EACH day at around 11am, an email from the Western NSW Local Health District has appeared in the inboxes of working journalists across a massive area covering almost one-third of the state.
The email provides an update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the western region, broken down by local government areas.
It's important information and local media across the region are quick to publish these updates for our readers.
But there's little doubt that each person on the LHD mailing list who opens that email shares the same anxious moment as they look for the new daily total: will today be the day we suddenly see a big jump in the figures?
So far the rises have been gradual - or non-existent - and that's something we should all celebrate.
The slow rise is a credit to the work health officials are doing and also a credit to the commitment people across the region have shown to heeding social distancing measures put in place by the government.
But there is still a sense that we are just holding the lid on a saucepan of bubbling water that threatens to boil over at any moment. We simply can't afford for that to happen.
Towns and cities in the western region have a relative advantage of space to assist in our social distancing.
That advantage is not available to people living in the most densely populated suburbs of Sydney, particularly those in the sort of high-rise apartments we do not see west of the Blue Mountains.
Perhaps not surprisingly, some of those suburbs are among the worst hot spots for coronavirus in the state.
But our greatest advantage in this fight is also our greatest threat.
No regional hospital is equipped to cope with a pandemic and our health services would quickly become overwhelmed if there was a significant local breakout of the virus.
That's why those daily figures are so compelling and why we have seen local health experts speaking out like never before as they urge residents to simply stay at home.
Dubbo and other western communities have done a stellar job so far helping to keep the lid on this virus but there's a lot of work to go yet.
Let's keep on top of this fight and keep working together to stay apart. We owe it to ourselves and we owe it to each other.