We now all know that emerging from a COVID-19 lockdown is far more difficult than entering one.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro told us what we already suspected on Thursday when he confirmed Bathurst would remain under stay-at-home orders for now even as many local government areas across the state prepare to emerge from lockdown on Saturday.
There was always a chance that was going to happen as the region is consistently recording a handful of new daily cases, apparently just enough to keep health officials concerned.
But there was inevitably a sense of disappointment when our suspicions were confirmed because Bathurst has generally done a good job of keeping COVID numbers under control and we must have come very close to being included on the list of LGAs to be released from lockdown.
That could have meant the chance to again visit family and friends, the return of retail shopping, a reopening of pubs, clubs and restaurants, a reopening of cinemas, gyms and hairdressers and a return to the office for some workers.
It would have been a fitting reward for the region's good work and overwhelming compliance with COVID restrictions, despite the challenges they have posed.
Instead we've been left in a frustrating waiting game with no concrete end date in sight.
The deputy premier's statement did not provide any real guide for LGAs that will remain in lockdown in terms of when they might, too, be released, nor what sort of daily case numbers - if any - might be considered safe for us to take our next steps out of lockdown.
"This decision is based on NSW Health advice, and the LGAs which remain in lockdown will continue to be monitored and we will update those communities on a regular basis," is all Mr Barilaro said in his statement to the media.
And while that's probably the safe approach for the government to take, it's not quite enough.
As our community continues to come forward in their hundreds every day for vaccination it would be nice to be offered a bit more of a light at the end of this long tunnel.
Our numbers are low now; how much lower do they need to be? We need to know and we deserve to know.
What do you think?
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