While lockdown 2021 has in many ways been even harder than the previous year, there is one slender hope heading into the spring.
In 2020 there was the slightly surreal novelty of life turned on its head and the prospect that an emergence from lockdown would see a return to normal.
But this year has brought a deadening sense of powerless deja vu and the bleak prospect that with the super contagious Delta variant lockdown will follow lockdown.
So vaccines and the collective protection of herd immunity remain our slim point of difference from 2020 and at least in the decisive action we individually can take, a new power we wholly lacked last spring.
So worrying as the escalating numbers have been all week, culminating in a new record and more deaths on Saturday, there is perhaps less hopeless dread.
In as little as three or four months we may go beyond the 80 percent target, to 90 percent and even to near universal protection. And in that new year is the prospect of living with COVID rather than dying of it.