Failing the attitude test (HLD 395)

24 April 2021

The area where I live is currently in a snap COVID lockdown. As I’ve said before, we are in a very fortunate part of the world regarding this virus, but this doesn’t mean we don’t act fast when the sniff of an outbreak happens.

It was announced last night that from

midnight, we would enter a three day lockdown – only leaving home for food shopping, medical reasons, exercise or work if you have to. And we once again have to wear masks.

This will not come as any surprise to people throughout the world who have been doing this for long periods of time. But for us, we have been going about our lives as is nothing much is happening apart from international travel no longer happening.

A few times, we’ve had this sniff of a virus outbreak, and we do this little lockdown. Generally speaking, West Australians are very good when we have these lockdowns. I mean – it’s only for a little while, and even though we aren’t used to wearing masks, we can put up with it for a little while.

Most of us.

The photo that goes with today’s bit of diarrhoea is my friend Jill and I at the dog park yesterday, two hours before we were told we HAD to be wearing masks. We were told that there were a couple of cases, and so it didn’t really matter to us that we didn’t legally HAVE to be wearing them yet. It’s just sensible.

Now I’m not going to lie – I find mask wearing a bit uncomfortable, to be honest. It gets hot and sweaty, and depending on the type of mask you’re wearing, you can feel as if the entire mask is being sucked into your nostrils with each breath.

But there’s a reason for it. Sure, for us, we are in a relatively low risk environment, but the risk is there. The health authorities ask us to act in a certain way for a certain period of time, to minimise the risk to ourselves and others in our community. So we do.

Most of us.

In their wisdom, the authorities yesterday told us what was happening, and gave the 6pm mask wearing and midnight lockdown timeframe – mainly to give them time to get set up. It meant that a couple of scheduled sporting games went ahead with an audience anyway. People were told that, while they couldn’t be restricted from going, from 6pm they’d have to be wearing masks.

Apparently, according to the police commissioner, generally people obeyed the mask rule. Apart from one who was fined – for ‘failing the attitude test’.

I love that line.

Today we have been going about our allowed one hour exercise (the dogs all still need draining), observing other people going about their own exercise.

People doing strenuous physical exercise are allowed to not wear masks while they are exercising, while the rest of us have to wear our masks when out of our homes. The majority are doing the right thing, but It’s very interesting to see who is failing the attitude test.

We have prided ourselves during this pandemic for always doing what was asked of us, for the benefit of the wider community.

We can physically distance.

We can wear masks.

We can work from home.

We can cough into our elbows.

We can wash our hands thoroughly and sanitise our hands as often as possible.

But only for a little while, obviously.

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