CONFIRMATION of a new COVID-19 case in Orange changes everything for those of us living in Bathurst, while at the same time changing nothing.
Health officials confirmed the positive case on Friday, saying it had been linked to a COVID-19 cluster in Sydney.
After two months with no new cases in our region, Friday's revelation naturally caused some nerves in the community, though health officials stress they have identified the patient's close contacts and believe there is no need for the broader community to be concerned.
Even if that's the case, though, this new case is not something we should ignore.
Rather, we need to use this case as a catalyst to again warn the community against some of the complacency that has possibly been creeping in to regional communities, in particular.
While all of us have been glued to the shocking daily updates of the number of new cases in Melbourne and also the growing restaurant clusters in Sydney, it has been easy to tell ourselves that we're still quite safe here in Bathurst.
And that's probably true, but only if we keep doing the right things.
As the NSW Government continues to resist calls from some quarters to introduce new lockdowns and impose greater travel restrictions between different areas of the state, the Orange case is a reminder of just easy it can be for the virus to be transported from one city to another.
It takes just a single infected person to bring the virus in and, once that happens, it becomes a race against time for health officials to carry out their contact tracing to quickly contain the spread.
And that's when the focus turns to individual behaviours and just how vigilant - or otherwise - each of us has been.
As long as we're still living with this virus - and no one can say with any certainty just how long that might be - it's a responsibility for us all to keep following those social distancing and personal hygiene measures that best protect ourselves and others.
If any of us is unfortunate enough to find ourselves in a position where contact tracers need to review our steps, we don't want to shamed by what they find.
There is much about this virus we cannot control, but we can control our own decisions.
And we can keep making the right ones - for as long as it takes for all this to be over.
What do you think?
- Why not write us a letter to the editor ...