When you're trapped a kilometre under ground, how long can you hold your nerve? Has everyone in the country imagined themselves in the miners' place and wondered how, or whether, they would get through it?
Will these two be mates for life or will they never want to see each other again?
The people who believe in prayer are praying, and the rest of us are wondering whether the force of collective will could possibly make any difference to what happens.
'If everything goes to plan,' says the Age this morning, 'the miners are expected to be free from their entrapment this afternoon and above ground four hours later, when machinery is cleared from their path.'