During these days of the Covid-19 lockdown I often see solitary figures walking along the Encounter Bay beach before sunrise. People are out and about walking from about an hour before sunrise, which in late autumn is around 7am Central Australian time.
These early morning walkers do keep to the social distancing measures when they meet others during what is known as the “recovery period”--the easing of the lockdown measures. these are now being coded as a "snap back" to economic growth with a publicly subsidised gas-led recovery. Business-as-usual.
This concern with ensuring social distancing is in contrast to many in the local shopping centres during the day who act as if the pandemic is all over, and that life is now back to normal. They assume that because the infections are going down, then the pandemic is over. They do not act as if there is a possibility of a second wave coming due to increasing community transmission of the virus from the easing of the lockdown restrictions to 'get the economy moving' and people back in work. It appears that people's resolve to keep to social distancing outside the home is weakening.
There appears to be little awareness of just how contagious SARS-CoV-2 is, or how the virus has plunged the world into a mega-crisis the likes of which we have not seen in since the Spanish flu in 1918. Even though population immunity to the virus is very low and the vaccine a long way off, it appears that many people are potentially blind, or indifferent to, what could occur if there is a resurgence in the virus as lockdown measures are increasingly lifted.
The epidemiological reality is that around 85% to 90% of the population is still susceptible, the virus is amongst us, circulating much more than in January and February. What is certain is that we will not go back to where we were when the Covid-19 pandemic started. Though it is uncertain what the future will be like, we do know that without a vaccine it will be a slow recovery. Meanwhile conspiracies circulate on social media.
If the outlook is an uncertain one, then the early signs for the photographic industry are not good: the industry is in a downward spiral. Photographic businesses have closed, the fall off in sales of new digital cameras is dramatic, camera manufacturers are retrenching, and film photographers are limited to photographing locally. Will it recover, albeit slowly?