SO much for the Team Australia "we're all in this together" spirit that helped the nation through much of last year, when COVID-19 was still a novelty, if an unwanted one.
Whether it's federal parliament sitting, or sniping between governments, Australians are trapped in a Groundhog Day of arguments over when and how we will "end the lockdowns".
Some say when vaccination rates hit 70 per cent. Others 80 per cent. Sometimes it's a percentage of the total population. Other times it's the adult population. Or those over 16. Or over 12.
As was the case with Dan Andrews in Victoria, the daily media conference of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has become a focal point of the coronavirus news cycle.
The premier takes ample questions, but she also sets the agenda, and the more she can talk about the future, the less the focus remains on the present.
Yesterday, case numbers hit a unwanted high of 1029: crossing another psychological threshold - that of 1000 cases a day.
Even if the bulk of the Greater Sydney cases are in the city's sprawling western suburbs, the picture elsewhere in the state is also problematic.
Yesterday the Deputy Premier John Barliaro dropped news of the much-anticipated extension of the regional lockdown to midnight on September 10.
Things continue to go from bad to worse here in Dubbo with another 24 cases of covid detected.
Every day new Dubbo venues of concern are being added to NSW Health's list.
On one hand the politicians have a point when they say the nation needs to prepare for "life after lockdown".
But the squabble over the vaccination percentage needed to trigger the stepped return to new normal ignores a greater reality: that the mood at the time will ultimately determine how "open", or not, we become.
Ultimately, much will depend on the vaccines continuing to do their job.
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