There was a grim sense of inevitability about the announcement that the Bendigo Easter Fair would be postponed for a second time.
All the signs for weeks now pointed towards the decision, and it was the right one given the circumstances.
The worst case scenario of a virus outbreak in a crowded city, however remote that chance might be, was not a risk worth taking.
The effort to get this far in the planning stages has been enormous, and those working behind the scenes to prepare for the event deserve a huge amount of thanks.
Those council staff and community volunteers have done all they can, but once again COVID-19 has put a pin in one of Bendigo's great traditions.
The attempt by organisers to rally the community with a series of smaller, ticketed events over the weekend is valiant, and will be enjoyed by those who take part.
It is also important for the local economy to have events scheduled as a drawcard.
But it will be difficult once again - as discussed in these pages earlier this week - for an economy that thrives on tourism.
Bendigo is also a city, and a community, that thrives on its Easter Fair, that looks forward to it each year.
It is a uniquely Bendigo event, full of tradition and colour and joy and historical context that only really makes sense when it takes place in our streets.
Its absence for a second year in a row hurts, and is further evidence - if it were ever needed that the coronavirus pandemic continues to shape life in Australia.
The virus has already taken a huge toll on individuals' physical and mental health, their jobs and their relationships.
The effect on civic life is also hugely significant. The connections and co-operation that ensure a big event such as the Easter Festival is a success are further weakened by its postponement.
The effort required to gather again when the time comes and stage big, warm-hearted community gatherings after such a taxing time is going to be huge.
We trust that Bendigo has the fortitude to recapture that spirit.