So once again the nation crowded around the wireless to hear the pronouncements of our health authorities and Government on the next stage of our battle against the great contagion of 2020, Covid-19.
I say crowded but I think the 1pm announcement has lost much of its ratings pulling power. We know they say something. It's disappointing. More people lose their jobs. Hopefully, bit by bit things are getting better. People aren't listening the way they did now that we're six months down the track.
So I watched on nzherald.co.nz. It's quite good. You can stop and pause it and then fast forward it through the boring bits.
Ashley came on did his kia oras and then outlined five cases. Two imported and three from the cluster already self-isolating.
Then the Prime Minister came on and started her spiel. She immediately said we're not going back to level 3. Relatively early she dropped the old "team of 5 million" and how they had gone hard and early both at the beginning of this saga and after the second outbreak.
The catch phrases were met with an audible groan from everyone in our office. The team of 5 million has certainly worn out its effectiveness after 23 weeks.
Then she continued to drone on and on and on about all the factors Cabinet considered while making its decision. I heard one of my office mates say "she's just in love with her own voice". Another said, "for chrissakes just get on with it".
Meanwhile, the Facebook comments were relentless. Propaganda. Hurry up. No transparency. Ego gone mad.
Finally she came to a stop and announced ... nothing. No change for another 10 days. Collective groan and everyone got back to work.
And I thought I'd rewind and figure out how much of my life I'll never get back.
Ashley Bloomfield spoke for 7 minutes and 28 seconds.
The media question time lasted nearly 30 minutes.
From the time the Prime Minister started her talk, to the announcement of the levels, she spoke for the grand total of ... 5 minutes. Followed by another 4 minutes of ra ra. You can do it. Be kind. Wear a mask and the cops are going to be at the pub this weekend keeping you apart.
Five minutes ... 300 seconds ... 2 minutes less than Hotel California. And how quickly we snapped. If you hear anyone talking about how the PM just bangs on and on and on at us in a condescending voice remember this comes from people with no patience.
Patience is a virtue. Impatience is a hazard. Impatience led many to say open the borders and form travel bubbles two months ago that, with the benefit of hindsight, would have been disastrous.
This battle has lasted 23 weeks. Almost six months. The quickest vaccine ever found was for mumps. That took four years.
Keep calm and carry on and get real. We're still at the start. If we're lucky, we're at the end of the beginning not the beginning of the end.