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The Informer: A time to check up rather than check in

The floods have given us a stark reminder of the hardship of isolation. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos
The floods have given us a stark reminder of the hardship of isolation. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos

It was about this time a year ago the word isolation really started trending in a big way.

The contrast between then and now couldn't be more stark.

Now it feels like lockdown has been locked out of the lexicon and social distancing has been pushed aside.

Even crowds have cautiously made a comeback and swollen to their pre-COVID volumes.

However, just as COVID itself made a mysterious return to Queensland this week, its sad sidekick isolation was already making its way up and down the eastern seaboard.

The floods haven't left many communities untouched this week and its served a brutal reminder of how easily a closed road or a power outage can send us back into the grips of isolation.

While there has been a break in the rain, the real work of cleaning up and cost-counting begins now.

Businesses in flood-affected areas will be able to access grants and bank loans to fund their recovery, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced.

Mr Morrison announced a loan scheme would be extended to small and medium business.

He said the federal government will underwrite 80 per cent of bank loans of up to $5 million for small and medium businesses in the flood-affected areas, with repayments to start two years into the loan.

In a cruel twist, the day before JobSeeker was due to end, this has been announced as an extension of a support program already available for COVID-affected businesses.

On top of this, the Red Cross has warned of a lack of access to mental health services.

For some communities, the cost of the recent floods will be a huge one to bear.

For some, it will come after the mighty effort of recovering from bushfires, and a pandemic.

Maybe now's a time, rather than finding somewhere to check in, it's a time to check up on someone.

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