Drive through any regional city or smaller country town and the clearest sign of different times is all the closed cafes and pubs.
Our hospitality industry these days - unlike that of decades ago when the "six o'clock swill" was the norm - revolves around service that often begins not long after sunrise and continues for several hours past sunset.
That means people are always coming and going, sitting down outside at tables having meals or simply drinks or a coffee.
IN OTHER NEWS:
That stark absence, of course, has been compounded by the restrictions that have also shut large sections of our retail industry for weeks on end.
The experience of our pubs, clubs and eateries though presents a stark case-in-point of the more widespread challenge so many face in trying, at some stage, to return to a new kind of normality.
Restrictions have indeed begun to ease this week, even if the inconsistency between states - something inconsequential perhaps in the big capital cities - adds a degree of difficulty on the Border.
Our pub and cafe scene was plunged into a zero revenue stream literally overnight.
For some, selling takeaway coffees provides a bit of cash, but it clearly isn't going to be anywhere near enough for long enough.
Easing restrictions though at least provides a bit of clear air to navigate a way through with more cash in the till, but it won't be easy for some time to come.
The change that came into effect in NSW on Friday of 10 patrons at a time being allowed through the doors for meal service will help, even if this won't necessarily cover much more than the costs that never go away such as utility bills and the rent.
But that's no reason to not see these changes as a positive that in the large will be embraced by the sector.
What is even more important is that the community does what it can to support these businesses, as several have told The Border Mail.
Yet again, working together as one in such a way will be just as important as it has been through our long stretch of almost total shutdown.