The Prime Minister's coronavirus infection has struck at an unfortunate time as Budget day looms, but it would have been worse had it occurred a few days later.
Having to still isolate during the traditional big economic set-piece on Thursday would be one thing, but having to miss a trip to the United States as leader would have been on another level.
As it is, Jacinda Ardern may still be able to make a speech about the Budget remotely by video and her isolation period should end this weekend in time for the trade-focused US visit to go ahead.
It comes at a very interesting time in the world generally, and in the US in particular.
New Zealand has recently preferred to lurk on the wing rather than join the maul of engagement with its traditional ally the US, but geopolitical tensions, the pandemic, war in Ukraine and global economic problems have drawn us closer in.
The US is heavily involved in international support for Ukraine against Russia, a conflict which continues to create shockwaves in different ways with Sweden joining Finland in throwing in their futures with Nato.
Uncertainty and instability are not confined to Europe. A lot is also happening closer to home.
Covid has now landed in the Hermit Kingdom of North Korea, which has been busy testing weapons as South Korea's leadership changes. China's stringent approach to Omicron, which the World Health Organisation has called unsustainable, threatens to have a wide economic impact. China's security pact with the Solomons has been an issue in Australia's election. Sri Lanka is in political and economic turmoil. A Marcos is back in power in the Philippines.
The US has boosted its security role in the region under President Joe Biden with the Aukus pact with Australia and United Kingdom and the Quad forum with Australia, India, and Japan. New Zealand and other regional neighbours are keen to draw the US further in economically via the CPTPP free trade agreement.
With Russia a pariah under President Vladimir Putin, and China at odds with various countries in the region and viewed by the US as its strategic competitor, Washington is the major but flawed option in supporting international customs, rules and stability in Asia and Europe. The US remains the biggest all-round political, economic, security and cultural player in the world.
Though America's military power is unrivalled, there's a lot of unpredictability about its politics and where it is headed. Its economic outlook is worrying markets, and voters, as it heads into November's Midterm elections where the Republican Party is favoured.
Biden has struggled to get key promises through a divided Senate. A Republican comeback in Congress and with governorships could leave him more obviously hand-tied on domestic policy. In the next presidential election in 2024, a Trumpian populist revival of some type, with its fraught international relationships, could be on the cards.
The revelation about Supreme Court discussions on abortion highlighted a general trend in US politics which has been clear in its electoral system for years. A minority segment of the country's society is increasingly finding ways to push its interests to the forefront.
Despite questions over the state of US democracy, New Zealand has to work with what's there and America's international leadership under Biden is at its most conventional and predictable now.
New Zealand should make the most of it, because it may not stay that way for long.