All over the world, we have found ourselves in quite the bind.
Shall we cancel festivities in order to save Christmas?
Shall we cancel Christmas in order to save New Year's Eve?
Shall we cancel all of it or none of it and will any of it make a difference, anyway?
For the first time in this pandemic - I do not want anyone to shout me an answer.
I do not want shock jocks yelling at me over the radio, or alarm and panic whipped up by commentators. I don't think I'm alone in saying I cannot feel that anymore.
Controversially, I don't even want to hear what anyone thinks the government ought to do - which is undemocratic and a feeling that contradicts my logic. But my sense is that we might as well stop looking for some all-encompassing answer, or thinking that someone on Twitter who put together a well-phrased sentence might have it. Perhaps there is no answer. People much cleverer than me can't seem to find one.
At this point, five days out from Christmas, there is no sense to be made or a bold opinion to write. There is just a swell of feelings. Disappointment. Anxiety. Fear. And boundless empathy for those who already know they will be spending Christmas Day isolated from the people they love.
Some say we have transitioned from a lethal pandemic to a pandemic of inconvenience.
Of course, any wave will be lethal to some - and that is never to be minimised. But vaccinations have changed the level of risk facing the majority of Australians.
But I'd also argue that this is more than just a pandemic of inconvenience.
Missing a bus is inconvenient. Receiving an email at 4:59pm on a Friday afternoon is inconvenient.
Being isolated from your family during a Christmas period we have limped towards, after a year that was meant to be better than the one before, but was in fact so much worse, is devastating.
Spending this time deprived of any festivity, without access to the people we love, is not how things - generally speaking - are meant to be. Let's not pretend this is normal or easy or a painless solution.
From the beginning this has been a pandemic of 'who has it worse', and in many ways, rightly so. Class has shaped our experience of this virus more than just about anything else. Being immunocompromised or elderly or having young kids or being a frontline worker or any other number of factors means this has been, and continues to be, a very specific kind of nightmare.