ANYONE who thought Victoria and even the Wimmera would be spared the wrath of the coronavirus would have received a reality check yesterday, with the state government acknowledging the crisis will get a lot worse before it improves.
The looming scenario involves school closures, and the cancellation of major sporting events or games being played before empty stadiums.
Other major public events could also be cancelled or postponed and workers forced to work from home as the state looks to ride out the virus.
Churches are also looking at how they run gatherings, travel bans could be expanded and exclusion zones enforced, all aimed at halting the spread of coronavirus.
It's easy to look at the low number of reported cases in Victoria and think that this is actually a lot of fuss about something quite insignificant, but we are being urged to consider the expert advice from authorities which says otherwise.
Accompanying the coronavirus spread, the world's financial markets have gone into their own meltdown, and embarked on a rollercoaster ride that's seen billions stripped from the balance sheet of listed companies around the globe.
Just as those shares have fallen so rapidly, they will likely climb again, but investors have been told to prepare for a long and rocky ride in the weeks and months ahead.
The price of oil has plummeted to levels not seen for years, and while this might bring some relief at the bowser, it's not the way anyone would want to see cheaper fuel prices delivered.
The things we can all do and should do to help combat the spread of the coronavirus though are relatively simple.
We all have a duty to ourselves and those around us to listen, and to act responsibly.
We need to do what we can to mitigate the risk of contracting or spreading coronavirus.
While the reality might be the overwhelming majority of people who are exposed to the virus do not experience serious illness, none of us should want to be someone who unintentionally passes the virus on to someone else who does fall seriously ill.