There was a reason Health Minister Chris Hipkins mounted a full-throttle attack on a rumour circling on social media about how Covid-19 made it back into the New Zealand community.
It was because too many people seemed to believe it.
The corollary of that was that too many people did not believe what the Government was saying – or at least believed it was withholding information.
By and large, the word of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and director general of health Ashley Bloomfield had been taken as gospel throughout the Covid times.
Now scepticism was leaking in, and scepticism is not the Government's friend.
So Hipkins stood, firmly discounted the rumour, and declared the Government's own 1pm press conference was the truth.
In persuading people of that, it did not help that concerns were flagged about the Government's promises of thorough testing on workers at the border and in managed isolation and quarantine roles.
It had become clear the reality of that testing did not meet the promises.
There are some things a government can afford to fail to deliver on. But in the current environment, protection at the borders is not it.
So Ardern kept her head low for much of the week, sending forth instead her front row of Covid ministers, Chris Hipkins, Grant Robertson and Megan Woods, to do many of her usual media appearances.
She came back once she had a fix: announcing steps aimed at tightening up testing of staff at the border and in isolation facilities, and for the Defence Force to take over the work of security guards at those facilities.
The critical question is whether people think the "other side" would manage it better.
If National wanted a chance to get back on its feet after a series of faceplants, this could be it and all sides know it.
The "Crusher" side of Collins' personality has emerged again as she tries to persuade voters Labour is failing them and that National would have a "zero tolerance" approach and deliver the measures the stop the dreaded Covid in its track.
National plans to release its own border policy today. .
The election is also now a month further away after Ardern's decision to delay it until October 17, a step she said was fair for all parties involved as well as voters.
If there are further mishaps or the latest outbreak is not contained swiftly, that month could be enough to give National the chance to regain some lost ground.
If National can capitalise on it, it would at the least stop Labour getting that holy grail: a complete majority, which would allow it to govern alone.
This week's NZ Herald Kantar Vote 2020 poll has let us know what voters think Ardern should do if she wins the election and has choices.
About a third would want Labour to govern alone and there was almost no appetite for a repeat of a Labour – NZ First – Green Party government. Only four per cent liked that option.
Ardern has refused to say what her own preferences would be for governing partners.
Signalling your preferences has the effect – sometimes counter-productive – of helping voters decide whether a strategic vote is called for.
The major parties do not like strategic voting, because it means voters think they are being helpful by voting for a party that is not National or Labour.
In short, it can mean fewer votes for them and more votes for the smaller parties that prop them up.
That means there is less chance of being able to form a government all by themselves.
Whether they admit it or not, the big parties want to get a majority in their own right.
However, just because a party can govern alone does not mean that they should.
Ardern's personal views are probably not hard to guess.
There have been struggles with NZ First and Labour's own policies steer much closer to the Greens.
Ardern has also faced flak for having to cede too much of Labour's wishlist to NZ First.
But she is revealing herself to be much more of a pragmatist than people expected.
Her eye will not just be on 2020 but on 2023.
She has only just managed to secure a hold on the motherlode: the so-called "centre" voters who sway from National to Labour.
Ardern secured them mainly by virtue of Covid-19 management – although she was also helped by the never-ending fireworks show National put on for itself since March.
She also knows she could easily lose them and the next three years will also be decided on Covid and its economic fallout more than any party's wider agenda.
Ardern will know that seeing that success of Labour in the polls as a mandate or approval to indulge the socialist side of Labour would be pure folly.
So if NZ First can survive, they could remain an important tool for Labour.
Ardern has already achieved one first under MMP: hers is the first Government in which the major party with the smaller share of the vote ended up governing.
It would be somewhat ironic if the Prime Minister who boasted of leading the "first pure MMP Government" ends up also becoming the first to lead the first FPP-style Government under the MMP system.