Conversations | 2. Dr Simon Towler – Pandemics and resilient communities

By Donna Shepherd AM • Managing Director
• Conversations

Dr Simon Towler was Western Australia’s Chief Medical Officer in 2009 when the world faced the prospect of a global swine flu pandemic.

And while that threat pales in comparison to the impact that coronavirus is having across the world, he says WA medical authorities learnt a lot from the experience about how to prepare for a pandemic. And that information is being put to good use now to minimise the effects on West Australians.

In his contribution to Creating Communities’ Stronger Together series of video conversations, Simon offers some timely and useful advice on dealing with a coronavirus shutdown and the prospect of spending a lot of time isolated in our homes.

He says our personal response to the pandemic should always put the priority on the community, because the behaviour of each individual will have significant repercussions on those around us. This means being strict about observing hygiene guidelines and only venturing out from our homes when necessary to keep physical contact with others to a minimum.

Dr Simon Towler is an intensive care specialist at Fiona Stanley Hospital and a former WA Chief Medical Officer and Australian Medical Association WA president. He has more than 30 years’ experience as a medical practitioner across a range of fields.

This is the second in Creating Communities’ series of video conversations with prominent Australians offering insights and wisdom on coping with the challenges this pandemic presents for all of us. It is a key part of our “Stronger Together” approach to the COVID-19 crisis as we work to bring people and communities together to help each other through this testing time.