A Beechworth mum is "petrified" an influx of tourists and their lack of social distancing will cost her infant son his life.
In the nine months since her youngest son, Levi-Shayne Browne, was born Anita Browne has performed CPR on his tiny body multiple times. She's sat with him as doctors from the Royal Children's Hospital performed test after test, struggling in vain over a three-month admission to find out what was wrong.
Doctors still haven't given Levi-Shayne a definitive diagnosis. The nine-month-old has a pacemaker and sleeps with an aponea machine.
Miss Browne said since restrictions eased in NSW in May, visitation to Beechworth had been steadily increasing to an alarming level and tourists were flouting social distancing restrictions.
"[This weekend] looked like any normal weekend, pre-COVID normal, Christmas weekend normal," she said.
"People were bustling in shops, not respecting the number limits. It's been ridiculous, it's frightening."
Miss Browne is deeply concerned tourists to Beechworth will bring coronavirus to the town.
She said their blase attitude to social distancing could prove deadly for the town's vulnerable residents.
"Prior to restrictions easing I wasn't concerned, I felt safe here in town, now I feel like we're a target," she said.
"It's just a matter of time.
"If you put a pin on a map of where everyone is coming from it's a spider web... absolutely they will be bringing it to town."
Miss Browne has not been allowing trips out of the house for Levi-Shayne since lockdown, but had been letting her older children walk down the street for a pie.
After seeing the amount of tourists in town and how they were behaving, she said she couldn't afford to allow that to continue.
"It's just not an option," she said.
Miss Browne said increasingly vulnerable residents, especially older people, were simply not leaving the house.
"Until there's a vaccine [Levi-Shayne] isn't allowed to the supermarket or out in public, I just can't risk it," she said.
"I'm petrified... he caught a cold in March and I had to use an oxygen bag to get him breathing."
Miss Browne said businesses had clear COVID-19 restrictions in place, but visitors simply weren't obeying the rules.
She said there needed to be a greater balance between the need for tourism dollars to support the shops devastated by fire, smoke and COVID-19, and the safety for residents.
"It's hard because it's great businesses are selling out but it means a huge influx of tourists here putting vulnerable members of the community at risk," she said.
"It can't really be monitored, you can't have people in the street policing the number of people who drive in and out. It comes down to every person's morals and respect for others."
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So far the town has been lucky to avoid any cases of COVID-19 Miss Browne said, but because restrictions were easing visitors had become complacent and weren't considering they could be asymptomatic but infected.
She issued a plea to visitors and residents to stay alert, for the sake of the vulnerable in the community like her baby boy.
"Just, please, respect social distancing," she said.
"Respect the signage on the [business] door, use your common sense and respect that this is our home.
"Please keep us safe and keep yourself safe."