It was strange to observe, a little impassively, how our communal history is already absorbing such extensive losses.
And, yet, there are genuine grounds for hope added to the mixture this time.
Two pandemic springs and summers have offered similar moments of collective relief.
The spirit of renewal is abroad, from the extravagant blooming of the magnolia trees to the diaries quietly but quickly filling with exciting new social lives.
The thrum of convertibles, decanted from the garage at the first opportunity.
This is, without doubt, the closest that things have felt to the life we knew in 2019.
The atmosphere of relief and release, in public spaces, has been palpable.
Here was life finally giving us the smallest of breaks.