There has never been a more important time for people to get a flu vaccine.
As the state, country and indeed the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, the outlook of another bad flu season has the potential to sink a health system already struggling to stay afloat.
Coronavirus: All the latest updates on COVID-19 for Tasmania
But a proactive response - mainly the early rollout for this year's free influenza program for those most at risk - should send a strong message. A message that as a community we all have a responsibility to protect not only our own health, but the health of those who are most vulnerable.
Because if people don't get vaccinated and an increasing number of flu and COVID-19 patients require lifesaving care in our hospitals, more lives will put at risk.
It's a message that has been echoed the country's peak health bodies, including the Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. They are urging patients to receive a flu vaccine as soon as possible. Because while there is not yet a vaccination for COVID-19, there is one for influenza.
And while every flu season is different, what is clear is that 2020 will definitely not be a 'normal' season.
So far this year there has been 149 confirmed cases of influenza in Tasmania.
Last year there was 3137 cases - the second highest number of state cases on record. In 2017, 3509 Tasmanians were diagnosed with influenza - 21 people died.
We have already experienced two deaths from coronavirus in Tasmania. This is two too many. All measures to reduce the spread of flu and any further burden on the health system should be taken.
It is also about ensuring frontline staff are supported during the busiest times of the year. While the federal government has significantly increased the supply of flu vaccines, now the state government needs to ensure Tasmanians get there share.
For those who are most vulnerable, vaccines need to be readily available. For those not covered by the National Immunisation Program, vaccines need to be affordable.
Because cost and accessibility should never be a deterrent for people seeking help. But unfortunately, as is often the case in the health system, it will be.