DR Amie settles herself on the chair. Smart, professional, confident, telling us what was in her thoughts as 2019 became 2020.

She was turning 40. Lots of plans with family and friends, good times on the way. “It was going to be a brilliant year,” she tells the camera, then struggles to hold back the tears.

Amy was unfortunate in having her landmark birthday the year Covid turned the world upside down.

Same for all those people birthing babies, graduating, getting married, going on a mini-break, wallpapering the hall, doing anything, really, that makes up the routine business of living.

All those plans and hopes dashed, but we were the lucky ones. Not so the more than 126,000 dead and those left grieving. How to sum up what 2020 brought for them, for all of us?

After a raft of programmes marking the anniversary of the first lockdown, the best has been left to next week. Pandemic 2020 (BBC2, Thursday, 9pm) comes from the same team that made the superlative Once Upon a Time in Iraq.

Using the same mix of interviews, many with so-called “ordinary people” who turn out to be anything but, news footage, and personal film, the three one-hour documentaries bounce around the globe, from Leamington Spa to Delhi, Bogota to Wuhan. Some 21 countries are covered.

What is striking, despite the programme’s geographical range and the many individual stories covered, is how similarly people experienced the pandemic. Particularly at the start there was the same general feeling that Covid was something unreal that was happening far away. It could not touch us. As one interviewee says, we were all “playing the ostrich”. Other similarities included the clap for carers, the “visits via iPad”, and those desperately sad funerals with few people allowed to attend. All hellish, and captured here.

The rare light moment aside (NHS staff having a post-shift dance to bring the stress levels down), Pandemic 2020 could be one of the hardest to watch programmes of the year.

But as a way of starting to make sense of what is still so hard to grasp, it could also be the most necessary. Next week the series turns to “The Great Divide”, or how we were very far from all being in this together.

Among the better equipped to deal with lockdowns were those who had a garden. Joining the ranks of the already keen was a new crowd hoping to grow things for the first time. Those newbies might like to complete their conversion by signing up to a gardening programme.

Beechgrove (BBC Scotland, Thursday, 8pm) is back with regular presenters George Anderson, Carole Baxter, Brian Cunningham, Kirsty Wilson and Chris Beardshaw.

Due to Covid restrictions the last series was filmed in the presenters’ own dear green spaces. For this new 26-episode run it is back to the famous garden of the title.

Baxter promises something for everyone, no matter their experience or size of plot.

“It will be a delight to be back in the Beechgrove garden and we will be seeing how the garden team managed to reclaim the garden from the clutches of Mother Nature as the garden was ‘furloughed’ in 2020,” she says. “In 2020 new gardeners were created as people turned to gardening to make more of their lockdown lives and Beechgrove will have tips and advice to cover those who only have a window box or indoor plants as well as people with their own gardens.”

For some gardeners, lockdown was also the chance to try their hand at making short films. Calum Clunie, who sent in pieces to the programme team from his Leven allotment, becomes a regular in the new series.

“I’ve watched Beechgrove for as long as I can remember, and I can’t believe me and my wee allotment are now a part of the team,” he says.

Beechgrove has been on the go for 43 years, can you believe? A relative youngster compared to another show, this one beginning a year before man first stepped on the Moon. Gardeners’ World Easter Special (BBC2, Friday, 9pm) is an hour of advice on how to get your place ready for summer, plus visits to other gardens, including RHS Rosemoor in Devon. Even if you don’t know your pelargoniums from your rhododendrons, GW is balm for the soul.

If after all that fresh air and exercise you have dreams of taking things to the next level, try Matt Baker: Our Farm in the Dales (More 4, Wednesday, 9pm). The former presenter of The One Show wanted to turn away from life in London in search of something new. What he found was something familiar his old family farm in the Durham hills, and a shepherdess mum in need of some help. No word on whether his old One Show mucker Alex Jones turns up to give him a hand.