When it seemed things couldn't get much worse for the South Coast tourism industry, they did. The closure of the Victorian border poses yet another challenge for the sector in a series of hammer blows, which started with the bushfires in summer.
In winter, the inclination of those shivering in chilly southern regions is to pack the car and head north. For businesses along the South Coast, that has traditionally been an off-season boost during the school holidays.
However, the COVID outbreak in Victoria has put paid to any hopes of a little mid-winter cash injection courtesy of our southern cousins.
This means more businesses will teeter on the bribk of oblivion unless us locals step in to help.
Now, more than ever, it's incumbent upon us to help our own by spending in local businesses wherever possible.
It might mean booking a spot on a local whale watching tour, joining a kayaking expedition, or finally taking those surfing lessons (the water right now is generally warmer than the air temperature).
There is so much even us locals can discover on the South Coast and the very act of exploring it will help those businesses along the way.
So, if you're in Nowra these school holidays, consider a day trip south to, say, Ulladulla or even Batemans Bay. And if you're in Milton Ulladulla, take a drive to a place you might not visited for some time. Based in Batemans Bay? Head south to Narooma, Cobargo, Tilba or Meriumbula.
Rediscover the whole region. In this winter light, it sparkles.
Pop into the local fish and chip shop or cafe, help out the tackle shop at Burrill Lake or the gallery in Mogo. Enjoy lunch on the inlet in Narooma. Step in for those missing Victorians and do your bit for the wounded economy.
The border closure will hit the South Coast, particularly the Far South Coast. However, the economic consequences would be far worse if community transmission of COVID spreads into NSW.
That would mean a return to a much harsher lockdown, with dire impacts for all of us.
We all want this pandemic to be over - and one day it will be - but until then, we will have to remain vigilant and learn to roll with the punches.
Every purchase we make, will help our communties get through the crisis.