Complacency is the enemy within

Small baby steps, maybe, but it does appear that we are gradually beginning to see a relaxation of some COVID-19 lockdown measures.

Welcome as this news is, it’s still important that we remain vigilant. There is an enemy out there just as dangerous as the virus itself: complacency.

The daily briefings from Downing Street show that the key measures about the virus are steadily going in the right direction, though the number of deaths remains horrifying. This relative success is significantly down to the public (you and me) following some basic principles.

Social isolation for those with symptoms, or at high risk;
Self-distancing for those who leave their household, for essential activities; and
Maintaining good hand hygiene.

As we tread gently into the future, where we may have to share our environment with the virus for a while yet, those three principles should remain in place.

We will, over time, emerge from our homes and return to schools, workplaces, shops, and hospitality businesses. They will adapt their physical layouts to make them safe places to visit, but our behaviour in these buildings is important too. It is at this very moment that complacency can become a huge risk.

No matter what policies various governments, institutions and authorities bring forward to allow us more freedom to participate in society, we have a personal responsibility to manage the virus.

Many soldiers have lost their lives to snipers as they move through territory they believe is under their control. Football teams often concede a goal immediately after scoring themselves. Accidents in the home are frequently down to not following basic safety instructions.

We cannot afford to take our eye off the ball (to slip in another sporting analogy).

Just like the enemy sniper, the opposing centre-forward and the wobbly laddecomplexses (not just COVID-19) are just waiting for that opportunity to strike. Don’t give them that chance.

Stick to the principles.

“If it were not so frightening it would be amusing to observe the pride and complacency with which we, like children, take apart the watch, pull out the spring and make a toy of it, and are then surprised when the watch stops working” Leo Tolstoy

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