Data shows alarming COVID complacency

It might feel like it’s disappeared, but COVID-19 is still a threat, particularly to those aged 50 and over. However, new research reveals that for an alarming number of people at high risk of COVID complications, the disease has become something of an afterthought.

Winter is creeping closer, and with it the now annual spike in COVID-19 cases. It’s been a few years since we were locked in our homes, but COVID is still present in the community, perhaps even more today than in the past, thanks to the public’s cavalier attitude towards the disease.

But the same dangers COVID presented in 2020 are still a threat today, especially to those at a higher risk of complications – that is, people over 50, as well as the immunocompromised and young children. And the nation’s GPs are concerned.

Data from the federal government shows that, as of 1 March, a seven-day rolling average of 117 Australians a day were admitted to hospital with COVID-19 and 37 people were in intensive care units (ICU) with COVID-19 complications.

But we don’t seem too worried

Despite the ongoing threat, it appears the general population is just not that concerned about COVID anymore.

This was the majority attitude reflected in the COVID Community Sentiment Index, a survey of 1000 members of the public conducted by pharmaceutical company Pfizer. The survey also separately questioned 100 Australian GPs.

The research found 89 per cent of GPs reported being concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on the patients they treat, compared to only 67 per cent of the general population who expressed the same concerns about the impact of COVID-19 in their communities.

The data also showed three-quarters (74 per cent) of those at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 did not have a plan in place with their GP should they test positive for the virus.

Shockingly, nearly half (44 per cent) of those at higher risk of serious illness would not contact their GP if they tested positive, and more than half (52 per cent) said they thought they would be unable to get a GP appointment before the symptoms went away.

Dr Daniel Nour, founder of community health provider Street Side Medics, says Australians need to remain alert to the impact of the disease, especially the effects it has on more vulnerable people.

“For most, COVID-19 is no longer front of mind, but the virus is still with us and we anticipate a surge this winter,” he says.

“If someone you care about is at higher risk of serious illness – maybe an elderly parent, a neighbour, a friend – check whether they have a COVID plan in place before they test positive.“If you are among the almost one in four Australians at risk of serious illness from COVID-19, you may be eligible for antiviral medicines. But you need to act quickly – oral antiviral treatment needs to be commenced as soon as possible after testing positive for COVID-19 and within five days of symptoms starting.”

So, you need to get your COVID action plan in place now, before winter hits. Talk to your GP about what they think is your best course of action for staying healthy.

When was the last time you spoke to your GP about COVID? Have you had any COVID symptoms so far this year? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: Government initiatives launched for long COVID sufferers

Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.

Brad Lockyer
Brad Lockyer
Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.


  1. I don’t believe this survey. The vast majority of people seem to think Covid is over but supposedly 2/3rds of those ask were concerned. And almost 9/10 of GPs? I went for an operation recently and none of the other patients were wearing a mask and, apart from in the operating theatre, I saw 1 member of staff wearing one. If most people ar concerned why hasn’t clean air, masking etc been mandated in places of high risk like medical facilities, public transport and theatres etc. Covid is over to most people.

  2. Covid (or should I say the flu of 2020?) is long over and gone, at least the virulent type that was initially experienced. Any virus over time becomes endemic, more contagious but less virulent.

  3. My husband and I are in our late 70’s. Neither of us have had the Flu (renamed Covid in 2020) nor did we have the jabs. Nor do we take any medication. I get sick of all the misinformation from the government & media. It was and is all about control.

    • Absolutely totally agree. I’m 72 and refused to fall for the ‘if you’re over 60 and don’t get the jab, you will die’. During the pandemic time, I had to take a close friend to hospital numerous practically weekly, and I never wore a mask. I had 2 operations – was never once asked about my vax status – not once. This same friend is totally convinced it was jab 1 and 2 that ruined his health, and led to 3 major operations. I travelled for 6 months (only in Qld due to ludicrous border closure) – never once was a problem. I visited my 84yo aunt in an aged care place, she was treated horribly because she refused the jab: even at one stage they were saying she could no longer stay there. She was isolated and given 2nd grade care, but hey, she didn’t even get Covid, let alone die from it, and not one person at the facility died from it. (though funny enough, when one person she knew was taken to hospital for end of life care, it was said he died of covid – no, he died with it).
      My closest friend was a doctor with a very successful practice. She sold it, retired at 54, because she could not go along with all the nonsense. Now, I come across so many friends and acquaintances who say their biggest regret was being conned into having the jab.
      I’ve never had the flu jab, in 22 years, never even had a cold. I am so sick and tired of this continual scare mongering.

  4. Still no mention of the obvious. Check your vitamin d levels! If not in the well above average range start taking it now, because it takes 60 days to increase levels to a good level if they are low.
    Use an antiviral nasal spray before and after all indoor events.
    Take zinc. Wash hands. Don’t hug everyone.

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