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Part paranoia. Part common sense.

Turns out if we ever have to move to an underground community to survive, I’m probably not going to be on bread baking duty.
I attempted and failed miserably a couple of days ago. On the up side, what I did produce could be used in combat to knock someone out cold. Leaving it to the professionals, I trotted down to Bakers Delight with my hand sanitiser, stood behind tape on the floor marking 1.5 meters from the counter and kept my social distance from the other customers. The new normal.


I’ve always had a good level of hygiene. I like things clean but I’ve never been a germaphobe so I’m finding my awareness of ‘germs being EVERYWHERE’ a very strange revelation. Keen to get my bread and get the hell out of there, I was just about to hover my card over the card reader (no contact, of course) when a man burst past me, coughing a phlegmy cough and wiping his face with his hands, into the taped off no-go-zone. He then put his hands on the counter top and leant over it to ask for his baked goods.

I watched as the stunned staff stepped back a little and one brave soul reluctantly took his order. No-one said anything but the look exchanged to me by one of the staff was of complete horror. She seemed scared. I wanted to shower immediately, as if I could feel the weight of his cough as it hit my shoulder. Even under normal circumstances this would have been a pretty gross event but now it seems almost criminal. Especially when you hear of people using their cough as a weapon.

Thanks to social media, the news and general fear-mongering, this is how I witnessed the event…


Am I being over the top? Probably. Would I normally react this way? I’d be a little grossed out, yep for sure, but the scene would be different. Less on edge. No one would care as much or worry about their family becoming critically sick because someone next to them needed to cough.

Common Sense

The moral of the story is that a good level of fear is keeping us safe by making us follow a set of rules impacting our hygiene. Less contact = less germ spread. It’s a fantastic marketing concept, if indeed that was the intention.

I do wonder if the impact of this pandemic will have a generational influence on societal behaviour. For example, people who lived through World Wars 1 and 2 were (and I generalise here…) very thrifty with money, a little paranoid about other nationalities and always prepared for a rainy day ‘just incase’. Their life lessons were instilled in their ‘baby boomer’ children but became more watered down in the generations that followed.

It’ll be interesting to see how this once-in-a-100-year pandemic influences future generations and moulds our decision making behaviour. Will we see a change in marketing trends? We’re certainly seeing a change in the way existing and new customers are using the internet in terms of what and how much we buy online. But will this continue after the pandemic? Watch this space I guess!

For now, let’s keep a little healthy fear or paranoia (not too much though), remember it’s not forever and wash our damn hands.

Stay healthy everybody!




Ness Kelly specialises in design strategy and creative content
Get in touch if would like to chat with our team about creative content or design strategy via email or phone on 9682 4609


Need to learn how to ‘Wash yo Damn Hands’?

We’ve developed a hand washing resource written in the likeness of the gold chain wearing, tough talking, street smart’n king of tough – Mr. T.  If you’re born after the year 2000 and you have no idea who i’m talking about, firstly I feel sorry for your loss. Secondly, you need to watch this clip immediately.

If you’d like a printable copy of this, email us or fill in the form below and we’ll send you one.


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Feel free to chat with us about other design related projects. We’re happy to help.
Although you can’t visit us in the office right now, feel free to get in touch:

Phone: 03 9682 4609


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