Even as the coronavirus pandemic has stalled life in many places, there's been sharp movement in foreign affairs, with relations between various countries taking a dive.
A virus-like fever of political prickliness has been spreading like Covid-19 itself.
After long and tense negotiations culminating in a trade deal last December, there was some hope that Britain's ties with the European Union would at least calm down. Yet at present they are at a low ebb.
Britain had a slow, indecisive response to Covid-19 and has so far lost more than 127,000 people. The United Kingdom's rediscovered interest in Asia did not last year extend to learning from countries in the Asia-Pacific over their handling of the virus.
While some European nations such as Italy and Spain were hard-hit, Germany's response in particular was rated effective for most of last year.
But the vaccination effort has turned things upside down.
New Zealand and Australia, from being leaders, have slid to the back of the queue on vaccinations.
Britain has seized the chance to improve its response and make its own rollout a post-Brexit success story. Now 46.3 per cent of its people have received at least one dose compared to Germany's 12 per cent.
The UK's speed of vaccination has been as praised as the EU's performance has been panned. Tensions have flared between the two over vaccine production, distribution, hoarding, export orders and the EU's scrutiny of British/Swedish pharma firm AstraZeneca.
EU problems with its supply chain and its restrictions on vaccine exports has had flow-on effects for Australia's rollout.
In February, Australia's Health Minister Greg Hunt said the country had "access to over 150 million vaccine doses, ensuring we remain a world leader in the fight against the virus". It was enough to "vaccinate every Australian three times over".
However, Australia has fallen short - by 3.4 million jabs - of its target for the end of last month. There have been major delays in getting access to shots and squabbles between the federal and state governments.
Defence Minister Peter Dutton claimed at the weekend that Australia was not in a "mad panic" to get vaccinations done like the United States and UK. The country is now having to heavily rely on local manufacture of vaccines.
New Zealand's rollout appears to be travelling at a smoother if slower pace with about 1 per cent of the population receiving at least one dose compared to Australia's 2.5 per cent.
This country's relationship with Australia has been testy at times over Covid outbreaks, travel bubble negotiations, and other issues.
One of those other problems has been the two countries' attitudes towards China - the country whose relationships with neighbours and several other powers have sustained the most damage during the pandemic.
The question is whether these various diplomatic frictions will harden and spill into other areas.
The UK and EU still have to resolve issues over Northern Ireland. China is in dispute with other countries on a range of problems, including the origin of the virus, sanctions, the South China Sea, and Xinjiang.
Then there's the nuclear programme of China's ally North Korea and the frighteningly real prospect of Myanmar descending into civil war. It's hard to see how those crises get resolved without Beijing's influence.
A period of aggressive nationalism has been building for a while. Political long-Covid looks likely to plague us all.