This time last year, Sonia Jeena was living and studying in Canberra as the city prepared to emerge from its coronavirus-induced lockdown after successfully flattening the Covid curve.
Ms Jeena admits that at times over the subsequent months, it was easy to forget a pandemic was happening at all.
Canberra's shops were open. Masks were scarce. There was no fear.
Twelve months on, the president of the Australian National University's Indian Students' Association could not be experiencing a more contrasting situation.
The 23-year-old student is stuck in India, a country where daily COVID-19 case numbers are almost the equal of the ACT's entire population.
From her home in coronavirus-ravaged Dehli, Ms Jeena has spoken to The Canberra Times about the fear and panic which has gripped India, as well as her dissatisfaction at what she believes is a lack of support from her university to the dozens of students stranded on the sub-continent.
Ms Jeena also called for the federal government to set a clear timeframe for the return of international students to Australia, saying "right now we have no hope".
Of the 340 Indian students enrolled at ANU, about 80 remain stranded at home.
Most returned to Australia before the borders, according to a university spokeswoman.
Ms Jeena, who is studying a masters in marketing management, said she returned to India in November last year to attend to a family emergency.
She was optimistic that she would be able to return to Australia in the new year, possibly through a revival of of the proposed pilot program to bring international students back to Canberra.
Those hopes have been dashed as India has plunged into a health and humanitarian crisis.
Daily infections in the populous south-Asian nation surged from below 10,000 in February to more than 400,000 on April 30. Almost 3700 people died on May 1, as India's health system buckles under the strain of the deadly virus.
"People are very distressed about things," Ms Jeena said.
"They don't know if they have COVID or not.
"The fear is almost in every human right now. The fear is the biggest enemy right now, which has created the whole turbulence right now."
Stuck in India, Ms Jeena has been forced to continue her studies online - while forking out fees should would be paying if she was sitting in a classroom in Acton.
She described the remote learning experience in blunt terms.
"It is really bad," she said.
"With Zoom and everything, you can't have that classroom environment. Most people don't really take the class. The teachers don't really teach. It's not good at all."
Ms Jeena was critical of her university, saying it had not done enough to support its Indian students stranded abroad. This included not responding to students' emails, she said, which had caused stress and anxiety.
"There are new students [in India] who don't know what the university looks like or what the classes are like. People are very much scared about how the university is going to help them."
In a statement to The Canberra Times, the ANU spokeswoman said the university was providing a range of "pastoral and academic support" to its students stranded in India.
"The university's thoughts are with everyone in India at this difficult time, especially our ANU students and their loved ones," the spokeswoman said.
"Our students tell us having a university experience on campus is important to them, and we are doing our best to be able to offer that to all students."
Ms Jeena is due to graduate in December, and is holding out hope that she will be back in Australia by then.
But there are no guarantees, with the virus still raging in India and the government's priority once flights resume to repatriate Australia citizens stranded there and in other parts of the world.
"At least give us some timeframe," she said in a message to the federal government.
"Right now we don't have any hope."
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