We may have shut our borders weeks ago but that hasn't stopped another contagion spreading in our midst. It goes by the names of misinformation and conspiracy theory and spreads just as fast as any virus for which there is no vaccine.
We saw it emerge in ugly scenes in Melbourne and Sydney over the weekend, when conspiracy theorists staged bizarre protests, claiming 5G was responsible for COVID-19, that Microsoft founder Bill Gates harboured some evil plan for world domination, and that the lockdown that has spared Australia much of the tragedy seen in the US and Europe was part of a fascist conspiracy.
That they flouted social distancing rules was alarming enough but it was nothing compared with the nonsense they were peddling.
To see the same conspiracy theories that led to 5G towers being set ablaze in the UK, that prompted armed militia to storm state capitols in the US, wash up on our shores should ring alarm bells.
Because the internet respects few borders (apart from those of authoritarian states we don't wish to emulate), it spreads conspiracy theories like wildfire. And just as we all have a role to play in stopping the spread of COVID-19, we also have a duty not to fan dangerous misinformation.
We saw chief medical officer Brendan Murphy do exactly that when he had to assure the public that mobile phone networks like 5G couldn't spread viruses.
Misinformation and conspiracy theories are infecting social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Many "friends" and "follows" have been muted or blocked because of the rubbish they are sharing. Folk have simply despaired trying to reason with people who traffick in falsehood.
The challenge facing those who do try to battle the conspiracy theorists is that the truth is often complex and not as appealing as the wild rumour mill.
However, pulling up friends peddling misinformation is probably worth the effort. Asking where they got the information from is a good place to start. Has it been verified? Where? Show me the link. Why hasn't it been picked up by the media or health authorities?
Pull on a couple of threads and the conspiracy theory quickly unravels. And if you can show one person how they've been duped they might just show another and the spread of misinformation will be slowed. We'll all be safer if it is.