Amid the sun, sand and surf of summer in New Zealand, precious few of us would want to worry about things we've had to think about all year.
We want to enjoy the moment and look forward to turning the page on 2020.
Everyone needs a break and the chance to tune out the world's woes.
But we have to hope those whose jobs mean they can't change the Covid-19 channel are still being vigilant.
There's a fairly thin line of people overseeing our pandemic response, at managed border facilities, and involved in chasing community cases when they emerge. They're the people allowing us to carry on as normal as the coronavirus storm rages overseas.
The reactions to the news of variants to the coronavirus which reportedly spread faster, have been an interesting reverse of countries' responses to the pandemic in February and March.
Back then, we famously went hard and early to try to eliminate the virus here, while other countries were slower to act.
Now, although the extent of the danger is debatable and there are unknowns, other countries have quickly acted against the separate variants which emerged in Britain and South Africa.
Travel restrictions were initially thrown up against the UK by neighbours in Europe. Britain is geographically closer and the travel volume is much greater than from distant South Africa. London is a travel hub in normal times to many destinations.
For once, Britain is not being isolated by choice.
Countries fear the British variant, which has been spreading since at least September, could be more contagious. It reportedly accounts for half of all cases active in England.
In total, more than 40 countries in Europe, Asia, South America, the Caribbean and the Middle East have now brought in bans or other restrictions.
The UK variant has been detected in Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Singapore and Australia. France on Saturday reported its first case. From this week, the United States will require airline passengers from Britain to get a negative Covid test before flying.
And yet, New Zealand and Australia have not joined in.
There are reasons for this. Countries in Europe, North and South America and parts of Asia are in far worse shape with the virus, concerned about cases overwhelming their health systems and desperate for vaccination programmes.
We have closed borders - our moat against the world - and, with Australia, have a good track and trace operation which includes genetic sequencing.
YOU CAN’T FIND MUTATIONS ==> IF YOU DON’T GENETIC 🧬 SEQUENCE.— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) December 24, 2020
Australia 🇦🇺 & New Zealand 🇳🇿 is leading the world of ~half of all viruses in their countries sequenced.
UK 🇬🇧 leads in total #SARSCoV2 samples sequenced.
USA 🇺🇸 ranks—#43 in % 🧬 sequenced. So #winning, not.🧵 pic.twitter.com/6Y9UzUVsLx
And yet, our castle walls are definitely not indestructible.
We've had the equivalent of a small New Zealand city return home through our closed borders this year. Plenty of returnees will have come from the UK.
Have our genome tracers picked the variant up already? Do we need to bring in extra precautions at the border especially for arrivals from the UK and South Africa? Should all people who fly anywhere require negative tests before boarding?
There have been documented escapes from isolation facilities, and infected border workers. We are also reliant on the two-week quarantine time being bullet-proof for protection. And our vaccine rollout for the general population is months away.
Vaccine experts have said coronavirus shots will block the new variant, but that's not known for sure. Lab experiments are now underway to try to confirm that.
Are we in danger of forgetting our own lessons?
Early this year the Government didn't hang about waiting to learn more about the virus or to see how worse it could all get before acting.