First it was parking meters, then it was the palm tree, and now, the future of Wollongong's CBD apparently has a new threat: Face masks.
News that masks will be mandatory across Wollongong for people visiting supermarkets, retailers and shopping centres, as well as on public transport and other indoor settings, received a mixed response from Mercury readers.
Many were relieved, while others were concerned about their ability to source enough masks by Monday, when $200 fines will be introduced. Others were confused about whether the rules applied to them - and we can't blame them - the "is Wollongong part of Greater Sydney?" debate has been anything but clear.
But the one response we just can't understand is that making masks compulsory in Wollongong and not Shellharbour will somehow cause a shift in shopping patterns.
For instance, Nathan Boyd wrote on our Facebook page: "Hell will freeze over before I wear one watch everyone head to Shellharbour to shop". And Michael Cox wrote: "Just means every Wollongong resident will start shopping at Shellharbour. Simples."
Really? Are people that desperate not to wear a mask? Why?
This is the same logic that apparently drives some people to spend extra on petrol to travel long distances, rather than paying a couple of bucks for a convenient car park.
Wearing a mask is a small public health measure individuals can take in a small number of settings, hopefully for a short period of time, so that we can otherwise go about our lives without too much inconvenience. It not only helps you, but also other people who may be more at risk from getting seriously sick.
We did enjoy the exchange on our masks story from two sensible sounding women who were celebrating this odd logic from other people.
"Looks like Figtree and Unanderra will be nice and quiet as everyone flocks to Shellhabour just to avoid wearing a mask. Love that for us, straight in straight out," one wrote, with her friend adding that Wollongong Central would be a delight for "a spot of shopping".