Border-crossing permits are back, our anxiety levels more out of kilter.
We've been captive to the regime before, but last time this awkwardly sat astride a hazy sense of distance between us and COVID-19.
As then, it is now; where we have a virus-free zone, where we have a wider Border community steadfast through all the disruption, all the dislocation, all the heartache.
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Luck's sure to have spun us a treat, though to be clear the virus was knocked over, momentarily on reflection, by Melbourne's suffocating 2020 marathon lockdown.
Resolve needed to get real, to toughen-up, when a state's gone through a hotel quarantine disaster cascading into hundreds upon hundreds of deaths.
Mercifully, a shell-shocked Victorian government took the cue and has repeatedly acted, even when there's only a hint of a threat.
It has kept its nose in front. A sliver more of that good fortune, perhaps, but this has, not inadvertently, saved Border lives.
Sydney's virus quagmire could now break our fortunate run. Some will say say Sydney is twice the distance from us as Melbourne and so wonder why they must buckle down again.
But COVID-19 cases at Dubbo and Armidale show how easily our bubble could burst.
The NSW government's clear and terrible failure in timidly dancing around a hard Sydney lockdown might well portend to something genuinely calamitous.
This hesitancy - exacerbated by political hubris, where Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Health Minister Brad Hazzard take bizarre umbrage at questions that must be asked and must be answered - has cost lives and, sadly, will do so again.
It's why Victorian Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes is right in her strident defence of these latest cross-border rules. The virus cannot, as she has said in Wodonga, be allowed to "seep" into the bubble, to spread into Victoria.
After all, thanks to the Morrison government's titanic bungle on vaccines, jabs are so far behind lockdowns on the starter's block it'd make a Stawell Gift handicapper blush.
Our COVID-19 bouts might bruise, but we must, we absolutely must, avoid a bloodied, knockout blow.
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