'We need to step up': Community's love for frontline workers
THE people of Ipswich are rallying to support frontline workers as they respond to the coronavirus pandemic, sending kind words and food their way to give them a lift in trying times.
Businesses and members of the community are doing their bit to give health workers a boost.
Indian Tadka restaurant in Augustine Heights is just one business who has arranged for meals to be sent to Ipswich Hospital.
Lunch packs, complete with rice, curry and naan bread, have been sent off to hospital staff.
Despite facing their own troubles due to COVID-19, they are also donating food to homeless people and offering free meals for university students.
Boxes have been set up in the restaurant, with customers who come in to pick up takeaway meals encouraged to pop in food to be passed on to charity.
"Everybody is struggling at the moment and businesses are also struggling," owner Sid Tripathi said.
"We've run the business for two-and-a-half years and we have gotten a lot of love from the local community.
"Instead of thinking about profit and putting money in our pocket, we need to step up and give it back to the community.
"(Health workers) are the the ones standing between us and this crisis. Together we can build a better community. We are trying to do our part to contribute in this crisis time."
West Moreton Health chief executive Dr Kerrie Freeman said there had been wonderful support for frontline and support staff, who were busy ensuring the community's safety.
"This is impacting the lives of every single person in this community in some way,' she said.
"Despite the disruption and concern that it has caused many, it has not stopped people from thinking of others.
"Our staff are busy ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the West Moreton community and people from all walks of life are letting us know that they appreciate us, that they are thinking of us, and that is wonderful at a time like this.''
Hand-drawn messages of support from students at schools including Ipswich Grammar School, West Moreton Anglican College and St Mary's Primary School have been displayed around the wards.
Many other businesses and individuals have arranged for meals, along with kind notes, to be sent to Ipswich Hospital as well as rural hospitals in Boonah, Esk, Gatton and Laidley to help keep them energised.
"We are lucky to serve truly great communities throughout West Moreton, who are right now getting behind the people who are working day and night to keep them safe," Dr Freeman said.
Dr Freeman thanked the public for their help during the pandemic by staying home except for essential trips and observing physical distancing rules to limit transmissions.
"Although we are practising physical distancing it is important we remain connected to each other, particularly those who are vulnerable or feeling anxious," she said.
"Emotional support is so important at this time and I would encourage the community to follow the lead set by these lovely students and think of non-physical ways you can connect with others and let them know you care."
Read more stories from Lachlan McIvor.