Noticing contrasts between two different situations can provide some clarity.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has instantly put claims from a minority of people opposed to Covid-19 restrictions around the world in perspective.
These people have argued that common coronavirus health requirements during the pandemic are attacks on their personal freedom.
They have talked and written about oppression, coercion and risks over complying with health measures meant to help people survive a frequently deadly and dangerous coronavirus.
These views sound particularly unpersuasive now.
As footage and reporting from Ukraine shows, oppression is having armoured vehicles from a neighbouring country roll down your roads.
Loss of freedom is having to hide in shelters to avoid military strikes from the air or having to walk with your belongings to the border for safety.
Risk is potentially dying or being injured when your apartment building is hit by a missile.
What is happening in Ukraine is also what happens in less publicised conflicts around the globe. Its harrowing pictures and eyewitness accounts, its timing in the third year of the pandemic, and its unfolding impact, has shaken the world.
Civilians, who if they were elsewhere might be only fighting off a Covid infection, are having to handle improvised weapons in Kyiv or join 120,000 others who have already fled to neighbouring countries, according to United Nations estimates.
Protests condemning Moscow's aggression and expressing support for Ukrainians have taken place here and in different countries, including in Russia itself.
In New Zealand, there have been protests against the war at the same time as ongoing demonstrations by people who see vaccination mandates, social distancing, vaccine passports and mask-wearing as an imposition on their rights.
There's been a lot of rhetoric with Covid-19 of ''draconian'' and ''authoritarian'' rules. In reality, complying with some restrictions for a period of time, which have involved adjusting goals and behaviours and dealing with economic issues, has meant this country has survived a challenging situation pretty well so far compared with others.
It has hit harder for some groups in society than others. Yet a lot of people are still finding it fairly easy to cope, with vaccination shots, boosters and masks, even with Omicron case numbers soaring to dizzying heights and New Zealand's death toll rising again.
Russian citizens know about authoritarianism. On Friday thousands of Russians bravely took to the streets to denounce their Government's invasion. Those citizens in Moscow, St Petersburg and other cities knew the risk they were taking and at least 2700 have reportedly been arrested.
President Vladimir Putin's Government does not tolerate mass displays of dissent. Opponents of the regime have been poisoned and killed. The country's main opposition leader Alexei Navalny is imprisoned.
These rebels on Friday had a cause: objecting to war, the violation of a country's sovereignty and the deaths, hardship, and displacement being inflicted.
Both anti-war rallies and anti-mandate protests took place in New Zealand on Saturday despite Omicron cases hitting 13,000.
Police said officers outside Parliament were spat on. Protesters have been seen ignoring social distancing and avoiding masks and the Ministry of Health said people attending are coming down with Covid. Hospitals around the country were reporting visits from people who had been at the Parliament site.
Public gatherings carry extra risk in a pandemic. A rally to draw attention to a desperate event far away is at least understandable. The anti-mandate protests seem to be more about reckless self-expression.
Attacks on people and their freedom are real and dangerous in a country under Russian assault.