"Living with Covid" is an easy phrase to roll off the tongue and sounds seductively like a neatly tied up solution.
After more than a year and a half of this pandemic, the urge to view it in deceptively simple terms is strong. The desire to see the coronavirus in the rear-view is stronger.
It's easy to chafe at restrictions and choke on frustrations and mistakes, and to think it might be easier being somewhere else.
The reality is that messiness and uncertainty is still generally the norm with Covid-19, here and overseas.
That's even with the high confidence vaccines bring that they will prevent the worst health outcomes. Public Health England, for instance, estimates that the UK's vaccination programme has saved more than 100,000 lives so far.
Rather than just let the virus loose, governments, health authorities and businesses will have to continue to wield judgment on where and how to intervene to keep Covid responses on track as individuals take on more of the risk after vaccination rollouts.
Practical changes, like good public building ventilation and filter standards, will be as important going forward as general policies.
As New Zealand sits in lockdown, it's not hard to follow developments and trends on Covid-19 preoccupying authorities in northern countries, that are at a different stage in the pandemic.
Those themes at present include: concern at infection rates after reopening; growing signs of a gradual waning of vaccine immunity to block basic infections; trying to encourage remaining pockets of undecided people to get jabs; an increasing awareness that young people are more at risk; and how to protect children from the virus.
A combination of official policies, people just wanting the pandemic to be over, behaviour in reaction to the easing of restrictions, and the problematic Delta variant, is setting some countries back. Others are managing better.
This is despite the north having been in summer with people spending more time outdoors - far safer than indoor events for a circulating virus. They are now preparing for children returning to school and colder weather.
The United States, Britain, and France are among more than 20 countries planning to deliver booster shots to people in the next few months, in a blow to vaccine supply hopes for the developing world. Western countries don't want their gains to slide.
The US has a stubbornly high percentage of unvaccinated people who provide a reservoir for the virus. Covid patients are taking up 13 per cent of hospital beds and the country's case numbers last week reached a million over a seven-day period - the worst result since January.
There's a dramatic difference in levels of hospitalisation between US states with high levels of vaccination and those with low numbers. Florida is one of the worst-hit states with more than 17,000 in hospital this month with Covid - including many younger, mostly unvaccinated, people.
In New Zealand's Covid outbreak, director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said on Sunday that 60 per cent of the cases involved people aged under 30.
Going forward, people here will have to take on board more responsibility for limiting virus spread, but authorities will also need to work hard on our behalf, taking measures to reduce transmission where possible.
Rather than react to the pandemic or vaccinations in an emotive way, it's best to recognise that the problem will have to be managed carefully for some time.
That management requires fair scrutiny to ensure authorities have sensible strategies but are also applying enough attention to detail to get the best results.