A weekend of Olympics sports coverage and a bronze medal to boot has landed like comfort food amid a harder to digest regular diet of less welcome news.
We are getting a distraction from the coronavirus pandemic. But changing channels doesn't halt the programming and we can't unplug it at the wall for a reset.
The planet is at a point where human behaviour is going to have a major say in how long this most intense initial phase of the pandemic lasts. Will populations do enough collectively to boost vaccination levels and reduce infection spread?
The crazy scenes in Sydney of thousands opposed to Covid-19 restrictions defying health orders and common sense to hold a rally suggested more negative and self-destructive possibilities.
"You don't have to be an epidemiologist to work out that if this is a super-spreader event, we can forget about lifting restrictions [this] week," New South Wales Police Minister David Elliott pointed out.
The Covid death on Sunday of a Sydney woman in her 30s with no pre-existing conditions shows anyone can be at risk, including those who defy the threat.
Immunity and infection expert Professor Peter Doherty said: "This Delta variant that's circulating now is really quite problematic in younger people [who] are at considerable risk and at higher risk than with the earlier variants of Covid."
In the United States, the combination of Delta and too many unvaccinated people has health officials considering advising that the vaccinated wear masks in public and booster shots for some people.
Unlike last year, more countries now have vaccines available to prevent severe Covid outcomes. The core issue of getting more doses in arms is - apart from insufficient spread of supplies - increasingly about vaccine holdouts.
Worldwide, 27.1 per cent of the population has received at least one Covid vaccine dose and 13.7 per cent are fully vaccinated, according to ourworldindata.org.
Countries need to get the vaccinated or immune proportion of their populations to as high a level as possible. Health passes in use so far have the option of proof of vaccination, recovered immunity or a negative test.
Huge numbers are simply waiting to get access to a vaccine. Some proportion of holdouts in countries where jabs are widely available are not anti-vaccine. They have a range of reasons for waiting to get it.
Vaccinating teens is one way governments will try to boost community immunity. Anyone with a job that involves regular contact with a lot of people could come under pressure. In particular, healthcare and rest-home workers deal with people who are more medically vulnerable. Governments are also targeting public activities to boost vaccinations.
In the European Union, the total percentage of partially and fully vaccinated people is 57.4 per cent.
Italy has followed France in announcing that proof of vaccination or immunity would soon become mandatory for indoor dining, gyms, pools, museums and cinemas. Greece has made a certificate mandatory for indoor restaurants and bars, while people who work in healthcare and rest homes have been ordered to get jabs.
Far-right political opponents of President Emmanuel Macron, who faces re-election next year, have demonstrated against the health pass. But 3.7 million people in France booked a vaccination in the past week.
Here, the Government has focused more on persuasion and working around vaccine hesitancy.
Then again, we are a long way from knowing what percentage of New Zealanders will get the vaccine.
And the Government has yet to confirm any future incentives - such as normal travel without managed isolation - to encourage take-up.