Very little social distancing on Bondi Beach on Friday as the temperature reached 34C degrees. But are we any better at it in the Clarence Valley? Picture: Jonathan Ng
Very little social distancing on Bondi Beach on Friday as the temperature reached 34C degrees. But are we any better at it in the Clarence Valley? Picture: Jonathan Ng

Is the Clarence too complacent about coronavirus?

WHEN the world first took notice of the coronavirus earlier this year, and we began to see the insidious consequences of it in China and how easily it spread, it was scary stuff.

Mainly because the self-discipline required to try to contain it was enormous.

From down here in Australia, the epicentre of lifestyle freedoms, mucking about and ‘she’ll be right mate’, I thought when it reaches here, we’re stuffed.

From the limited behaviours I’ve seen, when popping out to grab some groceries late at night or a takeaway coffee from the acceptable social distancing recommended, these fears have not been alleviated in the slightest.

While we may not have any ‘official’ cases in the Clarence yet, it doesn’t mean it’s not here.

With testing result lags and no symptom carriers a thing, you would be mad, and frankly irresponsible, to go about your day with the same flippancy you did a fortnight ago.

As of this week, The Daily Examiner staff are all working remotely, accepting the recommended culture of flattening the curve, a crucial manoeuvre that is already proven to be successful in virus-aware countries like Singapore and South Korea.

As I write this, Australia has surpassed 800 confirmed cases and seven deaths, and according to experts we are still on the same trajectory as countries like the United States, which just doubled its figures in two days, fast approaching 15,000 infected and more than 200 dead.

So it’s disappointing to see, with all the information out there and technology to access it, we are still ignoring basic minimal-damage practices as we move around.

In the short encounters had this week, I’ve seen adults, including older people, carrying on as if nothing’s happening.

Coughing all over the place, walking you into corners or bragging about knowing someone being in isolation while deep in conversation two hand spans away.

As I keep having to tell people, you don’t have to feel sick to work from home.

You do it to stay out of the way of other people as best you can as a pre-emptive measure.

We won’t stop it arriving here, but you don’t have to make it any easier by being a dick about it.



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