It's now widely considered to be our worst year in living memory.
Those who made it through World War II though truly appreciate what it is to survive a time when recession and social dislocation were not the worst that could happen.
That was when annihilation, when the threat of being overrun and discarded by a fascist dictatorship and a ruthless military juggernaut, the twin evils of Germany and Japan, were the all-pervasive threat.
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We cannot compare what we have experienced through the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic with those times, but then, it is all relative.
For most of us, the last world war is something we know of only through the stories passed on by parents and grandparents, in books, in film and a whole range of other ways.
It's not a lived experience, which in itself creates risk.
That distance in time is the very reason why warnings are made by those with a keen eye on the lessons of the terrible experiences of the past; that clues now exist to history repeating itself.
Today's deep divisions in the US, where in some quarters the notions of a true democracy have been lost in the reality of the republic, represent a shaping of this past into a new reality.
It's still been tough though, with the border closure between NSW and Victoria heaping an enormous degree of disruption on our community.
What has been signficant has been way we have weathered the lost jobs, the shut businesses and the separation of families.
We certainly have still voiced our concerns that the Border has been unfairly knocked by such measures, compared with the big cities.
That is a point on which we would all agree; but again, it has hurt.
What has made the past few months - which feels like an even longer stretch of time - bearable has been the knowledge that we have kept a terrible virus at bay.
As Albury MP Justin Clancy says, "we as a nation have been protected from the worst".
The border reopening is a time to quietly celebrate.
That shared experience means we also understand the challenge remains ever-present. COVID-19 has shown just how easily it can get away again.
We have though become far more wise to what that means.