You can imagine the following conversation going on behind the scenes:

Dear Leader: Ashley, is there another Covid on the loose yet? I love my impromptu TV appearances in the middle of people’s favourite programs.

Ashley Bloomfield: Yes, Prime Minister. There’s an asymptomatic man in South Auckland who went to the gym.

Dear Leader: Great, I’m going to announce that Auckland goes up to Level 3 and the rest of the country to Level 2.

Chris Hipkins: Dear Leader, don’t you think this is going to annoy people hundreds of kilometres away from anything like that?

Dear Leader: Nonsense, the people adore me, except those awful MAGA types. I’m Aotearoa’s favourite star, they can’t get enough of it.

Ashley Bloomfield: Yes, Prime Minister. But have you considered the effect on people’s stress levels? We have to be mindful of mental health impact too.

Chris Hipkins: And economic impact too, Dear Leader. We can’t keep throwing money around like water, when we can’t tax people who are not making anything.

Dear Leader: Nonsense, people will do anything to see me appear on the TV every day. Trust me, I know what I’m doing.