Another week, another disaster. Backdropped by the alarming news from the COVID front - including the largest NSW case count since April and a cluster in two Batemans Bay schools - it seems relentless.
For the South Coast, this year has delivered one disaster after another. Fires, floods, COVID - the triumvirate of despair. For many of us, it can be a struggle to keep our heads above it all.
But we need to stay strong and we need to stay vigilant because none of these three threats is abating any time soon.
On the fire front, the wet weather has the potential to make the upcoming fire season (it's only weeks away) worse. First, it's hampered efforts by the Rural Fire Service to conduct hazard reduction burns. Second, once the weather warms up it will encourage an explosion of growth, which will then dry out over summer.
On the flood front, we seem stuck in a pattern that's drawing water laden cloud bands down from the tropics which are dumping their loads on the east coast. And, yes, we're expecting more rain this weekend.
On the COVID front, we're seeing too many new infections. What is really disturbing is that schools are now fuelling clusters. One wonders whether the decision to ease restrictions was made in too much haste.
One also wonders whether everyone is taking the threat seriously enough. Comments from readers suggest they are not. Everyone who has been in a supermarket knows rules around social distancing are being forgotten. Everyone who has entered a store has seen other customers walk straight past the hand sanitiser that is kept there for a reason. As for masks, they're still in the minority. We need to lift our game.
Perhaps it's time for a campaign similar to the one rolled out in Victoria. It features people of various ages talking about the severity of COVID and how complications from the disease have compromised their lives.
Already, the Northern Territory government is warning its residents to consider cancelling their Christmas plans. That's something we need to think about in NSW as well.
We should also be wary about the upcoming warm weather. We don't want to follow the US trajectory and suffer a huge increase in infections because we crowd on to beaches and into pubs and parties.
We will have to pause our human instinct to socialise in person. That way, we'll have a better chance of getting through this thing.