Can you imagine if Covid-19 happened in the 90s?
Without social media, would there have been less conspiracy theory chatter or - in the absence of multiple trusted information sources - more?
Would Codral have pulled its poorly ageing 90s "soldier on" adverts of the time off the telly, giving those 'she'll be right'-inclined Kiwis one less reason to take their viral germs into public spaces just to avoid being seen as slackers or weak?
It's hard to imagine one viable vaccine would have been whipped up and distributed in under a year, let along multiples.
Certainly, the impact on work would have been different.
The technology tools that allowed so many of us desk-jockeys to keep working throughout the lockdowns and levels of 2020 did not exist.
A work-from-anywhere revolution that had been happening at evolution pace for many years suddenly accelerated to creationism speed: done and dusted in seven days.
And it seems to be largely holding up.
As we reported recently, more Bay of Plenty companies have adopted working from home policies post-Covid, allowing staff to choose where they are based.
It's great news that more employers are seeing workplace flexibility can work for them and for many of their staff.
You could argue fewer people travelling to work will be good for cities as a whole, too.
There's always that fresh start feeling coming back to work after a break.
Perhaps you've thought about what you can do differently or better, how to chase another step up the career ladder, or maybe you're considering changing jobs or scaling back on working hours.
As we look to what's next, however, we need to be careful not to lose sight of the progress made last year and slip back towards old habits.
Hanging on to an open-minded attitude to workplace flexibility isn't the most important lesson of 2020 we need to keep heeding, however.
That title belongs to staying at home when you're sick - especially when you're viral - and being able to do that without pressure from your employer to "soldier on". Same goes for if your child is sick, those sweet little petri dishes.
We don't know how long Covid will be with us, or how vaccine development and protocols will keep up with new strains.
But Covid is only as relevant in this argument as any number of easily-spread illnesses best kept isolated at home to prevent them spreading through workplaces and hitting productivity or, worse, spreading to vulnerable populations.
That's one lesson from 2020 we shouldn't forget.