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The fatigue of the second corona wave in Victoria

Mark Fletcher
July 24th, 2020 · 11 Comments

The second wave of coronavirus infections in Victoria this month is a challenge for all Victorians. It is especially challenging for retailers and their team members.

Before getting into some of the challenges, my view is that masks are essential, not only in Victoria but New South Wales, too, based on the numbers. Bill Bowtell, one of the experts who guided the Australian response to HIV/AIDS, called for mask wearing early in the pandemic. he was right.

The new mask rules in Victoria have not been welcomed by everyone.

Dealing with customers who are not wearing a mask but demand to shop, yelling and even pushing, is difficult. While there is the option to call the police, the need is more immediate. I’ve told our people that if there is a risk and it is the only option, closing the shop until the situation has passed is okay. Older customers are more likely to be angry than younger in our experience, more demanding, more likely to lie about why they don’t have to wear a mask. It is disappointing to see.

The fatigue of the second wave is considerable. You can see it from shoppers, hear it in the voices of suppliers, and more. It is testing the supply chain, too, with some wholesalers closing until this wave passes.

The fatigue of retailers is readily obvious in shopping malls. From the signs on closed shops to comments from some who are open.

The biggest contributor to fatigue in my view is mixed messages. These are put about by politicians and non health expert commentators, often leveraging a News Corp platform. In Victoria, for example, the opposition decided early on to deal with corona by daily attacks on the government. Loud attacks, emotive. First it was criticism for the first lockdown. Then it was open up, open the schools, open business. Then it was shut everything down and make us safe.

All this shouty stuff from politicians and the likes to Bolt, Jones and Credlin harms people and puts them on edge and this plays out into retail as people feel empowered to be disagreeable and shouty too.

Our retail spaces, our work places, benefit from calm. In situations where achieving this is challenging it is no wonder shop retailers close for the duration.

As business owners our priority has to be for a safe workplace where our employees are not put at risk. By far is is the top priority. The fatigue of the second wave makes this challenging to achieve and maintain.


Category: Ethics · Social responsibility

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Colin // Jul 24, 2020 at 9:03 AM

    Not a fan of likes of Jones, Bolt and Credlin. But their message is gaining traction. Government officials are repeatedly failing, not so much on strategy, but on implementation. Which is 90% of strategy.

    The sheer incompetence of hotel quarantine in Victoria makes the bushfire fiasco and Ruby Princess lies look like a bad day in the office.

    If the result is second lost tourist season and second disrupted education year, Victorians might like to consider the economic damage their state has inflicted on all.

    Some humility from Victoria wouldn’t go amiss. The State has let everyone down.


  • 2 Mark Fletcher // Jul 24, 2020 at 9:59 AM

    If you watch the full dan Andrews press conferences and not the new grabs, he has apologies and shown humility about the situation.

    My view is let’s see what the judicial inquiry uncovers. Also, governments don’t spread this virus, people do.


  • 3 Peter // Jul 24, 2020 at 10:19 AM

    Very poor comment Colin. Last time I checked my nationality was Australian, not Victorian.Bolt, Jones etc have built their careers on divisiveness. The pandemic is manna from heaven for their stock routine. Melbourne along with Sydney receives the bulk of returning overseas travellers requiring quarantine. Whilst there may indeed have been failures in the Melbourne quarantine process to lump all Victorians with blame is very unfair. This virus does not discriminate and early outbreaks could be traced to wealthy overseas travellers and cruise ship passengers. Other states need not be so smug, this pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint and mistakes can be made anywhere. We need to work together and the blame game and partisan politics need to be put aside.


  • 4 James // Jul 24, 2020 at 11:35 AM

    Ive watched all the Andrews press conferences in full.

    Hes apologised that the situation is what it is.

    At no stage has he apologised for his or any of his Minister’s actions or in any way accepted any of the blame for putting Vuictoria in the position it is today.

    In fact hes blamed every Victorian other than himself for whats happening.

    As we’ve learnt today, the Governments own advice was that if you had done a test and were not showing any symptoms, there was no need to self isolate.

    I was very supportive of his early actions. But he took his eye off the ball and it has got away from him.


  • 5 Graeme Day // Jul 24, 2020 at 11:54 AM

    Who cares Who’s to Bless and Whose to Blame.
    We are all Australians and we need to co operate. However the National Body is a mixture of State authority and Federal.
    each State needs to abide by each vof its own rules and the other State need to respect this.
    No one has crystal ball except that the future will be worse economically than before COVID how bad who knows.
    Effictive and careful healthy productivity should be the greatest goal and the most immediate one.
    We have had bigger deficits before and many recessions This is just another one to overcome. Key factor is co-operation for a common goal-identiftying the common goal seems to be a tad vague to say the least.


  • 6 Mark Fletcher // Jul 24, 2020 at 12:28 PM

    James, he has actually said “I am the Premier. This falls to me. I accept responsibility.”

    I am of the view that his leadership though this has been and continues to be exemplary.


  • 7 Paul // Jul 24, 2020 at 2:25 PM

    It is a bad crisis playing out but you guys can keep your premiers and we will keep Mark McGowan


  • 8 Peter // Jul 24, 2020 at 4:13 PM

    Don’t understand your comment Paul. I find the idea of parochialism and blame in a time of national crisis very poor form. If WA was in crisis I would be very sympathetic and want our state to help you.

    We are all Australians, Mark McGowan was born in New South Wales and educated in Queensland.


  • 9 Paul // Jul 24, 2020 at 4:25 PM

    Not a lot to understand Peter, Mark has done a great job while the other premiers maybe not so good. He has resisted the big state premiers to open up our boarders and he hasn’t
    Im sure we are all sympathetic to all who is affected by this crisis and Peter WA will be the state that helps the others recover


  • 10 Mark Fletcher // Jul 24, 2020 at 4:31 PM

    I think Mark McGowan has done an excellent job. Indeed, I think every state premier has, as has the prime minister.

    Corona has been challenging and I think people have had the best interests of Australians at heart, for the most part.

    The main pressure for opening borders has been from News Corp commentators in print and on TV, not other premiers.

    I don’t see it as helpful for any parochialism in the discussion. It is early days for corona. Around that next bend could be unforeseen challenges.


  • 11 Peter // Jul 24, 2020 at 5:13 PM

    Mark McGowan is blessed with a relatively small population spread over a large area with low comparative density in Perth. WA also has a much smaller airport and very few returning travellers requiring quarantining. Like most politicians he’ll put his hand up and say it was all his doing and make comparisons with other states for political mileage. What we really want is bi-partisan support across all states. WA’s time for need will come again, be it during the pandemic or the next mining crisis. We will be there for you again.


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