THE concerns raised over a visit to Bathurst on Saturday by players and parents from the Bankstown Football Club clearly demonstrate there is still a need for more communication around the dangers of COVID-19 in the community.
It did not take long for concerned Bathurst residents to contact the Western Advocate to express their disappointment over the scheduled matches being allowed to go ahead and fears over the number of people who had made the trip from Bankstown to play and watch.
And, really, fair enough.
Bankstown has been singled out as one of the state's coronavirus hotspots and there must be serious questions asked about the need for those games to have gone ahead.
The response from Football NSW that all protocols were followed and that there were no breaches of the state's travel rules may be right with regards to the letter of the law, but that does not mean they are right with regards to community expectations.
Very few of us right now would willingly venture into Bankstown knowing there are active cases of COVID-19 in that community, so why should it be any different for people travelling from that community into ours?
The first question should have been, was there any risk in having people come from Bankstown to Bathurst and, no matter how small that risk might be, the answer must surely be yes.
The next question then should have been, was the event in question significant or important enough to justify taking that risk? We suspect the overwhelming majority of Bathurstians would say an emphatic no.
We might be united in our desire to see life return to some sort of normality as soon as possible, but now is a time for patience rather than recklessness.
Health officials and political leaders keep advising against non-essential travel and communities in regional NSW that have been COVID-free for months are rightly determined to do what they can to keep it that way.
The families visiting from Bankstown over the weekend most likely did everything they could to minimise the risk of transporting the virus and we'd like to think they benefited from a weekend away from the city.
But visitors from COVID-19 hotspots are not what we need right now and the games should not have gone ahead.
It's not personal, it's pandemic.
What do you think?
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