I am always amazed when autumn arrives here, it seems as though someone has flicked a switch and suddenly we see the features of autumn turn up. Cloudy skies, slightly cooler nights, mist on the hillsides – it is somewhat of a relief after the heat and frenetic activity of summer.
This week we have enacted our school planned response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Australia. Whilst there are no confirmed cases in the Byron community yet, it is better that we are prepared and following best practice as the situation seems to be changing daily.
I have sent emails out to all parents with details about this, however, the main point is that children who are showing signs of fever, sore throat, cough or runny nose should not come to school. We are asking for the community to really support us in this as we often have children coming to school who are unwell and should be staying at home.
I do understand how very difficult this can be for working parents, however, in this instance, it would be great if we could all prioritise the health and wellbeing of our whole community in this.
The other side of this situation is the mounting anxiety in our community and we need to work with this by being as calming and reassuring as we can. Children can very quickly pick up on adult anxiety and, certainly, there is a lot of very dramatic information being shared via the media and discussed around many kitchen tables (much of it inaccurate). The current lack of toilet paper on supermarket shelves is a perfect example of the very human, heightened response to the information being shared. For young children, try to keep the discussion about this to a minimum, focus on normal routines and provide reassurance when needed.
As we move into this autumn time, with so much happening around us, it is worth remembering the beautiful Michaelic Verse:
We must eradicate from the soul
All fear and terror of what comes towards us out of the future.
We must acquire serenity
In all feelings and sensations about the future.
We must look forward with absolute equanimity
To everything that may come.
And we must think only that whatever comes
Is given to us by a world-directive full of wisdom.
It is part of what we must learn in this age,
namely, to live out of pure trust,
Without any security in existence.
Trust in the ever present help
Of the spiritual world.
Truly, nothing else will do
If our courage is not to fail us.
And let us seek the awakening from within ourselves
Every morning and every evening.