We’ve been really lucky here in Australia as we’ve had very few cases of the Coronavirus and our state governments, in particular, have gotten onto any COVID cases or ‘outbreaks’ (as we call them with some good ol’ Aussie exaggeration) very quickly. The latest in my state of Queensland – four community contracted cases announced yesterday – resulted in a lockdown of our state’s capital and increased distancing requirements throughout the rest of the Queensland while contact tracing goes ahead.
Because our cases have been pretty sporadic, details involving most individual cases are lapped up by the media. I’m conscious that wouldn’t happen if we had hundreds or thousands of cases but just a few means that our health departments and media outlets diligently share the movements of those testing positive.
And it feels a bit like voyeurism. Or some kind of porn. We all learn exactly where people have gone, and many pour over the details.
There are jokes and observations and (disappointingly) judgement.
My favourite joke is one about the fact that Bunnings (a large handyman and hardware store chain) seems to be a common factor linking most cases. I laughed out loud at that but also nodded in recognition that soooo many infected people seem to visit Bunnings. Of course I realise it’s a reflection of people’s habits in general, but still…
To date my area hasn’t been impacted by any of these cases and I’ve been focused on life after covid, but like many I look at the lists and make observations…
God, they went to three grocery stores over the weekend.
Holy shit, they spent two hours in Aldi.
Wow, they ate takeaway every night.
I wonder at the social lives of some but note that many like me joke about how boring our itineraries would be.
Did. Not. Leave. The. House.
It’s a weird insight into others’ lives we’d normally not have. Making us all anthropologists examining the habits of our fellow humans. I wonder what it’s like for those whose lives are being examined. Would you be tempted about how many times you went to the bottle shop?
I hate that many can be so judgemental. Most people’s movements are traced from before they were tested or diagnosed so they haven’t knowingly been out infecting the populace on purpose. After all, we could be next and then others will be analysing and judging our movements.
Which reminds me, I must start tracking my time better.
Went from bedroom to the fridge.
What would your contact tracing look like?
*Image by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash.