THERE is a temptation, at the end of another COVID-infected year, to look back at 12 months of uncertainty and disruption and economic jolts and think that our forebears never had it as tough as us, at this time, under these conditions.
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Which, of course, is nonsense.
Plenty of Australians have had it tougher than us - and not people whose stories are told in dusty history books, but people who lived much more recently than many of us would like to acknowledge.
Young men who went heading off to war on the other side of the planet, when the other side of the planet might as well have been the far side of the moon, could explain to us a thing or two about difficult times.
As could those who scrabbled through the Depression. Or those who battled diseases of the past without access to the sort of medical wizardry we think of as our birthright today.
The year just gone was another tough one, without a doubt.
It is hard to properly quantify the weariness and frustration that accompanied the start of another round of lockdowns and restrictions as the Delta variant took hold in NSW mid-year.
Almost two years into life with COVID and it still seems slightly surreal that parts of our nation have been - and, in some cases, still are - off limits to citizens of this country.
The damage to the nation's finances has been astronomical. Families have been denied the opportunity to get together for the most profound and personal events, including weddings and funerals.
And yet we shouldn't forget that we remain lucky.
We have a health system that hasn't (to this point) buckled under the various strains, we have a responsible and mature citizenry that has, overwhelmingly, followed health directions to reduce the spread of the virus and, barring a calamity, when all this is over, Australia will remain one of the safest, most secure places on earth.
Most important of all, we have our sense of humour.
The Australian irreverence irritates some, but it proves its value in times of stress and it's been comforting to hear toilet paper hoarding jokes over the past 12 months or see a tree turned into a masked face.
As 2022 dawns, let's not lose our sense of perspective. Or our sense of possibility.
We owe it to those who came before us.
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