A FORTNIGHT ago, the first NRL State of Origin match was played in Adelaide in front of thousands of spectators, after South Australia was able to keep coronavirus at bay across the months since Australia's first wave was extinguished in April.
This week, however, the South Australian Liberal government of Premier Steve Marshall has opted quickly for an Adelaide lockdown after a cluster of cases emerged in suburban Parafield - generated, it appears, by a chain of transmission begun in a city-centre quarantine hotel.
Unsurprisingly, the Adelaide outbreak is generating the same sort of partisan response that greets virtually every major COVID announcement in this country.
The Australian Industry Group was quick to criticise, with its chief executive Innes Willox saying "there will always be cases from time to time" and the "the message here is a terrible one for business".
He was worried other states and territories would follow.
Given that the medical advice he questions appears standard practice for Australian responses, others might say the Marshall government would be well advised to stick to its guns.
It is highly likely that Australia's island-status physical isolation has been one of the biggest influences on our success in keeping coronavirus cases to fewer than 30,000 so far.
The Johns Hopkins University map - images of which have become familiar to many during the pandemic - shows the US as an almost total conglomerate of red dots.
Yet the other side of the 8000-kilometre dividing line is almost absent of hotspots, with the big cities of Quebec and Ontario the obvious exceptions.
Cementing the picture, virus proliferation appears to pick up again in the isolated US state of Alaska, which shares its only land border with Canada.
With vaccines in the wings, strict restrictions can help keep things under control until the cavalry, hopefully, arrives.
The horrors unfolding across the US and Europe should show us that the best way to keep our economy going is to keep our population healthy.
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