Over the past 18 months, we have, at various times and locations, surrendered a fair chunk of our human rights.
We have lost our rights of freedom of association and movement, some have lost the freedom to make a living in their chosen work, and more than 25,000 are in the queue for an MIQ place allowing them to fly home from abroad. This is no small thing.
The tough Covid-19 restrictions have taken their toll on the popularity of the politicians who are dealing with the pandemic on our behalf, according to the latest spate of political polls.
The original spirit of resigned acceptance of the lockdowns and inhibitions on our daily lives has, for many, given way to frustration, and that will soon turn to anger.
That the frustration has begun to boil can be seen in the number of ex-politicians and commentators who have emerged from their crypts to offer the Government helpful suggestions about what to do next to get us out of the hole we are in.
Former prime minister Sir John Key's five-point plan met a testy reaction from Jacinda Ardern, who insists the Government is already doing much of what he advocates.
Yet so much of what the Government is doing to fight the Delta variant of Covid-19 seems weak and slow.
The MIQ lottery system is patently a failure, unable to cope with the large numbers of Kiwis who wish to exercise their right to return home.
Ardern implied the flood of returnees was primarily attributable to a desire to return for Christmas. Surely her media advisers would have told her that being negative not only angers returnees and their families but also invites a series of heartfelt human-interest news stories about people in desperate straits, who are trapped abroad through no fault of their own.
In response, the Government announced a pilot scheme to allow 150 mainly business travellers to home-isolate when they return from overseas. Only 25,000 other people to go.
Echoing the original slow vaccine rollout – at about 55.9 per cent of the population over 12 fully vaccinated, we remain shy of the average for high-income countries of 58 per cent – we were slow to usher in vaccinations for children aged 12 to 15.
The campaign to reach a 90 per cent vaccination rate for the over-12s, which is presented to us by Ardern as a "golden ticket" to freedom, is sagging. An eventual outcome of about 80 per cent is looking more likely.
Hence the Government's talk of vaccine passports that could mean the unvaccinated may not be able to travel or go to rock concerts, footy matches, restaurants and shops.
Aware of the power of fear as a motivator, the Government appears to have resorted to that base message to drive the vaccine-hesitant to get their shots.
Buses and mobile vaccination centres are at last extending into Auckland's suburbs, trying to entice people. But it's difficult not to feel the Government is wallowing in the midst of the crisis and that we will face hard Covid-19 restrictions through Christmas and well into 2022 as many other countries open their doors, deal with the virus and move on.
One of the reasons the Government is reluctant to open up with only 80 per cent vaccinated is that our hospitals and intensive-care units would be unable to cope with the number of infected individuals. It has had 18 months to prepare beds and staffing. It remains to be seen whether it has prepared well enough.