Two numbers resulted in a New Zealand nobody ever imagined they would see.
They were the two numbers that convinced Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Cabinet to move the entire country into lockdown, a country in which most people will be confined to their homes, shops shut, businesses shut.
"Normal" life will be suspended, for an indefinite period.
One of those numbers was small – two. It was the number of cases of Covid-19 believed to be from community transmission rather than travel.
The other number was much, much larger: "tens of thousands."
That was the number of lives Ardern had been told would be taken in New Zealand if Covid-19 was allowed to spread without restraint.
Ardern revealed that number on Monday when explaining why she had decided to move to lockdown.
It was the first time she had announced the predicted death toll out loud.
She did it to drive home why such an extraordinary measure was needed: to avoid the same fate as Italy where Covid-19 has overwhelmed the health system and thousands have died.
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About a month ago when Covid-19 was first starting to spread in other countries, a commentator was asked about China's success in apparently stalling the virus by implementing stringent measures such as lengthy lockdowns on its people.
The commentator said China could take extreme steps that no Government in a democratic country would be able to take. Others had said the same thing.
Or so they thought.
Country after country has now implemented lockdowns and just before midnight on Wednesday New Zealand will join them.
Now even democracy is on hold: Parliament will be called back on Wednesday to pass the laws required for the lock-down, and the powers for it to be enforced. Then Parliament will be adjourned for an indefinite period.
Police and the Defence Force will patrol, making sure nobody is breaching the lockdown rules.
The decision had seemed inevitable at least since late last week when the number of cases in New Zealand started increasing by more than 10 a day. The day of Ardern's announcement, that increased to 36 new cases.
But the inevitable still comes as a shock when it is a reality. It has left people scrambling to try to get home, and Air NZ scrambling to try to get extra flights put on.
Officials could not yet answer all the questions about exactly how it would work, and what and was not allowed.
For some days, others had been urging the Government to move faster including the Opposition and some scientists.
But Ardern could not take such a move too early. Such is the upheaval to peoples' lives that she needed to be able to say for sure that the previous restrictions had not worked enough.
They may have slowed transmission, but had not contained it enough.
There was a very fine line between leaving it too late, and moving too early. It is the finest line Ardern will ever have to walk.
Now ahead of people lies weeks of solitude and worry.
Worry about families, and friends, worry about jobs and mortgages. The Government has also taken steps to try to reduce that worry, but it has also made it clear that it cannot ensure every job will be kept, and every business will stay alive.
Ahead of Ardern lies worry too. She will be praying it works, that the upheaval to people's lives and livelihoods is worth it.
Ardern had given sufficient forewarning that she would move when community transmission was clear. That became clear yesterday.
Given those two cases were in different parts of the country and there was no idea where they had contracted the virus, there was little point in half-measures such as regional lockdowns.
The cost to the economy, to jobs, to businesses for each day of that lockdown will be massive. But a cost in lives is worse. And that was the rub.