As COVID-19 transforms our individual lives, we are learning a few new things about ourselves as a society.
We've known Australians suspect authority and, like other Western countries, have come to trust government less and less - right? One goes to our historical narrative; the other is borne out by quantitative research. And we don't need a survey to know our political system is highly, often gratingly, adversarial.
But the coronavirus has challenged these truisms, for now.
First, despite some flouting and pushback, stringent restrictions are being accepted and indeed approved in a way inconceivable a couple of months ago (although we might wonder how it will be in winter's depth, so measures have to be fine-tuned for sustainability and administered sensibly).
Second, we see an interesting twist on the "trust" issue. There was criticism of the government's earlier mixed messaging, but the Essential poll published this week indicates a substantial level of trust in what the government says and does.
The poll asked whether people agreed or disagreed with the statement "I trust the government to provide honest and objective information about the COVID-19 outbreak". Some 56 per cent trusted the government - the same figure as in the previous week's poll.
When people were asked how they rated the government's response to the outbreak, 45 per cent said it was good - not a majority, but well above those who rated it as poor (31 per cent).
It's early days. But we can hypothesise that while Australians generally have a low level of trust in government - just-released research from the "Democracy 2025" project shows Australia is very low among mature democracies - the situation is different in a major crisis, when people may be more inclined to turn to traditional institutions (as well as to the experts they already trust).
Third, politicians and other political players have been able to go from fighting like alley cats over the most minor matters to co-operating on an extraordinary range of unprecedented initiatives.
Labor has - quite reasonably - argued at the margin.But it has passed two economic packages, and will do the same with the third next week, with minimum quibbling and maximum alacrity. Federal and state leaders have worked effectively together, across party lines, through the national cabinet, despite some significant differences.
A community thoroughly tired of knee-jerk political aggression might ask: after the crisis is over, please could we retain some of this more productive approach?
Sharp conflicts will return, and that's appropriate. But it would be a positive legacy if what in recent years has become destructive and debilitating hyperpartisanship remained dialled down.
While the current drastic measures are necessary to try to stop COVID-19's steady trot breaking into a full gallop, their nature does raise some concern.
Police cars patrolling parks; drones in the sky; the power to electronically monitor people in quarantine; soldiers walking the streets.
When this is over, there must be a clear end to the incursions into civil liberties.
The crisis has also told us a good deal about Morrison.
While the desirable exit strategy on the social distancing side is clear... what will have to be done longer term with the economy and the budget is unfathomable.
We've always known he's highly pragmatic; now it's pragmatism on steroids. He's willing to adopt policies completely against the grain for Liberals.
The politician who harped endlessly about how Labor overspent to keep Australia out of recession in the global financial crisis this week unveiled a mind-boggling $130 billion wage subsidy package aimed at stopping Australia falling into depression.
So far Morrison has been able to maintain a united party behind measures many Liberals would hate or be shocked by.
As in the GFC, when Treasury secretary Ken Henry was a driving force, so the current Treasury secretary, Steven Kennedy, was a key figure in the preparation of this week's package. He has turned out to be the right man in the right place at the right time.
Kennedy was in Kevin Rudd's office during the GFC; he was even a co-author of a 2006 paper titled A primer on the macroeconomic effects of an influenza pandemic on the Australian economy.
An insider describes Kennedy as forceful, "not afraid to speak up, to put his view". Another source notes "we're back to a world where Treasury is influential. Treasury is central - in the days of [former secretary John] Fraser it wasn't, because he was so erratic".
While the desirable exit strategy on the social distancing side is clear - stop the measures as soon as it's safe to do so - what will have to be done longer term with the economy and the budget is unfathomable.
The questions, however, are numerous.
The most obvious is: to what extent will the mega package be effective in keeping businesses in "hibernation"?
What happens if, despite the government's efforts, many of them simply die?
And the future won't be just, or even mainly, in Australia's hands - the state of the world economy and particularly China will be crucial.
Amid all the international chaos, one bright spot is that commodity markets, on which Australian exports so depend, have not at this point been significantly affected.
There will be some major changes in attitudes coming out of the crisis.
Internationally and in Australia, there is likely to be a rise in the advocacy of protectionism. We can expect increased concern about our dependence on China.
On the budget's future, there is already speculation about cuts, and a possible winding back of the legislated tax relief.
When the delayed budget is brought down in October, the outlook will still be uncertain, making it very difficult to frame.
Undoing the new generous measures will be a political nightmare. Morrison talks about "snapback" provisions. That goes against all experience of attempting to take away what people have.
Good luck with removing free childcare, welfare payment increases and much else, and then facing an election.
- Michelle Grattan is a press gallery journalist and former editor of The Canberra Times. She is a professorial fellow at the University of Canberra and writes for The Conversation.