The coronavirus has been a worldwide shockwave that has jolted countries and people into resets.
It has also highlighted each country's chronic conditions - including the common one of climate change - left waiting to be dealt with.
Yet it didn't strike as hard here as elsewhere - it has taken time for some tremors to arrive.
New Zealand appears to be going through a delayed Covid-19 effect. A reckoning over life as we know it is having an impact now.
In 2020 it caused economic pain and stress in some sectors here but left many of us seemingly unscathed. In common with other countries, businesses and jobs were propped up by the Government. GDP data last week showed the country had avoided a second pandemic recession. We have mostly had to live with the fear of possibilities, rather than with the virus around us.
Other countries last year suffered major damage to societies and health systems, and have endured lengthy restrictions. Globally, shortages of supplies and labour have grown in severity.
Governments overseas quickly tied recovery spending to climate-change plans. Streets were pedestrianised on the hoof to widen outdoor dining spaces and keep restaurants going. More cycle lanes popped up as an alternative way of getting around. Mask-wearing was far more widespread than here.
State intervention on a massive scale has continued through vaccination rollouts. In the United States, President Joe Biden at the weekend marked 300 million vaccine shots administered in 150 days.
Biden's infrastructure bill - Covid recovery spending that also aims to address structural weaknesses and tackle emissions - is struggling in Congress, even as it polls well with the public. Tax increases on corporations to fund it are in doubt.
But his Build Back Better approach was taken up at the G7 summit with an infrastructure scheme to compete with China's Belt and Road.
Those global pandemic themes of disruption, reassessment and future planning have been most felt here this year, as a new period of interventionist government beds in.
This appears to be stirring some public unease and anger across a range of issues, from housing affordability policy and city population pressures; to climate change, transportation and infrastructure; the vaccination rollout, and migrant workers.
Whether this reaction extends widely across the middle New Zealand, which gave Labour its majority last year, will be tested in upcoming opinion polls.
Opposition parties see a growing backlash and the leaders of National, Act and New Zealand First are trying to connect with the section of the electorate that feels disgruntled and out of sync with the path New Zealand is on.
NZF leader Winston Peters at the weekend set his stall in front of such voters with: "Growing in our country is a 'cancel culture' where anyone who asks legitimate questions is belittled as a colonialist, a racist, a bigot, a chauvinist, or worse still, not new wokage."
At this stage, the areas most crucial to the Government's political success will be borders, getting the rollout right, re-opening, and the economy. Which makes the immigration debate central.
The Government sees the pandemic as a chance to re-tool immigration, which is tied to persistent problems of the country's brain-drain and low-wage economy. The business community is pushing for more migrant workers amid labour shortages and the likelihood of people shooting through to Australia.
Somehow both short- and long-term problems need to be addressed as New Zealand deals with the second half of the pandemic.