Pandemic leave is an essential element to help minimise the risk of a second wave of coronavirus in Tasmania.
The leave is an effective way for us to move to introduce preventative measures.
On Friday, Premier Peter Gutwein called for the federal government to extend the scheme currently operating in Victoria.
Rather than deal with the economic chaos caused when large sections of the community are forced into shutdown, it is a chance to get in front of the situation.
Giving people the ability to stay home if they have symptoms of COVID-19 is essential in stemming the spread.
Staying home and seeking testing when having the slightest cold symptoms is a new concept for many.
Yet, many professions have demonstrated that working from home is viable.
But there are many Tasmanians who will either run out of leave entitlements or never had the leave in the first place.
Parents will be taking sick leave for themselves and to care for their children when they need to stay home from school.
For the many Tasmanians in the casual workforce – staying home or going to work with flu symptoms could mean making a decision not to pay bills or going against health advice.
The Victorian situation has demonstrated that many casual workers continued to go to work because they needed the money to survive.
Unfortunately, some employers were also unrelenting.
Others have introduced pandemic leave for staff to access if forced to isolate.
If all workers can confidently know they are right to stay home until, given the all-clear, it should help to arrest the spread of the virus.
Until we have a vaccine, our way of living will continue to evolve as we find a balance between protecting our health and attempting to return what will be a new normal.
We will come out the other side of this pandemic together until then we must adapt and embrace change, knowing it saves lives.