If it has been like a long-haul flight for the past few months, Victorians are now standing in the aisles waiting to open the cabin door, a little groggy and disoriented, but relieved.
They’ve got every right to be. No other place in the world has tamed such a large second wave. None have come close, even.
It’s not a race.
Given variations in demography, geography, health system potential and government policy, contrasting the struggles of various countries against COVID-19 is not a clear exercise.
Probably most critically, not every nation has managed to bring community transmission down to zero, or near zero.
For countries with less border protection than Australia, this may not have been a practical target.
Often, the epidemic is erratic, which Victorians realise acutely.
Today, the “zero new cases” of Victoria are the pride of the globe as the recession accelerates in Europe and elsewhere.
Yet after a few months ‘ time, there can be little guarantee of when things will be.
All of this is to conclude that complacency can not be promoted by a positive international contrast.
But it is still accurate that the efforts of Victoria are remarkable on the world stage.
The progress of the state has warded off a huge human toll and more economic disruption.
As a consequence, in the new year, Australia has a much greater chance to return to an approximation of “normal life.”
Victorians should be proud of these actions, and they should be convinced by the starkly contrasting results of countries that were in a comparable situation that the actions were worthwhile.