Thursday was a dark day for Victoria: 13 deaths and 723 new cases of COVID-19 in 24 hours. Alarmingly, a good percentage of those cases were in regional parts of the state.
In response to this surge in infections, the wearing of face masks when in public will become mandatory across the entire state from Sunday night. Tough lockdown restrictions have also been imposed in some regional areas.
As the NSW Premier said yesterday, here in NSW we are on the knife edge. While the track and trace mechanism has helped slow the spread, any lapse in vigilance, any act of stupidity or selfishness, has the potential to plunge us into a predicament similar to Victoria's.
On Wednesday, the Prime MInister praised the response in Batemans Bay which seems to have kept a potential outbreak in check. There, even though they were told they didn't have to, businesses implemented their own restrictions or even closed for a period just to be on the safe side.
Likewise in Ulladulla, where clubs turned away visitors who could not show they lived in local postcodes.
Regardless of the PM's praise, now is not the time to drop our guard. This fact is recognised by the shop assistants union, which is pleading with visitors from Sydney to wear masks when they enter shops.
As we've seen, this virus tends to follow transport corridors and the last thing the South Coast wants is another outbreak triggered by someone from Sydney who hasn't taken all precautions, someone who doesn't pause to think about the devastating potential of an outbreak in places with an elderly population.
It really isn't that much to ask. Nor is it too much for us to start going above and beyond the safety recommendations as issued by NSW Health. It is precisely that approach that has so far prevented an serious outbreak on the South Coast. The shops in Mogo that closed their doors as a precaution, the restaurants in Batemans Bay that did the same, the shoppers who started masking up in the supermarkets. The thousands of people who had themselves tested despite the long queues.
They didn't have to but they went ahead and took those extra steps and for that we should all be grateful.
Staying on top of this virus is never going to be about doing the bare minimum; it's about doing all that's possible and then some more.