This lockdown feels much harder than the first big one last year.
The mood has changed. People - especially Aucklanders who are on their fourth stay-at-home order - are grumpier. Commentators and columnists are scratchier.
It's remarkable how much more criticism and scrutiny the Government is confronting from across the political spectrum this time around.
Obviously part of our grumpiness is caused by the novelty of lockdowns wearing off. March 2020 might've felt like an adventure, but August 2021 feels like home detention. We've now done this long enough to know how mentally tough these weeks will be.
Most of it, though, is driven by an enormous sense of disappointment. We thought New Zealand was exceptional. The world raved about our world-leading Covid response. But now, the world is ridiculing us at worst, shocked at best.
Our national pride is at stake, says economist Robert MacCulloch. This outbreak threatens to break our spirits and he worries that if we fall into despondency at the thought of being left behind by the world it could lead to an economic slump.
It's likely dawning on a lot of people how unprepared our leaders were for this outbreak. Little in our Covid response has changed between March 2020 and today. That'll come as a shock and disappointment to many who put so much faith in Jacinda and Ashley.
The pair have been touted globally as remarkable leaders, but it may be starting to feel like our remarkable leaders only have one trick and that's locking down. They haven't been successful at much else in this pandemic response.
They haven't got enough contact tracers: they're now doubling that number from 600 to 1200, showing how underprepared they were. They haven't prepared a good testing system: people were lining up from 4am some days. They are so far behind on the vaccine rollout we are still the last in the developed world. We now face the prospect of running out next month unless we slow down the rollout.
Our tolerance for the usual explanation has dropped. Back in March 2020, Jacinda and Ashley were able to - reasonably fairly - frame themselves as the victims of events beyond their control. This is a textbook crisis management technique. And we accepted the explanation because none of us expected Covid. How could they? We accepted they were building the plane as they flew it. We gave them latitude
They tried to roll out that narrative again this outbreak. It won't work nearly as well this time. We're too clued up on Covid now to buy that.
For the past eight months, we've watched the news as the Delta variant spread, from India to the UK to NSW. We watched it evade the legendary NSW contact tracers. We watched it leak over Australian borders throwing state after state into lockdown. We knew it was coming here and we knew it would take a stepped-up response to tackle it.
So, we expected our world leading PM and world leading Health Ministry to also have watched Delta and been ready for its arrival. They clearly aren't. Which means we're not buying the same old explanation run out from the 1 o'clock press conferences.
That makes us more grumpy. It shakes our faith in them and their ability to handle future outbreaks.
That's why there are so many questions about the future viability of the elimination strategy. That criticism stunned Professor Sir David Skegg. He said he was surprised how this level 4 lockdown has shaken the faith of some commentators in the elimination strategy. But he's mistaken about what's shaken our faith. It's not just the lockdown. It's really also our leaders. We expected them to be more prepared.
It's a bitter pill to swallow accepting this might be the only tool they know how to use. Lockdowns are proving harder and harder to live through.