Is there a proper election campaign to be fought? Or is this calamity simply too great, the fiscal response, as seen by the budget, so large that people have semi made up their minds?
The National Party needs not give up hope, but a couple of key things need to happen.
First, and to their almost certain and immediate advantage, is the fact that certain figures hidden away for these past couple of months will re-emerge and remind us that this is a Government full of inexperience and at times ineptitude.
The economic development of this nation sits in the hands of Phil Twyford.
Who was last seen promising Sounds Air that they wouldn't be let down by the Government, only to then let them down.
The bloke who brought us Kiwibuild is now at least partially in charge of the whole country's rebuild.
You can add Kelvin Davis, the man in charge of our previously biggest foreign income earner outside dairy, tourism.
David Clark, minister in charge of one of our biggest public spends, has already displayed his approach and cleverness to matters in a series of infamous outings, and his reward has been to not only not get sacked, but indeed now to also be in charge of the new law around level 2, a law not only rushed, but almost certainly ropey, and now off for review; a law with the most extraordinary power in one man's hands.
It's a strange career-path strategy Labour seems to run - the more you cock up the better you do.
Hosking: National are blowing their election chances
Who's in, who's out? What a damning poll means for National MPs
Mike Hosking: Auckland's lack of water isn't the sky's fault
Anyway, that surely is rich pickings for an opposition party to target.
Before Covid, the Government was just coming out of its year of non-delivery, the economy was slowing, the surplus had gone, the social indicators from housing to work were all heading the wrong way, so if some of the outworkings of that approach - lack of experience and acumen - reappear, National have a sniff and we might have an actual election season in which genuine choice, approach and ideas are placed in front of us for electoral consideration.
The other thing that needs to happen is for us to care enough about debt and quality of expenditure.
Those who know about money are largely saying the same thing.
The budget is potentially dangerous.
The numbers are now so large, fiscal discipline is very easily out the door.
This, although broadly the correct response, is so ungainly, millions if not billions could very easily be flushed down the drain and no one would really notice.
The level of debt we will end up with is frightening. We will not pay it back in years if not decades, it puts us in an increasingly vulnerable position, and not a word yet on who and how we pay it down.
The trouble with that is the people who know about money aren't most of us; most of us may not care.
If National wants a chance, its leaders need to make us care.
They need to explain in a way why this is an issue, how it affects each and every one of us, what they would do differently and who and how it gets sorted.
The clues were there a week or so back.
Their response to the small business loan scheme the Government launched made better sense.
Look it up, it's costed, it works, it's appealing and is a genuine alternative . . . and most importantly, it shows National understands SMEs better than the Government.
The Government forced a loan scheme on the banks that didn't work, wasn't wanted and wasn't taken up, so they handed it to the IRD; the loans are now for a year, interest-free.
It's still not as good as National's plan of cash for bills and instant depreciation on $150,000 worth of equipment versus the Government's $5000.
National has also raised the spectre of international students, a $5 billion income stream, as an area needing urgent exploration . . . seemingly forgotten by the Government.
It is only if we see examples like these and a good number of them that a picture is created of a reality outside what we have been given through the Budget and the lockdown.
Which is not to say the Government has done it all wrong, because it hasn't.
But it is to promote the idea of a genuinely contested democracy, something we have lost these past two months, bar a zoom committee that's proved to be invaluable and a reminder of the power of questions, ideas, dissent and alternatives.
As preoccupying as these times may be, we have been reminded a lot never to waste a crisis. Well, let's not waste an election.