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(Image: AAP/David Crosling)

After weeks of self-congratulation and a general feeling of Australian exceptionalism, we're suddenly back facing a potential nightmare scenario where a major economy has to lockdown again as this highly infectious virus threatens a fresh breakout.

A second lockdown would be an economic double-tap -- shuttering services and business just as they were reopening, accelerating the rise in unemployment and likely sending a lot of small businesses, which barely survived the first lockdown, into bankruptcy. All while the second round of employment impacts in areas like construction are only just becoming manifest.

Nor is Victoria well placed to deal with even a slowdown in the removal of restrictions, let alone a return to lockdown: unemployment jumped from 6% to 6.9% in May, well above NSW (and Tasmania) on 6.4%. Victoria had the lowest state growth in jobs in the last week of May, and it was the only state where total wages went backwards.