OPINION: Beware dangers of COVID complacency

Raelene HallMidwest Times
An empty hand sanitiser station frustrates customers at a Perth supermarket.
Camera IconAn empty hand sanitiser station frustrates customers at a Perth supermarket. Credit: Raelene Hall/Supplied

I walked into a shopping centre in Perth and went to sanitise my hands at the hand sanitiser station in the doorway only to find both sides empty.

There were also very few people even bothering to use the dispenser and most were just walking straight into the shopping centre.

The COVID-19 drama that was evolving when we left Perth in March to head back to the station seems to have been completely forgotten by the majority.

While there are plenty of physical distancing signs around and markings on floors for people to stand on to ensure social distancing, I have seen many instances of it being ignored.

While waiting for hubby to have a CT scan I was sitting in the end seat of a row of four.

The two middle seats had big signs requesting people to leave these seats free to ensure social distancing.

When a woman opted to ignore the signs and sit on one of them I decided I’d prefer to wait outside.

Interestingly, the one area in which people seem to be very nervous about sitting in close proximity to others is public transport. I’ve seen numerous buses go past with only one or two passengers on board, regardless of the time of day.

I find it quite daunting to have to deal with business through a Perspex screen. I understand the reason for it and if I worked in the public arena I’d want the same but it feels so impersonal.

There are still people who don’t even respect that and will step over the line to stand on and lean all over the counter. So frustrating for those behind it.

We haven’t been to any restaurants since arriving in Perth this time but have heard many anecdotes of people not being able to social distance at a restaurant and so we’ve opted not to eat there.

The food court where we met family for a coffee had cards on the tables indicating how many people were allowed per table and instead of chairs there were small stools, presumably to also ensure space between patrons.

WA has done very well in terms of controlling the coronavirus up to this point but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if we had a second wave here.

I certainly hope not, but the complacency of people should be a very real concern to everyone.

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