It's starting to feel like the Government has just thrown regional New Zealand its biggest hospital pass of the pandemic so far.
Delta last week needled its way over the Auckland border into Waikato as if it was the Springboks' rush defence. It feels like more hits are inevitable in the coming weeks.
Yet thousands of people are now technically allowed to cram into stadiums across New Zealand this weekend to watch sport.
Technically being the operative word.
Of all the sport available in this brave new Delta "suppressing" country, arguably the biggest game of all this weekend is Tasman's bid to steal the coveted Ranfurly Shield off Hawke's Bay on Saturday afternoon.
The final-bound Tui would rightfully argue their game against the Cyclones in Manawatū is just as big.
As at Wednesday, the only Government-enforced rule for those who want to turn up to watch the Magpies or Tui is that they must be seated, and must ensure they stay 1 metre, roughly an arm-width and a bit, apart.
Under the current rules it would be a completely legitimate move by Hawke's Bay Rugby to let thousands of punters in the 19,000 capacity McLean Park stands and let the wave of hometown support carry the Magpies to a glorious Log o' Wood retention.
It would be a glorious spring afternoon lift for the region.
But Hawke's Bay Rugby is being hesitant, even cagey. This is not what they expected and not what they'd been planning for.
Some tickets are available, they said on Thursday. The crowd size if all the tickets sell? "No comment".
It's a rare departure from the often big lengths unions go to to promote crowd attendance.
It's also somewhat understandable given a public backlash is likely if they were to pack the park.
For the Hawke's Bay region, which has only really felt the effects of the Covid outbreak when the Ruby Princess docked way back in March 2020, this week has felt like a massive departure from the sheltered life that we have become accustomed to and it's unnerving.
We are not all fully vaccinated. We do not have vaccine passports. Almost half of all Māori have not had their first dose.
We are a region with some armour on but huge chunks of it missing.
It just feels incongruous that Ardern and her Government feels it's reasonable, and a good idea, to give the green light to stadium events with no caps on attendance.
It goes against everything the Hawke's Bay region, and its health authorities, have worked hard for over the past 18 months.
It feels like the ball's now hanging in mid-air. Here's hoping no-one drops it.