The situation keeps changing - and not in a good way.
A couple of weeks ago, the numbers all seemed to be going in the right direction.
We had taken the hard measures and, unlike in so many other places, the coronavirus looked like it was being beaten.
Now, not so.
So what's the best advice?
If you think you're the right distance from someone - just take a step back. You're probably closer than you think you are.
So says Professor Mary-Louise McLaws who advises the World Health Organisation.
The professor of epidemiology at the University of New South Wales observes people and thinks that Australians tend to stand a metre apart when they talk to each other in the street - and that's too close.
She also cited hard evidence from a previous epidemic where health workers were asked to estimate distance and they tended to underestimate.
Her advice for the current epidemic is short and clear: "If you think you are at the right distance, take a step back."
She said she wouldn't be wearing a mask yet if she were out and about in anywhere but urban Sydney and Victoria.
Any more advice?
Keep reading this website.
We would say that, wouldn't we - but Canberra physician Dr Antonio Di Dio said that his top piece of advice was "keep informed".
In the interests of fairness, we should say that other sources of news are available. Read and watch and listen to them, too.
Dr Di Dio said that official advice had changed three or four times in the past few weeks. Conditions change rapidly and the guidance changes with them so keep in touch with the news to know what you should do.
He also urged people to minimise travel. "For heaven's sake, don't go interstate unless you have to," he said.
You need to tighten your idea of what might be essential. You might have thought a wedding or a business meeting was essential travel but it's not any more, according to Dr Di Dio.
"Be unselfish in what constitutes essential," he said.
And keep keeping your distance (plus a step back): "We need to be distancing enthusiastically."
Dr Di Dio said that Australia was one of the few big and affluent countries where mask wearing wasn't pretty well compulsory but he thought that could change soon.
He said that he would wear a mask if he went out to a crowded place in Canberra where a fortnight without cases has just been broken after three young people went to Melbourne and brought the virus back.
He thinks the current uptick will happen again. There will be outbreaks and a re-tightening of the regulations. "We were always going to have situations where we 'eased and then squeezed'," he said. "We will be doing this again in three months."
And he echoed Professor Mary-Louise McLaws' views on (take-a-step-back) distancing. "Err on the side of more distance - two metres - rather than less", he said.
He has something to say to the young: "Infecting other people has consequences for their health and for their finances."
COVID-19 kills vulnerable people and even non-vulnerable people.
What about face shields?
They are having a growing following, including among top experts in the prevention of the spread of diseases.
Professor Peter Collignon, an infectious diseases specialist at the the Canberra Hospital, is a fan of face-shields in areas where there is an expanding outbreak.
"The advantage is that they last. They give you eye protection," the professor at the Australian National University said.
"It's bi-directional protection" by which he means that they protect the wearer from infection by others and others from infection by the wearer.
They are also much easier to clean - masks need replacing every few hours. Shields can be cleaned easily with detergent.
They are also easier to wear than masks. They are cheap and available at hardware stores.
Some experts are sceptical of both masks and face-shields because they might make you feel safer than you really are.
All experts repeat and repeat the mantra that keeping distant from potential sources of infection - people - and continually washing hands to wash off the germ you might have picked up from a door handle is the really important protection.
Interstate travel is pretty well out now except between Canberra and its environs. New South Wales, Tasmania and Queensland have closed their borders to outsiders except to those prepared to stay in quarantine for 14 days.
Victoria is not barring entry - but nobody is advising travel into the state, and certainly not to Melbourne and most certainly not to the hot-spots within the city.
Professor Mary-Louise McLaws thinks it's safe to travel within regional New South Wales and the ACT. "There's very little risk so people can go to these places".
Any wider lessons?
"We should be learning the lessons from Korea, China and Singapore," Professor Mary-Louise McLaws said.
They all made a good start in controlling the spread of the virus with vigorous measures but then relaxed them only to have to reimpose them.
"We are learning that people who live in crowded conditions, who are low-paid have an atmosphere that this virus uses for its advantage to spread," the UNSW expert said.
Hard action early is her recommendation. If an outbreak starts, "ring-fence" the community involved, and it needs to be a tight fence otherwise the virus gets out and risks becoming uncontrollable.
Just like they are doing in Melbourne - but perhaps too late.
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