The numbers said it all.
A record 484 cases of the dangerous coronavirus were detected in Victoria yesterday, continuing a wretched run for the Victorian government and associated agencies of the past fortnight.
The sheer weight of these numbers has many among us thinking a state-wide lockdown is inevitable, but rather than speculate on the grim prospects associated with this scenario, the best thing we in regional Victoria can do is take note of the calls to remain vigilant.
We may not be existing under the same harsh regime of restrictions that the citizens of Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire are, but we could do a lot worse than to acknowledge the severity of the crisis continuing to unfold across our state.
And stay home, unless absolutely essential.
Wearing a mask might just be a recommendation in country areas, perhaps we should all respond as if it is equally a necessity, if not for our own sake, then perhaps the person we walk past, the family member and friends we love, and the businesses who so desperately want our economy to recover as rapidly as possible.
There's been a marked increase in the number of people walking around the streets of Bendigo this week wearing a mask, and that's not likely to decrease any time soon.
Now, authorities have asked regional Victorians to don a mask if they absolutely cannot go about their days and stay true to the principles of social distancing.
Complacency has never been a more dangerous threat to us than it is right now, and we cannot afford to think anything other than we need to remain vigilant. Always.