While both State and federal Governments have flagged the most radical steps yet in the fight against the spreading coronavirus, the message is still the same; don't panic.
Essential services including supermarkets, chemists, banks and petrol stations will continue to stay open and functioning, as will the logistics and delivery chains that keep them stocked.
So there is no need to rush out and stock up. Supermarkets have continued to return to normal stock levels this week so resisting the urge to panic buy will ensure this continues.
Butchers, bakers and greengrocers will also stay open. Other retails may have to close their doors but with delivery services still open, online shopping will still be an option so what is vital to daily life will still be able to be purchased.
The Premier Daniel Andrews wants all schools and non essential services including pubs and restaurants to be closed by the end of Tuesday in the shutdown order aimed at ramping up social distancing rules and hopefully restricting the spread of the highly contagious virus.
The Prime Minister Scott Morrison, in an effort to get the social distancing message through, went even harder after Sunday nights heads' meeting and ordered indoor venues where social gatherings take place closed by midday Monday.
Their message is the same in this much; this is deadly serious. Disobey the health guidelines and more people will die.
The premier said the decision to bring in the extreme measures was based on advice from Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton.
How long the shutdown will be ordered for is not yet known but the Prime Minster used the six month figure to warn people how bad it could get if the entire community doesn't take action.
The Premier also said the decision on whether to re-open schools after the term-one holidays would also depend on advice from the chief heath officer.
Many schools are already preparing to go online with learning modules, so children will continue to learn into the forseeable future.
The Courier intends to keep publishing through this period knowing how essential this information is to the community.
The state government has also introduced emergency packages for the most-needy Victorians in self-isolation and will be distributed from this week. If you find yourself without family or support call the Coronavirus Hotline.
While the list of essential services is not yet been made entirely clear, the list also includes home delivery services to help those who may have already self-isolated.
Many more people will find themselves unable to go to work this week, but this is all the more reason for all of Ballarat to support each other.
So apart from a sense of calm that is needed in the coming days, the other key vital ingredient to get through this uncertain and often frightening times, is a sense of community.
So let's all be a bit more patient and understanding with each other. The council wants us to "Be Kind Ballarat" and perhaps most of all it's so people will treat us that way too.
We all want this to be over as soon as possible and this is the way it is going to happen. We can't do it alone so we need your help.
The shutdown is awkward and painful but its ultimate objective is to save lives. They could be the lives of someone you know and love.
So let's do this for them and for all of us.
We can do this together.
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