A study in 2000 by Moray and Inagaki, published by the American Psychological Association, claimed that the existence of complacency cannot be proved as it is attempting to prove that something doesn't exist.
However, the evidence could be seen in New Zealand this past week after it was revealed a woman had tested positive for Covid-19 after leaving a managed isolation and quarantine facility and visiting numerous popular spots around Northland. Suddenly, things which didn't previously exist, began to.
People queued at Covid-testing stations, which scrambled to set up to meet the need and were quickly overwhelmed by demand. The numbers of QR codes scanned leapt exponentially across the northwest of Auckland and Northland as thumbs suddenly found the app on phones.
This phenomena spread further into Auckland after word of two further positive cases who had gone shopping in Orewa, Albany and Northcote before finding out they were carrying the virus.
Complacency is often discussed in the field of workplace safety. One popular definition holds that complacency occurs when someone has been doing something one way for so long without incident that they assume there can never be an incident.
This is what occurred with Covid. While increasingly virulent strains pelted away at our border controls, we lapsed into bare-faced oblivion of the risks around us.
The number of scans of the Covid tracer app on January 17 was 485,620. News that Covid-positive cases were afoot among us shook the complacent and by Tuesday, January 26, there were more than a million - 1,067,641 - scans.
But such figures only tell one part of the story. The real picture was one of masks left discarded on dressers; hands left unwashed; people gathering in increasingly large numbers within increasingly confined spaces.
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The figures which should have jolted us into vigilance - such as the UK passing 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths and the world officially surpassing 100 million cases of Covid-19 - faded into the background of Facebook memes of Bernie Sanders being superimposed on popular rock album covers.
Covid loves complacency, it's the very thing it relies on to continue to exist. Do not be lulled, the virus isn't.