When news of the coronavirus first began to seep through the community, many of us were probably a little too easily inclined to dismiss it as a little bit of hysteria.
Sadly, many months of illness, deaths, lockdowns and devastated economies have shown that COVID-19's effects are not going to be as minor as we had possibly first thought.
Worldwide, the official number of cases stands at 15.4 million, with the death toll now at more than 632,000 and the numbers are growing at an alarming rate.
Not only is the virus much more widespread than we had probably first imagined, but it is also much more serious.
Remember when it was being dismissed as "just another flu bug, but less serious"?
COVID-19 is also proving to be far, far more deadly than just the "boomer remover" it was initially dubbed.
As the months have progressed, we have seen that while the coronavirus has indeed taken the lives of many elderly people, or others with underlying health conditions, it is also affecting younger age groups too.
There is still so much we don't know about this brand new illness, but we can safely assume that underestimating the possible side effects is potentially deadly.
For months now, health officials have been pleading with us to take COVID-19 seriously. They have long feared a scenario like the one playing out in Melbourne right now, with community transmission continuing to rise.
We have to listen to what we are being told by these health experts because the community cannot afford to stay in lockdown indefinitely.
The new rules around social distancing are awkward and, at times, lonely.
We can no longer shake hands with a colleague or hug a friend, and the sight of people at the supermarket with their faces behind masks and hands covered by gloves is increasingly common.
But without a vaccine, and with the threat of further community transmission remaining very real, social isolation is still the best weapon we have when it comes to stopping COVID-19's march.
HAVE YOUR SAY:Do you have something to get off your chest? Send your letters to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or submit them via this form.