The Government had two very clear items it needed to sort after our last major lockdown.
One, increase ICU capacity so we didn't continue to freak out about our health system being overwhelmed.
And two, get some vaccines ordered and delivered in time to prevent the next major wave.
They did neither, and the damage is piling up around us for all to see.
Credit rating agency S&P last week released its latest forecast for the Asia Pacific region.
The region is projected to grow this year 6.7 per cent. New Zealand they forecast at 5.4 per cent.
Personally, I don't believe it. As well as we were travelling up until level 4, these past eight weeks and counting have cratered whatever momentum we had and the rest of the year is largely shot.
If we grow 5.4 per cent it will be little short of a miracle, but even if we do, you will note it still trails the rest of the region by a significant margin.
When restaurants the calibre of Euro are folding after more than 20 years in business, you know how bad things have got.
The hospitality industry has bled almost $300m and counting this lockdown alone.
And that's the tragedy for so many businesses, it's not the lockdown, it's the ongoing lockdowns, it's the country's inability to do anything but lockdown because the Government failed to do the two things that would've saved us all of this carnage.
While all the medical wonks - not one of them at risk of losing a payday - waxed lyrical over the magic and logic of elimination, those of us in the real world saw it for the charade it was.
Five weeks of level 4 was all the evidence you needed to know elimination didn't work, doesn't work, and should have been ditched then and there.
But no, the wonks and the Government knew best as the business community haemorrhaged.
Level 3 was also about elimination they told us. Was it?
Then why isn't it eliminated? Or anywhere close?
The banks have seen it, BNZ has revised its economic forecasts down.
Stephen Toplis, head of BNZ research, and clearly getting his information from the real world not a whiteboard in the Beehive, says NZ has well and truly passed the point where it can live in the hope of operating in a Covid-free bubble.
If you want further evidence of the madness and obsession that has ensured over an ideology around elimination that not only doesn't work but has and is causing endless damage to business: in the two months leading up to August 1, 7625 businesses opened in this country. Is that good? No.
Because 11,696 closed.
More closed than opened - there is only one way of travel and it's the wrong way.
Dot Loves Data provided those stats, it also said it's very uncommon for there to be more closures than openings.
It's only really seen when we are in a large-scale crisis or a deepening recession.
They talk of the cumulative effect, yes a business can handle trouble, but not trouble repeated over and over with no real understanding of what's next.
Where the Government has essentially lost buy-in, is when they failed to do their job.
We've done our job, but they haven't. We locked down, we stayed home and buckled in.
But the deal was that they bolstered the defences, they boosted health, they got the vaccine, they prepared for this year.
When it became clear they had failed yet again to deliver, the game was up.
So for these past two months, we have been sent home again, with the same riding instructions and it's failed and failed miserably. And although they won't say it, elimination, or lack of it, has been their undoing.
The numbers don't lie, either in the number of cases or the number of businesses that haven't made it, or the forecasts that have been trimmed, or the number of beneficiaries (10,000 plus) that have flooded to welfare, or the $41 billion more the Government wanted from the imprest supply bill to fuel our debt levels ever higher. Even the numbers around the vaccine rollout have hit their inevitable wall at about the 80 per cent most of us predicted.
As an exercise in leadership and inspiration, it has been and continues to unfold as an abject failure.
This year didn't have to be this way or anywhere close, but because it is, there are thousands of New Zealanders who head to Christmas with their dreams, plans and lives upended needlessly.
The fear that grips many around a Covid outbreak and full hospitals is still real.
There is still no date around borders, or a vaccine passport or a vaccine target.
We've dropped from 1st to 38th in global rankings. We have found out once and for all, the emperor has no clothes.