The good news for today is that Australia is flattening the curve after a week of lockdown. However, it's not a time to rejoice and celebrate as yet. It's time to be even more diligent so as not to reverse the sacrifices of the good citizens of Australia. Well done us! However, we are further advised to stay home this Easter to save lives and keep on decreasing the number of new cases each day.
The Australian Government dictates that there are only 4 reasons to leave the house. A) to shop for necessary groceries, B) to attend a medical appointment, C) to go to work if necessary and 4) to exercise. However, loitering is not condoned and it does us well not to flout the rules. Get what you need to get done and get out of there. I started paying conscious attention to what happens in reality as I walked down the street to the chemist and the shops today, and I was appalled at the dangers out there in the simple things.
I have resorted to looking people straight in the eye if I see them heading towards me a little too close for comfort; putting my right arm straight out to the sides, fingertips pointed, to give them an indication of how far away they should be from me. Now is not the time to be embarrassed when it could mean life or death for the community. It's astonishing how many people there are who do not pay attention to distancing by 1.5metres. I do my best to be on hyper alert at all times and I share my experience of just one day with you. The reality is that it was just two hours return on foot. I came home vowing to be out there even less if that's possible. Start paying attention and see if you see what I see.
Two people meet (it's obvious they're not family or friends; perhaps acquaintances); they keep the required social distance apart. Then they start talking about what they found on the internet. One leans in and grabs the phone off the other to have a look, and in the background - because I decided to pay super attention today; I was horrified. Phones passing from one hand to the other; not something that may be obvious to you, but still a no-no.
Then I arrive at the chemist. I'm wary and always looking around to make sure everyone is a good distance away from me. One of the employees walks in, says excuse me, and brushes RIGHT PAST ME through the gap created between the prescription counter and myself. I looked wide-eyed at the chemist (more like an alarmed eye-ball popping stare which he picked up on), and I needed to say no more. He knew exactly what I meant! For this to happen in a place that should be even more aware is horrendous. Once I moved on and got into the shopping centre, the place was like a minefield. I couldn't wait to get out of there. The aisles just aren't big enough to be 1.5metres apart from the other person.
Here's my little mental checklist I came up with after today. Perhaps you can add to the list in the comments as I'm sure there's tonnes I've not thought about. I'm still shuddering at the horrors of a two hour jaunt out into the big wide world.
Keep 1.5metres apart from others and make sure they adhere to the same rules.
Don't make grocery shopping a family outing; 1 trolley, 1 person.
When shopping, remember, many hands have touched everything you're touching, including the trolley and so on.
Don't loiter; get the job done and get out of there.
Wash yours hands frequently for a singalong 20 seconds.
Wash your hands as soon as you walk in the door from anywhere.
Remove your shoes at the door if possible.
Carry a hand-sanitiser if you're not going to get to soap and water in a hurry; which should be the first choice.
Cover your coughs & sneezes with your elbow or a tissue & straight into the bin it goes. Should you even be out?
Avoid touching your face or eyes, nose and mouth.
Clean and disinfect frequently used objects and surfaces, keeping in mind it's uncertain if coronaviruses survive on the surface a few hours or a few days.
Avoid physical greetings.
Use tap and go instead of cash.
Wear a mask if you feel the need to, but be aware incorrect use of face masks could lead to more infection as people can't seem to stop touching and adjusting the mask and even removing it to speak, then putting it back on. The front of the mask could be picking up different pathogens which you are then touching and passing on to yourself and others by touching surfaces.
Wearing gloves does not mean not having to wash your hands.
Pay attention when getting takeaway coffee - make sure the barista has not handled someone else's cash and used the same glove to make your coffee and hand it to you.
If you're having takeaway food, be sure it's from an establishment you trust practices good hygiene when preparing and handling food.
Be aware when receiving a parcel at the door from the postman that it has been handled and take appropriate measures.
Would it be going too far if you thought of every surface as containing the coronavirus and react accordingly?
Thankfully there are those like Jen who are vigilant and thoughtful and probably the majority trying their best. We have to be because some are sadly thoughtless or selfish. Not going too far to consider every delivered/ bought item that enters the house as potentially contaminated and needs taken to the decontamination room AKA the laundry for washing in soapy water, leaving non washable ones untouched for 3-4-5 days( letters, cardboard egg cartons etc) We have quickly adapted to this new time consuming routine and it is now the new normal ! Best wishes to all.