Whether New Zealand has gone too hard or too fast into alert level 3 in Auckland and 2 around the rest of the country shouldn't take too much time in explaining.
It is after all, the first community discovery of the UK variant B.1.1.7 - believed to be more deadly than previous variants for all age groups, genders and ethnicities.
Some experts contend this version of the virus simply spreads faster and wider, thus infecting more people at risk of needing hospital treatment - but regardless the tragic outcome of B.1.1.7 transmission is dire indeed.
The new research, which found the British variant is "likely" to be linked to a higher risk of hospital admissions and death, lays bare once more the danger facing countries that ease restrictions.
Late last month British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced preliminary data from several research groups had suggested B.1.1.7 was spreading more quickly than previous variants and was also associated with a higher risk of death.
On February 3, researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) released an analysis of some of the data, which estimated the risk of dying as around 35 per cent higher for people confirmed to be infected with the new variant.
"This provides strong evidence that there indeed exists increased mortality from the new strain," said Henrik Salje, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at the University of Cambridge, UK.
As mentioned, some scientists warn the latest study is preliminary and still does not indicate whether the variant is more deadly or is just spreading faster and so reaching greater numbers of vulnerable people.
New Zealand researchers have been looking on with growing concern. Te Punaha Matatini and Canterbury University Covid-19 modeller Professor Michael Plank last month said the number of new cases per infected person - the so-called "R number" was 40 to 70 per cent higher than the original strain.
"This is a serious concern because of the potential for explosive exponential growth."
As well as being more contagious, the speed of the spread also sets the UK strain apart. Plank says the increase of 50 per cent in the transmission rate might not sound a lot but bigger outbreaks occur because it is compounded by exponential growth.
"For example, the original strain of Covid-19 would typically infect about 160 cases after five links in the chain, whereas the new variant will typically infect about 1000 cases in the same time."
Another key factor is whether the vaccines, which began landing in New Zealand this week, will be effective against B.1.1.7. Ravindra Gupta from the University of Cambridge and colleagues have demonstrated evidence of a reduced antibody response against the B.1.1.7 mutant among individuals (aged between 64 and 85) three weeks after they received the first dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine BNT162b.
However, the researchers said these reductions were expected - vaccines should still retain good activity and vaccination should remain a priority.
One thing is certain, New Zealand does not want to join the Covid club and contribute mortality statistics to confirm or refute the extra peril posed by the UK strain.