The country is miserable.
Business confidence has slumped. Consumer confidence is at record lows. More than half of us tell pollsters New Zealand is headed in the wrong direction.
The young ones are leaving for Australia. They're leaving in such big numbers landlords reckon it's why rentals are sitting empty for up to eight weeks now. There aren't enough young people to fill the flats.
Where to start? The reasons are endless. But possibly the biggest one is in our heads. We're not that special after all.
For a year New Zealand was the poster child of the Covid response. While the virus ripped through everyone else, we were safe. We were praised.
And we believed it. We got an inflated sense of our own exceptionalism.
It doesn't mean the pandemic was easy. Our borders trapped us and killed entire industries like tourism and international education. But we told ourselves it would be better once we all got the jab and could reopen.
It didn't get better. It got worse.
It turns out we're not special. We're just like everyone else.
Like the rest of the world our inflation is through the roof. Groceries go up in price every month. Houses are still too expensive for those who don't own them. Houses are dropping in value for those who do own them.
Mortgages are costing more. The car is costing more to fill.
Staff are working harder to cover for sick colleagues forced to isolate. Or they're working extra to cover for jobs that can't be filled.
The health system is scarily stretched. No one wants to end up in ED this winter.
And after all the effort and all the jabs, we're still in the orange setting. We're still being told to wear masks. We're constantly reminded the restrictions we worked so hard to avoid are still being forced on us.
What makes it worse is the sense - true or not - that it's easier on the outside. We keep hearing how vibrant it is in Sydney and London and Budapest from other Kiwis who've travelled and come home. No one wears masks there, we're told. No one even cares about Covid. And here we are in Orange, told to mask up to buy our broccoli and remind we have however-many-thousand cases again today.
And it's not going to get better soon. The Government still won't let employers bring in the overseas workers they need to grow their businesses. Government rules. No more immigrants unless they're really, really special.
The Government's threatening us with more tax. Taxes for employment insurance we're not sure we actually want. Taxes for being wealthy if David Parker gets his way. Taxes for anything vaguely resembling a fossil fuel emission.
Houses will probably keep falling in price but not enough to make them affordable for many. But houses will probably keep falling in price enough to make homeowners grumpy.
And then there are the race debates that make dinner uncomfortable because no one actually wants to have to fight about it but we are because this Government is hell-bent on making us fight about it.
It's no wonder the young are leaving. It's no wonder we're feeling grumpy.
It doesn't have to be like this. The pandemic taught us the value of a Prime Minister with a clear aim, rallying our spirits and our collective effort. Where is that now?
This country needs to draw a line under the pandemic and move on. Drop the immigration reset that's hobbling businesses. Reconsider whether mandated mask-wearing is really working if we actually catching Covid from family and friends.
We need ambition for what comes next, a goal of getting back to normal and a leader able to rally our effort and spirits.
In the last two years we became the safe country. That had its time and place. Now, it's making us miserable.
• Heather du Plessis-Allan Drive, Newstalk ZB, 4pm-7pm, weekdays.