The kids and I are on a steep mountain covered in snow and rocks.
They're happy to be snowboarding and I can hear my sister saying the snow looks good. But my view of the ski field is pockmarked and scary.
There's an icy crust littered with treacherous-looking holes, and the narrow path at the mountaintop is crowded with skiers threatening to knock each other over.
I'm wearing a gas mask and my mind is screaming "we need to get out of here" – I feel like the mountain is going to blow.
It is Ruapehū, but a warped, apocalyptic version of the volcanic pistes at Tūroa and Whakapapa.
I'm woken from the nightmare by my daughter saying she needs a cuddle.
Outside, the wind is blowing hard, and I feel headachy and sick.
The previous day, my son was talking about how he wished he was snowboarding as he skateboarded down an empty Marine Parade for the umpteenth time. I spent the afternoon hastily compiling research for a paper I'm supposed to be writing for my university studies.
The subject is The Laws of Armed Conflict and I settled on bioterrorism as a topic after reading that Covid-19 is exposing the world's lack of preparedness for a biological attack and the havoc it would wreak.
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Before bed, I was reading about the mustard gas used in World War 1, hence the gas mask in the dream.
I also needed to take an anti-nausea pill because I've been suffering vertigo.
It had woken me two nights earlier and made me feel like I was spinning into a sickening void. It's something I've had episodes of once before and luckily I found the pill that helped in the drawer.
I figure the drug contributed to the trippy visions but I see from a New York Times story on the Herald website that I'm not alone in having vivid dreams during lockdown.
The story says the Google query "why am i having weird dreams lately" has quadrupled in the United States in the past week.
Apparently, the reason is waking life has taken on increasingly surreal quality and for those working on the frontlines, disturbing dreams may be a sign of trauma.
Obviously, I'm not in that camp. I'm not a supermarket worker, courier driver, midwife, rest home assistant, nurse or doctor.
The most I'm required to do is answer a few questions from my kids about their new virtual schooling.
I'm in awe of how quickly their teachers have adapted and the kids enjoy reconnecting with them and their classmates on Zoom and Google Meet.
However, my son's and daughter's approach to lessons can best be described as dabbling and otherwise our lockdown routine of fresh air, cooking, screens and bedtime stories continues.
I'm not worried and have no energy for conversations circulating about children falling behind.
My sister has a friend who was home schooled and says her parents only gave her one dedicated hour of lessons a week. The rest of the time she spent running around their farm and she's a doctor now.
Kids will grow up to be whoever they are going to be regardless of lost time in classrooms now.
Instead, like most people, my thoughts are turning to life after alert level 4.
Me and my best friend in Auckland spend a Skype session discussing how lockdown has been good in some ways.
Her dog takes up the frame for much of our conversation.
There's the first positive – pets are happier.
We agree the increased focus on health and hygiene is a good thing, and she thinks companies will no longer have an excuse to stop people working from home.
Lockdown has proved they can be productive without being in the office and Aucklanders especially have experienced the freedom of no commute.
Less time in traffic means better mental health and less pollution, and I hope lockdown reignites New Zealanders' collective spirit of self-reliance.
The economic survival of our families and friends now depends on us supporting local, sustainable businesses rather than spending money on unnecessary imported consumables.
If we let it, the end of lockdown could serve as a reset. We could take the opportunity, for example, to rid our nation of single-use plastic and build a proper recycling infrastructure.
My friend and I agree that the longer the alert level remains high and the more Covid threatens our world, the more we will emerge changed.
But if the restrictions lift soon, we'll be back to our old ways in no time – and some of those old ways we can do without.
• Juliet Rowan is a former Bay of Plenty Times and New Zealand Herald journalist.