Dare I say it? The worst is behind us. At the risk of over-confidence of Titanic proportions, we are now navigating safer waters. Hopefully, no more Covid icebergs lurk beneath the surface to sink us.

It’s far too soon to weigh up the pandemic in any meaningful historical context, but from a personal perspective it’s only now I’m starting to reflect a little on the past year or so. And as much as it pains me to admit it, I’ve come to one overriding conclusion . . . so many things I thought I knew have been proved wrong.

Before Covid, my westernised mindset arrogantly informed me that pandemics were the stuff of either history books, science fiction novels or isolated incidents in far-off societies. They didn’t happen here. If you had told me two years ago that a highly contagious, deadly virus from a sprawling Chinese city that I’d never even heard of could upend our lives, I’d have thought you were crackers. How wrong was I.

I now have a much keener sense of just how vulnerable we are on a global scale. Far away problems are our problems. Indeed, having Covid lay siege on my own household was like being poked with an electric prod of reality.

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From a professional point of view, the Covid outbreak has transformed how this newspaper is produced. You may not be aware of this, which is a good thing. Like many workplaces, home working, although not an alien concept, had been peripheral. I was convinced office working were essential. But, yet again, I was wrong.

That’s not to say it’s been ideal. There have been a few hairy moments, especially going into lockdown. Panic would be too strong a term, but there was certainly a heightened sense of urgency as the clock ticked down and we all went our separate ways.

Technological glitches, stretched relationships and long days have all featured, but although it’s been a bumpy road, the wheels haven’t fallen off. Indeed, as a team we have endured and strengthened. Would I have thought it possible? I had doubts. Wrong, once again.

In the same vein, I feared homeworking would be a disaster. How could noisy children, a barking dog and blaring TVs be compatible with the conditions needed to produce a newspaper? The pre-pandemic me thought it impossible. Of course, it was possible and I was wrong.

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For many families there will have been unimaginable stories of heartbreak and hardship. So I’m aware my Covid journey may seem trifling in comparison. I’ve felt humbled at times and learned a lot about myself. Assumptions have been challenged, exposed and proved to be built on foundations of sand. My ego has taken a back seat on more than one occasion. I’ve grown in self-awareness and benefited from the experience, while the lowest points of the toughest days will serve as benchmarks for the future – filed away, to be brought out in difficult times ahead, and there will be. Clutching at any positives can only help. So can we build back better? Only time will tell. But here’s hoping.

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Herald.