TOO CLOSE: A group of young people socialise at Mooloolaba on Sunday. Photo: Supplied
TOO CLOSE: A group of young people socialise at Mooloolaba on Sunday. Photo: Supplied

Back it up: GP fears youth not keeping their distance

SUNSHINE Coast GP Dr Stephen Gipps felt he had to say something when he saw about a dozen young people sitting shoulder-to-shoulder on a Mooloolaba picnic table on Sunday.

The Suncoast Christian Medical Centre practitioner said the group, in their late teens or early 20s, didn't seem to fully understand social distancing guidelines brought in to curb the spread of coronavirus.

He approached the group to highlight their close proximity to each other and received a quick response "we are out in the open".

"The misconception the outdoors is better is not quite true," Dr Gipps said.

GOOD DISTANCE: Crowds on Mooloolaba Beach keep a safe distance on Sunday.
GOOD DISTANCE: Crowds on Mooloolaba Beach keep a safe distance on Sunday.

He said the virus was predominantly spread through contact, not the air.

"Younger people are either not getting the message or think they will only get a mild case," Dr Gipps said.

He said that was an irresponsible approach considering their potential to expose others more at risk of developing severe symptoms.

"A lot of them may well be carrying it or spreading it," he said.

"The young are the ones who largely don't know they have got it."

He said there needed to be a shift in thinking.

"We should view it with the assumption you are positive until proven otherwise," he said.

"That is the only way we are going to curb the spread."


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