I was more than a little surprised when I went for a Covid Test in Warrnambool how central the testing station was in Lava Street. Considering I had to be in isolation until cleared walking through a crowded busy street didn’t seem appropriate but worse still was no parking provided or at least available.
On getting a parking spot (I had driven 25 minutes to get there) I realised I would have to use one of Warrnambool’s dreaded parking machines. You can’t just drop a coin in but have to enter your registration number, parking zone, etc. So if I did have Covid 19 I have been spreading it over the keypads on a hard surface for all to catch. I rang Council to express my concerns. I was about to give up on being answered after 10 minutes (or miss my appointment) when I got through. I was told I had to pay for parking regardless with the only suggestion being get someone else to do it. Yes, explaining to someone I may be infected with the coronavirus and could they come over and take my money and use the parking meter was a great option. I asked the Warrnambool Council receptionist if council was happy with potentially infected persons dropping coins into and using the machine. She stated she was not happy but council required parking to be paid for.
With no option than to use the parking machine (and yes I am not willing to pay a large parking fee for the betterment of the community) I put in my details, deposited my coins and strolled to my testing appointment. I did comment on no parking and was told the clinic had allotted parking (that they didn’t inform me about) but due to construction at the back it was constantly full. They have complained but to no avail. Walking back to my car with a bad cough I noticed several people with their masks done chatting. Although I wore a mask this just seemed inappropriate to having the potentially infected roaming through the general population.
I contacted the Warrnambool Mayor by phone and email 5 days ago expressing my concerns but at the time of publishing have not received a reply. Surely this is not the best option to help keep the South West community protected from Covid 19. My test was negative but I don’t think I would get tested at this location again under the current circumstances. There were people before me and after which means a lot of potentially infected people are using parking meters. You might want to carry your santiser with you to the parking meter – I know I will.