New Zealand's careful climb out of Covid-19 restrictions has been a tale of two journeys.
To envious overseas eyes, we have been a smooth success story and a source of hope to others. At home, there's been both pride and frustration.
The bottom line is we have got our coronavirus case numbers down in a controlled way and can safely reopen our economy.
That's important, not just in order to head off any future waves of infection, but to ensure that when we move to level 2, people will jump back into more normal life with confidence.
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Many countries are in nowhere near as good a position as us, but some are still starting to reopen with their infection and death rates at best on a downward trend. In some cases, the curve is more a plateau. In the United States, a number of states are easing restrictions despite cases still being on the rise.
The aim is to keep finances, businesses and jobs afloat. But this real-time experiment could be inviting higher death totals, spikes in cases and future shutdowns.
Reopening is a difficult process to handle right.
Germany has dealt with its outbreak much better than most, but even so, has introduced a fallback clause. Regions will reimpose restrictions if infections rebound.
South Korea, which has been impressive with its test and trace approach, is having to douse a new cluster involving nightclubs, after more than a dozen cases were linked to one man who visited three venues in Seoul.
Britain is unusually only now introducing a border isolation system, weeks after other countries did so.
The coronavirus pandemic has been an economic conundrum over lack of demand. Economies may reopen, but unless the public feels safe, businesses may struggle. As Andy Slavitt, an Obama Administration health official, tweeted: "Without a credible plan to address the public health crisis, tell me how consumers start buying cars, small businesses sign leases & employers start hiring?"
In the US, polls show a majority of Americans are concerned that states are reopening too quickly, despite the severe economic hardship the virus has wrought. Unemployment there is now the worst it has been since the Great Depression.
The correct sequence of events is to squash the virus, get an effective defence in place to keep it down with testing, contact tracing and isolations, and have a clear system of new public protections in place for work, business and socialising.
Our ability to follow that script has drawn admiration from foreign medical experts and media.
But here - amid remarkable unity over health safety goals - there has also been chafing at the pace of our emergence from lockdown and fears over loss of jobs and income.
Other countries might be doing a lot worse, but we are dealing with our own realities.
Is our leadership nimble enough to stay on top of the virus firefighting, while maintaining public cooperation, outlining a pathway out of economic disaster, and snapping up opportunities as they arise?
Now's the time for a glass half full.
Pandemics, like climate change, are bad but the upheaval is conversely an opportunity for change, innovation and improvement. For instance, potentially profitable ideas about how to make public areas and workplaces safe are springing up around the globe. We can add to them.
Confident, clear plans about how to make the most of our situation are what's needed.