A clear sense of relief is being felt through the Hunter Region and many other areas of NSW.
The relief is specifically related to the fact that NSW recorded not a single case of COVID-19, either locally acquired or in hotel quarantine, for two days.
It should be said that widespread economic pain and anxiety means this relief isn't being felt fully by all.
In the Hunter, it's been almost two months since a case of COVID-19 was recorded. If we cast our minds back to early August, fears of the dreaded second wave rose amid reports of infected people going to pubs, a Newcastle Jets game and schools.
This news emerged amid an explosion of positive cases in Melbourne.
The pandemic, it seems, comes in waves of fear and relief, amid constant reminders that complacency is the enemy.
With the spring school holidays on until October 9, authorities say now is another time to be extra vigilant.
The pandemic also comes in waves of good and bad news. One of those good stories emerged in the Newcastle Herald on Monday.
The story revealed that Hunter Medical Research Institute [HMRI] researchers played a key role in developing a nasal spray that could protect people from COVID-19 infection and prevent its transmission.
Australian biotech company Ena Respiratory developed the treatment, known as INNA-051, to boost the "natural human immune system" to fight common colds and flu in the nose and throat.
Research published on Monday showed the spray reduced viral replication and shedding in the nose and throat by up to 96 per cent in a study of ferrets. Human trials are expected to occur within four months.
If humans respond in a similar way to the ferrets, the treatment would help rapidly eliminate the virus and prevent the disease progressing beyond mild symptoms.
The company has raised $11.7 million to further develop the spray. Investors include venture capital firm Brandon Capital, the federal government, superannuation funds and biotech giant CSL.
The company said the drug could be easily sprayed through the nose "once or twice a week", taking almost immediate effect.
And the study provided evidence that the drug could be used as a "stand-alone method of antiviral preventative therapy, complementary to vaccine programs".
If human trials are successful, the drug could be manufactured rapidly at scale and be available for use soon.
The treatment offers potential to protect the most vulnerable, including those with pre-existing respiratory conditions. The elderly would particularly benefit because vaccines that they take can be less effective.
The nasal treatment is being touted as having potential for combatting COVID-19 and future pandemics.
That would be remarkable.