REAL AUSTRALIA

We here at Real Australia have washed our hands of COVID-19

Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from ACM, which has journalists in every state and territory. Sign up here to get it by email, or here to forward it to a friend. Today's newsletter is written by ACM Executive Editor James Joyce.

Can we please have your ... Photo: Shutterstock

Can we please have your ... Photo: Shutterstock

Cough.

Ahem.

Please excuse us here at the Voice of Real Australia as we clear our throat - into our arm in a safe, responsible, Chief Medical Officer-recommended manner, of course - before making the following short community service announcement.

Dear reader, we are pleased to be able to advise that this daily update of news and views from ACM's journalists, photographers, editors and commentators around Australia is now officially virus free.

By that we mean, as of today, the Voice of Real Australia is hereby a COVID-19-free zone.

Elbow bump!

And before you ask, no, we're not drunk. We didn't overdo it on the Guinness or the Jamesons Black Barrel yesterday. Seriously, who scheduled St Paddy's Day on a school night? Slainte, BTW.

Yes, we know that we are setting ourselves a significant challenge when pretty much the full news cycle has gone, well, viral. We know that coronavirus is the single most important public health issue that Real Australia, and pretty much everyone else on the planet who wishes they were Real Australians, faces right about now.

And we know that everyone has a duty to their loved-ones, their friends, neighbours, team-mates, colleagues and, yes, even that particularly determined woman who beat you to the last pack of Sorbent at Woolies on Monday, to stay up-to-date with the latest official advice on what we can do at home, work and the shops to help slow the spread of the virus.

Like a lot of businesses, ACM has this week changed the way many of our people work. We've asked staff who can do so to consider working from home. We've cancelled non-critical travel and we've asked colleagues to adopt social distancing in their personal interactions. We believe these types of measures will help keep our people safe so we can continue to meet the needs of our audiences and advertising partners.

And yet we figure that while staying virus-savvy is important and the responsible thing to do, some of our readers, maybe most of you, also deserve a few minutes each day of splendid isolation.

This is not to say that ACM's nation-wide network of local and regional websites and newspapers will cease providing the essential updates you need on health advice from the authorities and coverage of the contagion's impact on Australia's community life and economy. Certainly not.

Before, during and after COVID-19 - as with the bushfire emergency through summer - keeping you informed and connected is what we do.

To that end, if you want to stay in (vigorously scrubbed and sanitised) touch with the latest coronavirus news and information from around the country and the globe, we've activated a twice-daily, carefully curated, easy-to-read, portion-controlled digest of what you need to know. You can read more about our COVID-19 Informed digest here or sign up hereto receive it via email.

But for your daily dose of virus-free news and views, we give you the Voice of Real Australia unmasked - now coming to you hermetically sealed, dermatologically tested and with no artificial colours or flavours.

News being news, we can't guarantee that each day's round-up of non-CV reading on issues, events and opinions will be all meerkat kitten-cute and fluffy. We'll certainly strive to accentuate the positive, like the quest to find Australia's next Corey Tutt or NT fisho Jethro Kahler's $10,000 barra. We may even resort to occasional (or, heck, maybe even too many) memes. But we will also be keeping it real.

You can see today's selection of interesting reading below. Right after this final mention - thank you, social media - of the Virus-That-Must-Not-Be-Named.

James Joyce

ACM Executive Editor

More stuff happening around Australia ...