In this era of instant gratification, having to deny ourselves things we want to do this year has been like slipping back into bygone times.
During the pandemic, many personal events and gatherings have been postponed or put off altogether.
Not being able to get on a plane, to physically experience different places and cultures and empty our heads of home stresses for a while, has been hard.
That holiday you dreamed about and saved up for probably won't happen until 2022. Grandparents overseas won't be able to hug the young ones for some time yet.
Thanks to Covid-19, we have lived through controls and restrictions reminiscent of car-less days.
The sudden shutting down of social life, movement and shops during lockdown was novel, but also recalled the limited options of life in small-town New Zealand of the 1970s and '80s.
For much of the second half of the year, life for most people has more or less returned to normal, except for those in businesses particularly hard hit by our closed borders.
There has been real pain for people involved in travel and tourism, for instance, here and overseas. The New York Times reported that the coronavirus had wiped out nearly 3.5 million travel jobs just in the United States.
Our nationwide staycation has been the key change that remains, because quarantined entry is the foundation that allows other freedoms.
Now, with the Government's move towards a quarantine-free travel zone with the Cook Islands early next year, there is renewed agitation for a full transtasman bubble with Australia.
Australia has also done well suppressing the virus overall and Kiwis can cross to Australia quarantine-free to certain areas. Normal holiday travel is not possible because quarantine is still required on return.
But from the Government's point of view, with vaccines just a few months away, why disrupt the safe conditions within the country?
It makes sense to ease the country back into overseas travel with a straightforward, low-risk, neighbourly link with the Cook Islands to test the processes and then focus on the initial stages of a vaccine rollout.
A travel bubble with Australia would involve a much higher degree of complexity and millions more people.
There are also valid arguments for tweaking border and travel requirements rather than dropping quarantine altogether.
The vaccine rollout itself will be a difficult operation.
And the best time for any major border overhaul would be once a large proportion of the population is vaccinated.
By then, vaccination and records of it will be common requirements for flying internationally and would most likely be part of countries' border armoury. Quick Covid tests would be more widespread.
Vaccinations will take place at different times around the world and a number of vaccines will be used of varying effectiveness. It will take time to acquire information about how the vaccines perform and how long immunity lasts.
People could be required to be vaccinated, and tested just before and after flights. Masks will be a common protection for flying and travelling overseas for some time. Quarantine could be shortened, with the added assurance of tests, vaccines and better medical knowledge of the virus.
It makes less sense to bring in big border changes for a transtasman bubble early next year only for a second wave of changes to follow later.
Countries overseas have got into trouble pushing the limits of luck against the virus because of economic concerns and public impatience. We have got where we are with patience.