Complacency and Thoughtlessness Heightens Risk

Complacency and Thoughtlessness Heightens Risk

When we can plan, when we can feel surety.

Covid-19 has made stability and security a thing that can’t be relied upon in this day and age.  As we try to project or plan into the future there are interruptions and changes. This, has become a thing of the past.  Life is not going to be the same again.  I often wonder, when will normality begin, when will things be stable and predictable; when we can plan, when we can feel surety.  These are many unanswered questions.

From day to day and hour to hour we are not sure what changes may occur.  Our living arrangements or the last time we see colleagues in person, or another are unknown, as this virus spreads.  This is compounded when the seriousness of the virus and repercussions are either ignored or misunderstood.

Complacency or Thoughtlessness?  Do you have a story to tell?

This is a story I hear recently, which is of importance to those sharing households.  It demonstrates a need to be mindful.

A few weeks ago, a housemate found herself homeless following the thoughtlessness of her housemate.  The latter, whom I will call John, was sent home from work in the northern part of the city as covid-19 cases were identified in a café near his workplace.  John left work, then informed his housemate that he was home and related the circumstances.  John hadn’t gone for a covid-19 test although he was in the hot spot, had caught public transport, which included two buses and a train to get home.

In the meantime, his housemate worked as an essential worker and had a specialised project to complete in a specific time frame.  If this housemate, whom I will call Jill would return to their shared accommodation and John would have a positive covid-19 result, it would impact the whole section of her workplace.  This significant project would be on hold with serious consequences as this was a specialist field that Jill worked in.

It was a Friday, and at the end of the shift Jill found herself stuck with nowhere to go.  A friend then suggested they go out for dinner while Jill waited to hear back on the covid-19 test results.  By midnight there was no results.  Jill’s friend had to leave as he was working an early shift the next day. 

A few work colleagues were aware of the situation and kept in contact with Jill.  When they heard of her predicament, they invited her to spend the night.  To cut a long story short, one night became 5 nights of total inconvenience and Jill living out of her car.  This experience had a significant impact on Jill, who was already working long hours on a complex project and was only half way through a crucial stage of the project.  The homeless experience coupled with work-related protocol in the circumstance put a lot of pressure on Jill and ruined the trust in her housemate due to his thoughtlessness. .

“Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” ~ Warren Buffett

A few weeks ago, media reports alleges that a group of teenagers from hotspots in Sydney came to party at Blacksmith beach, which put Newcastle and the Hunter on alert.  This followed reports of identified cases of covid-19 infections and exposure sites in various schools, a shopping centre, the university and the community which may have related to that group.  This resulted in queues for covid-19 testing, which were long causing extended waiting times as the available resources were stretched.  A

A last-minute supermarket shopping spree was reported having a long queue outside the supermarket, with no physical distancing, with an effort to meet the deadline of the lockdown at 5.00pm on Thursday 5 August 2021. 

Later there was a media report of two women that were from the hot spots in Sydney visiting various venues in Newcastle CBD and a suburb.  These venues were reported as exposure site which prompted covid-19 testing for those who visited the locations..

“Even a correct decision is wrong when it was taken too late.” ~ Lee IacoccaThe most serious blunder was the vaccine allocation, which was retracted from regional areas by the government to vaccinate Year 12 students in the South West Sydney. Firstly, Newcastle was on the fringes of a hot spot which was the Central Coast area, on the main highway about 40 minutes away.  Newcastle being a larger city contributes to significant industry and regional service with many essential workers. 

This situation found essential workers and the venerable communities of Newcastle and the Hunter scrambling to sources vaccines and vaccinate.  Those that had done the right thing and booked vaccination appointments several weeks earlier had their appointments cancelled and were demoralised.  Many made it known through social media that they had lost trust and hope in the government to manage the pandemic and their decision in a time when the highest risk had hit the city with dire consequences to health and livelihood.

Currently the whole of NSW is in Lockdown

The question is: Where and why are we failing?   Why haven’t we learnt from the rest of the world?  When we have had the opportunities to plan, implement and set contingency plans.  How and why were we scrambling to get the testing done and the results delivered promptly?  The percentage of the vaccinated is negligible, given other countries are in the processes of administering a third dose of the vaccines.

Should there be more educations to prevent and better manage the spread of the current virus which has greater consequences given that it is highly contagious, the low vaccination rate in the country and that people of all age groups.

Should there be better representation of those at the grassroots in the decision making on vaccine distribution and the management strategy of covid-19.  Is it a case of seeing is believing or what we don’t know don’t hurt?

“What we learn from history is that people don’t learn from history.” ~ Warren Buffett

SafeWork NSW Inspectors focus on the building & Construction Industry
Picture of Faith Eeson

Faith Eeson

Faith has over 20 years experience working in a large government organisations; medium and small business organisations with roles from administration, Workplace Safety Management System (OHSMS); Injury Management and Rehabilitation; Safety Audit; Records Management, Investigation and Training. Faith has owned and managed various business such as boutiques, retail stores and currently a commercial cleaning service and safety management businesses.



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