Don't panic. That's always good advice in a crisis.
And it was the message delivered yesterday by health and community leaders as COVID continues to spread across the Border and North East.
Panic doesn't do anyone any good, and we all know that. But panic is not the problem here. At the moment, anxiety is the real issue in this community. You can tell people not to panic, but there isn't much you can do to appease their anxiety without demonstrating things will get better.
It would be The Border Mail's assertion that the many people turning out at testing facilities - only to be turned away - are not in a panic. They are people who have listened and paid attention to the health advice for the last 18 months that if they think they may have been exposed to coronavirus, get tested.
These people are not out to cause some kind of mass overload on testing facilities. They no doubt have other places to be, they probably have jobs they should be at, and certainly would have better things to do.
Albury MP Justin Clancy rightly made the point that the NSW government needs to be clearer in its advice to schools managing the COVID cases. The stunning reality is we have had 18 months to get ready, to have a plan for what is on our doorstep right now. And yet we can't get the communication right?
Last week, we published an editorial asking what help would come for our communities, made up of people largely untouched by coronavirus before now but battered by border closures and lockdowns over the past 18 months.
If police and Australian Defence Force staff can be deployed here to man the border between NSW and Victoria for months last year, why can't resources now come in to help with testing? It may well be the case that people are turning out for testing out of an abundance of caution, but that's the reaction you would expect when cases are in our community.
One way to ease the anxiety levels of everyone would be to have some serious resources deployed to our area to help, something that was so quickly and easily done when motivated by a desire to protect Sydney and Melbourne.
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