It has been heart-warming to see people having a laugh at COVID's expense.
The recent Comedy Festival in Melbourne drew big crowds of maskless folk wanting to enjoy life again.
It was fun to be among them.
The emotional toll of Victoria's long lockdowns will never be fully repaired.
Too much happened for that.
At least now weddings are back on, mourners can pay their last respects, people can visit loved ones in hospitals and aged care homes.
All the many things we took for granted - BC (before COVID), AC (after COVID)
COVID-19 and its variants are still circulating stronger than ever but nowadays among the vaccinated.
I'm feeling a little jab anxiety, it has been months since my last one.
To some COVID is little bother, while others have become very sick - please don't forget about them as you congratulate yourselves on dodging that bullet.
COVID'S not done with yet, not by a long chalk.
Still, we couldn't hide away forever.
Breaking out for me meant going to the footy again, 30,000 in the stadium and only a smattering of masks.
On the tram going to the game we were tightly packed in body to body, supposed to be wearing masks but most weren't, they'd had enough.
Oh and my team (St Kilda) won, beat one of the supposedly better sides in Richmond.
Some seasons back before COVID, my daughter and I were barracking loudly for the Saints before they faded in the final quarter against the Tigers.
A Richmond supporter turned around after the final siren and offered to teach me their celebratory team song.
It was a special joy to return the favour to any Richmond fans within earshot at Marvel this time around.
My wife and I love going to a show, stand-up comedians are among our favourites.
We travelled in from the country to as many performances as we could - it's pretty cheap.
Luke Heggie, Aaron Chen, Jimeoin, Carl Barron, Daniel Connell were on our male-dominated list this year.
Melanie Bracewell, Lloyd Langford, Urzila Carlson, Tom Gleeson, Wil Anderson were on the list from previous years.
Australia is well served by stand-up, that much is obvious.
We packed into the Palais at St Kilda over two nights for a couple of shows.
People just enjoying being out, as much as appreciating the entertainment.
We didn't get mugged once.
Our picks this year?
Jimeoin is always good but Daniel Connell was the surprise packet, he has some clips on You Tube if you want to check him out.
He was upstairs, up many stairs, at the Swiss Club in the city.
He joked that if you managed to climb all those stairs and survive it was unlikely you had COVID so he was feeling safe.
It was only half-joking really, people are happy with their freedoms, but still vigilant.
We've still got such a long way to go, but it's good to make that start.
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