Each lockdown is like a recurring nightmare. When it stops we don't want to think about it anymore. We awake to a new day of open shops and cafes, unrestricted gatherings, the freedom to get in the car and go out of the city, normal life.
Normal life is so good we just want to enjoy it while it lasts, knowing now it will not last. It's a relief to read about something other than the virus even if the week's new subject is as sickening as the self-serving Sussex pair. I find the phony self-pity of Meghan Markle unwatchable, so I didn't watch the Oprah interview.
I could admire Harry Windsor's decision to leave the family "firm" and make his own way in life if he would actually do it, instead of exploiting his royal connection for publicity at his family's expense.
Have we ever seen a young couple with a greater sense of entitlement? Having resigned from royal duty they are now miffed their children will not have royal titles. It speaks volumes for Princess Anne that she declined titles for her children, giving them lives largely out of the public eye.
Prince Andrew did the opposite, asking the Queen to make princesses of his poor daughters, reportedly at the urging of their mother. A pity Harry is going the way of Uncle Andy rather than Aunty Anne - who has not resigned from royal duty, by the way.
The English monarchy provides fascinatingly normal family drama as well as a solid constitutional underpinning for our system of law and government but look, we really need to talk about the virus right now.
We can't properly evaluate a lockdown until it's over. If we did that, the future might become a little less murky for people trying to maintain a business. A year since the arrival of Covid-19, does anyone yet understand why we are shut down for some outbreaks and not others?
Last Sunday, the day Auckland was released from level 3, an Air New Zealand flight attendant tested positive. He had visited the Countdown supermarket near the airport a few days earlier. The city was not locked down.
Two weeks earlier a tertiary student went to a gym while awaiting the results of a Covid test that turned out to be positive and all of Auckland was put under level 3 for a week. Events were cancelled, restaurants and bars shut again, perishable goods ruined, jobs probably lost as business owners counted another week's losses and decided it was the last straw.
Back in January a Northland returnee from overseas tested positive after leaving managed isolation. She had the new South African variant said to be more infectious than the original. Since leaving isolation she had visited various towns in the region. Northland was not locked down.
In February Auckland closed for three days after an outbreak at Papatoetoe High School identified as the new British variant. In March the city was locked down again because a student with a sibling at Papatoetoe High went to a gym while awaiting a test that turned out to be positive.
The Prime Minister was angry and she said, as she re-imposed level 3, that more community cases were likely to appear.
But they didn't.
We were locked down on a Sunday morning. On Monday there were no new community cases. On Tuesday, no new community cases. On Wednesday, none. Thursday, none. Not one new case appeared last week. That's pretty amazing when you read how infectious the new variants have been over the northern winter.
Virus modeller Michael Plank thought it likely the lockdown had snuffed out any virus still in the community but a lot of people had been exposed to infection before the return to level 3. There were 185 people at the gym, 1800 at Kmart Botany, 90 at KFC Botany Downs, not to mention the 1500 at Papatoetoe High. And just 15 were infected.
It is easy to be wise in hindsight but foolish not to learn lessons of hindsight. The fact is the Papatoetoe cluster did not spread as the Prime Minister feared when she shut down Auckland for the fourth time in a year.
One of the things epidemiologists have discovered about Sars-CoV-2 in the year it has been going around is that about 80 per cent of infections appear to come from about 20 per cent of cases. Some infected people are "super spreaders", some don't spread it much at all. Maybe it's possible to go too hard and early when an outbreak appears.
In response to the latest border breach – the "Russian variant" this time - anyone who was at the airport Countdown at the time the flight attendant was there has been advised to get a test. Recent experience would suggest that is enough.