers have come up a little bit since…
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    COVID case breached home quarantine without mask

    Investigations have revealed a COVID positive Launceston teenager left home quarantine without a mask to go to a local supermarket with his cousin. The IGA at Newnham between 2:20pm and 2:45pm on Saturday October 2 has been declared an exposure site. Anyone…
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    New Vic restrictions as Gutwein dismisses Flight Centre legal threat

    The Premier isn't fazed at threats of legal action from the Flight Centre boss about ongoing state border closures. Graham Turner has flagged suing lockout states including Tasmania if they don't reveal "reasonable" reopening plans in coming weeks Peter…
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    Vic roadmap unveiled, 7 day lockdown for Geelong

    Melbourne's controversial curfew will be scrapped, with people able to travel up to 25 kilometres and have a beer outside the pub once 70 per cent of Victorians aged over 16 are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. But the most substantial changes to the…
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    Regional Victoria exits COVID-19 lockdown

    A Lockdown will be lifted in regional Victoria, with the exception of the town of Shepparton which is still battling a coronavirus outbreak. The state has recorded 221 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, but most are in Melbourne. "Regional…
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    Virus 'ripping families apart': Syd nurse

    An intensive care nurse working in one of NSW's worst COVID-19 hotspots says the virus is "ripping families apart" and taking an enormous physical and emotional toll on healthcare workers. More than 870 COVID-19 patients are in hospital in NSW, with 143 in…
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    SA names sites linked to infected truckies

    South Australian authorities have identified petrol stations linked to truck drivers who travelled through three states in WA, before testing positive to COVID-19. The two drivers were tested as part of routine surveillance in NSW on Wednesday, but being…
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    Regional Victoria to return to lockdown

    Regional Victorians will re-enter lockdown at 1pm on Saturday as authorities scramble to contain a COVID-19 outbreak centred on the city of Shepparton. Victoria recorded 61 new locally acquired virus cases on Saturday, including 39 in the community while…
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    Launceston "clear" of COVID scare

    Tasmania's Director of Public Health says the coronavirus scare in Lauceston earlier this month is now well and truly behind us. A traveller from Sydney, who came without a border pass via Melbourne, tested positive in hotel quarantine at Peppers Seaport then…
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    Woman pinged for border breach

    There's a stark warning to travellers attempting to breach Fortress Tasmania. A woman who arrived in Launceston on a flight from Sydney at the weekend has become the first to receive the now-doubled fine of $1557. The Tasmanian, aged in her 70s, was fined…
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    Melbourne lockdown extended, curfew back

    Melbourne's lockdown has been extended by two weeks and a night curfew will be reimposed, in an effort to stamp out the state's latest outbreak of the Delta coronavirus variant. Premier Daniel Andrews on Monday announced the extension, as well as a raft of…
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    QR codes for taxis and Ubers after Launceston scare

    Tasmania is yet to detect any COVID cases after an infected man's brief stay in a Launceston quarantine hotel last week. A total of more than 6000 tests have come back negative in the five days after the man's positive test and the situation is now considered…
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    Hawks vs Pies in Launceston called off

    Collingwood's first ever AFL match in Tasmania has been abandoned after the state's first coronavirus case in 238 days sent hundreds of Launcestonians into isolation. The highly anticipated Sunday fixture at UTAS Stadium was a sell out, despite the crowd…
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    Vic to enter its sixth lockdown at 8pm

    Victoria will enter a seven-day lockdown in an effort to contain a growing outbreak of the COVID-19 Delta variant in Melbourne's western suburbs. Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed the lockdown will begin at 8pm on Thursday, after the state recorded eight new…
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    Qld arrivals nabbed for flagrant COVID rule breach

    Police appear to have finally lost patience with those flouting Tasmanian Health's stay-at-home orders in the wake of the Queensland COVID-19 Delta outbreak. Two people who recently arrived in Launceston from south east Queensland have been fined $774 each.…
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    SA considers tougher Queensland rules

    South Australians in Queensland have been urged to consider returning as soon as possible as the Sunshine State continues to battle a COVID-19 outbreak. With southeast Queensland in lockdown, SA residents are still allowed to return provided they spend 14…
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    Victoria tightens border bubble with NSW

    Victoria is tightening the NSW border bubble, banning non-essential movement across state lines over the threat of Sydney's worsening COVID-19 outbreak. From 11.59pm on Tuesday, border bubble residents will only be able to cross state lines for six reasons…
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    No new virus infections in South Australia

    South Australia will end its COVID-19 lockdown on schedule after reporting no new virus infections. Premier Steven Marshall says the result is a "huge relief" and will allow the shutdown to end at one minute past midnight on Wednesday. "So a massive thank you…

Resilience can defeat virus, experts say

A supplied image shows Macquarie University MindSpot clinic Executive Director, Professor Nick Titov posing for a photograph. (AAP Image/Supplied by Macquarie University) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Macquarie University MindSpot clinic Executive Director, Professor Nick Titov (AAP Image/Supplied by Macquarie University)

Many of us have already lost or fear losing our jobs, others have fallen sick and some have even died. Everyone has been dislocated from family and friends without knowing for how long.

What might not be so apparent, though, is that COVID-19 has exacted a huge toll on us emotionally too.

MindSpot, Australia's first free national online mental health clinic, has seen a huge uptick in people accessing its services since the coronavirus crisis began.

There's been a 75 per cent jump in its personal interactions with clients, a doubling of hits on its websites and more than a quarter-of-a-million worried Australians are visiting its Facebook and Instagram pages daily.

The clinic's director, Macquarie University psychology professor Nick Titov, says his staff are hearing from people who can't sleep, are anxious, on edge, teary, exhausted, hyper-vigilant towards signs of the virus or at the other end of the spectrum, overwhelmed by the everyday deluge of bad news.

"With all those physical symptoms come psychological worries and concerns, fears that we aren't doing well, that the world isn't safe anymore or that the future isn't safe," Prof Titov told AAP.

"But all of that is normal.

"One thing this pandemic is highlighting is our shared humanity. It doesn't matter which culture in the world we belong to, we are experiencing similar fears and worries."

Indeed the good news is that there are things we can all do, achievable tasks we can practice each day to help wrest back control of our lives.

While we're feeling lonely and stranded away from regular support networks, MindSpot has devised a 'top 10' list endorsed by the federal government for coping with what has become the 'new normal'.

It includes things like making sure we're informed with the right information, being organised in all we do, preserving healthy routines, doing fun activities and constantly reminding ourselves our troubles will fade.

Prof Titov says the key phrase is "resilience".

"Be kind to yourself and recognise that it's a tough time, shut out negative distractions. If you're wound up physically, do something to relax, some exercise, some stretching; take a hot bath.

"When you write down your worries, divide them into things you can do something about and those you can't. Tackle the first and accept the second."

For some, COVID-19 hasn't had the same upending impact the rest of us are experiencing because they lead fairly isolated lives anyway.

There are those with pre-existing mental health issues and also the victims of summer's bushfire disaster and back-to-back seasons of drought.

Then there are our frontline health and services industry workers - nurses, paramedics, doctors, cabbies, teachers, childcare staff and supermarket employees - who are exposed to ongoing threat and uncertainty.

Prof Titov says everyone has surprised him with their willingness to ask for help.

All of them need information: advice on where to get medical treatment or testing; access to financial support; tips on dealing with isolation, handling small kids cooped up at home or the welfare of neighbours.

Some just want to talk.

© AAP 2020

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