Byron hen’s night COVID cluster makes us the butt of jokes
Perhaps all our COVID-19 chickens have come home to roost now that our region has become infamous Australia wide as the 'Byron hen's night cluster'.
Throw in a male entertainer for good measure and you can see why we are the butt of a lot of jokes.
Unfortunately, this is no laughing matter, as the four local government areas on the Northern Rivers go into some kind of Clayton's lockdown for the next five days.
And some poor local man in his 20s has caught the virus just because he happened to be out at the Beach Hotel on a Friday night.
With the NSW Premier strongly urging people in Tweed, Byron, Ballina and Lismore LGAs not to travel anywhere, and for people in the rest of NSW not to come here, Easter travel plans have been thrown into widespread chaos.
We can thank a group of people crossing the border from Queensland into NSW to attend a hen's night for causing this chaos.
Unwitting and unknowing as they may have been about carrying the COVID virus, they have spread it widely by going on a shopping, food and pub spree last weekend.
If only they had chosen to party somewhere else.
It just doesn't seem fair for a region which has essentially been free from COVID for much of the past year.
Also galling is that we have been at whim of warring state premiers over this northern border region for the past 12 months.
Queensland's border closure had a massive impact on the economy and social fabric of the Northern Rivers.
And, unlike, those towns on the NSW side of the Victorian border, we didn't receive any targeted stimulus package to make amends.
How ironic, that parochial Queenslanders with their raise the drawbridge mentality, turn out to be the super spreaders of COVID-19 on this occasion.
NSW's own porous policy about not shutting borders really has let us down on this occasion.
We face a nervous few days as testing continues and many thousands of local residents await their results.