And so it has come to this.
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews talked tough, and he won respect.
He acted quickly on the COVID-19 pandemic, and this respect grew again
He said the lock-downs, the need to isolate, the urgency for everyone to embrace the absolute necessity to share the pain were crucial, and the people of Victoria listened.
This was the leader we all hankered after, came the plaudits, the one front-and-centre when Prime Minister Scott Morrison went missing during the horrors of our summer bushfire crisis.
But again, it has come to this, and Mr Andrews is sure to realise that now in a brick-through-the-window, stomach-churning kind of way.
For as impressive as his government's performance had been, with the boy from Wangaratta as its compassionate and sensible face, the monumental stuff-up of hotel quarantine in Melbourne allowed the virus to escape.
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Now isn't the time for recriminations - these will come much later, as there are far, far more serious matters to deal with right now - but such recriminations there must be; for the premier, to an extent, but far more pointedly, for his Health Minister, Jenny Mikakos.
The irony of the Border being hit like this - given the weeks on end when the virus simply couldn't, until now, be found - is clear.
But there is some merit in closing the border, no question.
As Murrumbidgee Local Health District director of medical services Len Bruce says, "we need to be vigilant here".
And the coming days and weeks will be incredibly challenging, especially as we wait on the essential NSW online permit system allowing unhindered movement.
Mr Andrews has indicated his relief that NSW Police will be handling the border blockade, allowing his state to focus on the immediate COVID-19 issues plaguing Melbourne.
True. But remember, Mr Andrews, you still owe it to the North East to ensure it is not left to fend for itself.
The people who live here are no less important than those safe-seat voters in the city.
As we have seen, neglect goes hand-in-hand with calamity.