There will come a time, perhaps in six months to a year, when we will all look back on this time and it will be a haze of numbers, dates and statistics that no longer have any meaning.
But while we're right in the middle of it, with the end in sight but only barely, it pays to get your numbers and predictions honed to meet expectations.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr has become a master at managing our expectations as Canberra's lockdown wears on, warning of a difficult spring ahead, and of a slow re-emergence into a world of relative normality.
We've forgotten, of course, that this was how we emerged from lockdown last year, slowly and in stages. Looking back, it's almost as if normality returned straight away.
It didn't, and we were every bit as cautious then as we are now.
It's worth pointing out, though, that last year, schools were the first institutions to reopen, and children were the least of our worries.
It's very different this time around; children are the vulnerable ones, being unvaccinated, unlike the vast majority of Canberrans over 70 who are now vaccinated but who last year were the subject of our greatest concern.
That's why, when it comes to schools and remote learning, it's more important than ever to maintain clarity over the messaging.
Announcing, via the media, that a number of ACT students will continue with remote learning in the first weeks of term 4 under a staged plan, as the ACT government did last week, might seem innocuous to those without children at home during this time.
It's not clear at this stage whether this applies to all students, or only those in high school.
Meanwhile, there is just one week of term left, and teachers across the territory still have no clarity on whether remote learning will continue well into term 4.
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The schools situation is something of a microcosm of pandemic measures as a whole - a balancing act between allowing children to go back to school so their parents can continue to work, and protecting children from the rampant Delta variant before the majority of the population is vaccinated.
There's also the psychological element; children are missing out on the important academic and social elements of face-to-face schooling.
And then there's the planning and preparation that goes with the territory, for teachers and families. Until late last week, most could have been forgiven for thinking students would be returning to school after the holidays on October 5.
But ACT Education Minister Yvette Berry told a television network last week this was unlikely.
She should be careful with her words ahead of the more official briefing expected on Tuesday; this is the worst possible time for uncertainty, speculation, vagueness or prevarication.
The entire schooling community - teachers, students and families - need certainty to be built around the daily COVID briefing.
The numbers have not fluctuated as severely as they might have, and all Canberrans - especially those with children - are doing their best to keep them that way.
Barr and his cabinet want to avoid disappointment, and they are being understandably cautious with any forecasting.
But there's a balance here, between careless comments and careful rhetoric.
Leaders must be careful with the hopes, fears and emotions of teachers and families.
They may well remember it all too clearly in the months to come.
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