It was August 11, only 10 days ago, when the PM announced we had an outbreak of community transmission and Auckland was going back into lockdown. The longest 10 days yet.
Level 3 isn't worse than level 4. But this time, we're no longer the country that "beat the virus", we're merely the country that beat it in round one and still has to work out how to do that, again and again, in all the rounds to come. Without destroying ourselves.
What we also know, thanks to my colleague Derek Cheng, Newshub's Michael Morrah and many other journalists, is that life on the border is not what we thought it was.
The security was too lax and we were misled about the testing regime. It's not entirely clear if we are still being misled. It's far from clear the Government understands the depths of dismay and anger this has caused.
We thought the border was like the Wall in Game of Thrones, a place of strictness and rules, where they kept the Wildlings out and, with a bit of luck, where they might even keep the White Walkers out too.
Turns out, according to some, the border was more like a Wild West town full of outlaws. In truth, that's a little too fanciful. There have been breaches of security, but not all the time and not everywhere, and they have not destroyed our collective effort to contain and eliminate the virus. Testing failures have not done that either.
Still, it does feel like we've dodged one bullet while, for all we know, they're reloading their pistols to come at us again.
Really, it we'd paid more attention to Game of Thrones, we'd have realised the whole point of a Wall is that it's there to be breached.
We know it in our hearts: rules are made to be broken. Where people go mischief trots behind. No padlock but some rogue wants to unpick it.
To prevent it, you've got to get up early and work very, very hard. Labour woke up to the calamity late.
A tight new team will now take charge of it all, presumably with authority to make plans and call people to account, although that hasn't been stated. A couple of people we're supposed to think of as battle-hardened commanders have been put in charge.
Heather Simpson, former top adviser to Helen Clark, looks like a good choice: she's just finished an inquiry into the health administration and found much to repair. She'll know where the bodies are buried.
Sir Brian Roche is the chair of various transport bodies. He's one of the Government's go-to guys, which presumably means they rate his strategic thinking and his ability to get officials to do their jobs well. We haven't really seen the evidence for it yet, especially at Waka Kotahi, the NZ Transport Agency, but who knows.
In public service terms, an outsider and an insider, which feels right. But they don't cover all the bases. The other members of their "small team" will be announced today and it's important they're right for the job.
Top of the list, surely: a Pasifika public health expert. Seventy-four per cent of people infected in the latest cluster are of Pacific origin and for them not to be directly represented at the top table would be dreadful.
Also important: Someone with significant logistical expertise from the private sector. I've heard Mainfreight boss Don Braid suggested more than once. He'd qualify, not just for the logistics skills but on account of his company's long record of public service. Their engagement in south Auckland schools makes a remarkable difference to the lives of the kids there.
And what about a kindergarten teacher? Is that a joke? Why do we keep thinking the only people with the requisites are bosses from conventional boss roles?
Kindy teachers aren't allowed to settle for 80 per cent success, which seems to be more or less what the Ministry of Health aims for and what the Government has been putting up with. They have to safeguard the lives of all the toddlers in their charge, not most of them. And they do. They have eyes in the back of their heads, truly excellent people skills and a zero failure rate.
Most businesses also treat 80 per cent completion as success. That's what the 80:20 rule means: forget the last 20 per cent because it takes too much effort. I'd have my kindy teacher in that group specifically to call them all out on it.
Is the Army, now with a beefed-up security role, going to be there?
The modern armed forces are a fascinating beast. This is the outfit, revealed the just-completed commission of inquiry, that lied for years to its political masters and to the public, about claims of wrongdoing in Afghanistan made by Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson.
The Defence Force has given no sign it will address the culture of deceit that report laid bare.
And yet, on the ground, our armed forces have experience in disaster relief, civilian reconstruction, humanitarian aid and complex logistics. You need both a strong public service ethic and excellent people skills to do that work well.
Do they do it well? We don't know. We have only their own word for it, and we know that's not reliable.
It's going to take six weeks for the new armed forces deployment to be in place at border control facilities across the country. Six weeks? Does that tell us something about the complexities of keeping the border safe, or does it suggest this whole community transmission crisis is still not being taken seriously enough?
We need confidence restored, as soon as. If this was an earthquake that had just flattened Wellington, it wouldn't take six weeks to get the Army in place.
Meanwhile, National has produced its own new "Securing our Border" policy. This crisis must seem like a lifesaver: finally, something to get tough about.
Although, if they get this wrong, they'll have nothing. What would be the point of Judith Collins if she mucked up being tough?
Perhaps surprisingly, then, the policy is not noticeably tougher than the Government's own new approach. Both will use Covid Cards to keep track of people in isolation, both propose a range of other measures to keep security tight and subject everyone who needs it to regular testing.
The steps that need taking, on the whole, are not controversial. We just need them taken properly.
National would establish a new border protection agency, which in quieter times it surely would have criticised for being just another bureaucracy. Will the Government's new committee do the job anyway? We'll see.
National says no one will be allowed to enter the country without first producing a negative test result. But they will still undergo a fortnight's managed isolation.
That isolation is generally acknowledged as the critical measure, so it's not clear what problem the extra test is supposed to resolve.
And National has proposed micro-lockdowns: one street or suburb at a time, when infection is discovered. Is the party keeping up? That's the strategy they thought would contain community transmission in Melbourne.
The Wall can be broken and there are no dragons to save us. In the end, it's about isolation, testing, tracking and tracing. And washing our hands. We've learned, these last 10 days, how much better we have to get at all of it.