It is now three weeks since a shot was fired across the bow of the Eyre Peninsula community, a wake-up call if you like, in the current COVID-19 crisis.
As was reported at the time, a group of nearly 200 mostly EP grain-growers gathered at the Rambler clubrooms in Cummins on March 17 to discuss various port proposals and how such a development might impact the local supply chain. Remember, this was three weeks ago, when the recommendation at the time was to limit gatherings to 500 people or fewer!
A visitor to that meeting discovered toward the end of the afternoon that he had been in contact with a work colleague who had tested positive to COVID-19. That same visitor announced some six days later, following a subsequent swab test, that he also had tested positive.
This resulted in all meeting attendees directed by SA Health to be in self-isolation for the ensuing week. A small number of those who were at the meeting and were deemed to be ‘close contacts’ of the individual who tested positive (myself included) were also able to access a swab test, the results of which were to be available within about 48 hours.
Given that people had travelled from all over Eyre Peninsula to attend the meeting and had some contact at least with the broader community during the interim period, it goes without saying that the whole of EP was put in a ‘bit of a spin’. Fortunately, those who had undergone testing as a result of the meeting, all returned a negative test. There was to be no spread of the virus from that meeting.
Obviously, the world has changed significantly since March 17, and such a meeting would not be allowed under the current Government directives for gatherings and social activity. But the entire situation brought home to us all how much at risk we are to the spread of this highly transmissible virus, no matter where we live. COVID-19 is now sweeping the world with devastating consequences – and that is why it is critical we ALL listen and adhere to Government directives in relation to travel and social distancing.
Take care and stay safe.