Coronavirus information (posted 8 Mar, updated 11 Nov 20, updated 2 Feb 2021)

The Queensland U3A network has advised us to keep our members up-to-date on this threat, particularly as our age group is the most likely to suffer severely from this virus. So we need to arm ourselves with the latest facts from official sources, not from social media. Then we will know how best to avoid catching the disease. We should also act responsibly and spread calm and common sense amongst the community, thus avoiding a repeat of the ridiculous panic buying of toilet paper and the like!

Coronavirus gathering restrictions (posted 11 Nov 2020, updated 2 Feb 2021, updated 31 Mar 2021)

A quote from the Qld Government website and effective from 16 October, “Due to Queenslanders’ great work in keeping up physical distancing, practising good hygiene and sticking to the State’s restrictions, we can now have 40 people gather in people’s homes, non-residences and outdoor settings. This number includes those who live with you.

From 1st December, this number increases to 50.

This means in practice that there are no lawful restrictions on numbers at our events. We do need to continue to follow our Covidsafe Plan, which is to sterilize our hands, sign in and keep 1.5m apart. Do Not Attend if feeling unwell.

Update Feb 2021:

There has been no change from gathering rules since 1st December. We are still restricted to 50 people at our courses. We usually have a lot fewer than that. We still need to keep 1.5m apart and adhere to our Covid Plan.

Update Mar 2021:

The greater Brisbane area has been subjected to a number of snap lockdowns when the virus escapes into the community. These lockdowns also impact us in Far North Queensland to some extent. To find out the latest restrictions on us, visit here.

The New Normal


1. Wash hands regularly with appropriate sanitisers or soap and water. Carry a personal sanitiser pack if going out for essential reasons, and avoid touching your face if possible.

2.Maintain physical distancing (keep 1.5m apart).

3. Stay home if sick or instructed to do so (self-isolation)

4. Wear a mask if in a crowded space such as public transport.

5. Download and keep on the Covidsafe app.

6. Don’t travel to listed hotspots.

7. Get vaccinated!

Please also read these advisory documents for more information, particularly for the latest restrictions: (Click on these links)

Coronavirus, Queensland Government latest

Coronavirus (COVID-19), Australian Government

U3A is a self-help community, and individuals do need to be self-reliant, take personal responsibility and keep informed. Members need to be conscious of the potential spread of the infection in the community, and take precautions in all interactions with others, including when on public transport.

QR Codes (posted 2 Feb 2021)

QR codes are now commonplace and used by hospitality venues in particular to record patron details such as name, phone and email address. This information is collected to enable swift and thorough contact tracing, so it is for our benefit.

QR codes are accessed by either the camera or an app on a smartphone. You need to ensure your smartphone is set up to read them.

To learn more about QR codes, go to Tech Tips.

Activities to do in isolation (updated 19 May 2020)

I will be selective as to what is listed here, as I can’t fit in all your suggestions, but please keep them coming. Check back regularly. Click on the symbol or coloured text to go to the linked site for more information.

Fill in or update your Enduring Power of Attorney and Advanced Health Directive

These are “must Have” forms. There is a link to these forms under “Links to Other Sites”, or you can click ?

Keep viruses at bay!
On your tech gadgets, that is. See Tech Tips for more information.

Ever wanted to go into SPACE?
I have! Let NASA take you there simply by clicking    Have a look at the rest of the site while there for some really amazing stuff.

Download the COVIDSafe app  from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. The COVIDSafe app speeds up contacting people exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19). You need to keep Bluetooth on for it to work properly. iPhone users need to keep the battery charged and Android phones require Location Services to be on for Bluetooth to work properly. The COVIDSafe app does not record location information or track your movements. I urge everyone to have this app on their smartphones.

Get your flu shot. It is free at the doctor’s if you are over 65. You also get the stronger version.

Visit the Qld State Library
Discover free, on-line resources for a huge range of topics. For example, MAKEIT workshop plans offer introductory level 45 minute workshops on topics like film editing, mechanics and soft circuits. There are many collections relating to the experience of Queenslanders during the First World War. Kanopy has over 30,000 films to explore! The library has access to, which is an elearning subscription service that includes over 5,500 courses and 136,000 video tutorials in basic topics like Windows 10, Office 365 and Google Docs. Experts create and deliver all courses and provide exercises and work samples.

There are over 200,000 ebooks to download and read, online access to newspapers and magazines such as National Geographic from all over the world and in 30 different languages. You can learn how to trace your family history, do a photography course, etc etc etc.

Click ??  to access.

Keep a diary of your COVID19 experience (Journaling)
Ever wondered how your grandparents and great grandparents coped during the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1919? Your grandchildren and great grandchildren might wonder the same thing about you during the world-changing COVID19 pandemic way back in 2020!  My wife is keeping a diary of what we did and felt, to pass on. This is a highly recommended activity!
Keeping a diary is now called “journaling” (keeping a journal) and we are offering an on-line course on how best to do it. Click  💡 There are other benefits besides making a historical record.
Once the domain of teenage girls and the literati, journaling has become a hallmark of the so-called self-care movement, right up there with meditation. And for good reason: Scientific studies have shown it to be essentially a panacea for modern life. There are the obvious benefits, like a boost in mindfulness, memory and communication skills. But studies have also found that writing in a journal can lead to better sleep, a stronger immune system, more self-confidence and a higher I.Q. (from the New York Times ?).

Read the U3A Australia Newsletter
This is well worth reading to see what other U3A’s are doing. particularly interesting is a list of U3A online courses. Take note all you creative writers, there is a worldwide competition with $40,000 prizemoney detailed on page 14. There is also a link to four pages of activities suggested by U3A Victoria. To read, please click  🙂

Learn how to connect to the digital world.
Be Connected is an Australia wide initiative empowering all Australians to thrive in a digital world. We have online learning resources as well as a Network of community partners – the Be Connected Network – who offer in-person support so you can develop your digital skills and confidence. Find a local place for friendly help and advice, or join the Network to help others. It is free to join. Click  🙄

A must watch is this video put together by the Ravenshoe State School. They sing three songs and the video is inspiring. The final song is about Ravenshoe, which we know has gone through very tough times. Click 😎

Travel the World in your armchair.  Click 😀  You can also download the EarthCam app to your smartphone. If you want a more  exciting journey and go by (virtual) train, click  ? Make sure you cast your phone to your smart TV for an even better viewing experience.

Watch Nature and Beautiful Scenery at by clicking ?. If you open with Google Chrome and you have chromecast on your smart TV, cast to your TV.

Download Google Lens to your smartphone and use it to identify plants, flowers, insects and any other mysterious objects encountered in your (limited) travels. You can also scan the barcode on any product, e.g. a toilet roll, to find the nearest stockist and cheapest price.

Go to the Sydney Opera House. This is really good! It offers a weekly program of unmissable full-length performances, live recordings and never-before-seen footage from the Opera House archives. There is a wide variety of  topics, from interviews, live concerts, live dance and so on. I recommend watching these on your TV. Click ?. Note the program changes weekly, so keep checking.

Visit the Vancouver Aquarium. Click ?

Visit a Museum (from Enaide Freeman’s granddaughter to make sure she kept occupied)

GETTY Museum and Art Gallery  (I have been here and it is mind-blowing)

Guggenheim Bilbao Spain

Ruks Mueseum Amterdam 

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea

Musee d’Orsay Paris 

The British Museum 

MASOP SAO Paulo Brazil 

National Gallery London