There is relief that the lockdown is very nearly over. Finally, there is hope of recovery.
And there is deserved pride that Canberra is emerging relatively unbruised from a pandemic which was beyond our previous imagination. The anger of people in Sydney and Melbourne has not appeared on streets in the ACT.
Canberrans have rolled up their sleeves and taken the jabs like the citizens in no other city - anywhere.
But as we enjoy the pride, psychologists warn that there may also be lingering costs in ways we barely understand at the moment.
For many the deprivation of human contact has been damaging, while for others relationships may have been reborn. Couples may have rediscovered each other.
So the first real sighting of light at the end of the tunnel in 18 months brings hope, but also some trepidation about lingering effects.
Take the case of Paolo Celestino, who started in business in Fyshwick 30 years ago.
When the latest lockdown began in the middle of August, he stood in his empty cafe and talked bravely - but he couldn't stop his eyes misting over. He feared for the future.
After two months of lockdown, he is now hopeful as he prepares for business again.
"We're looking forward to opening up," he said. "We've got loads of loyal customers."
But he feels like he's been through the mill.
"I've found it hard. It really hurts you mentally. My biggest worry is if this happens again. It's too hard to accept it again."
One of his most difficult moments was when he was stopped by the police at the border going into the ACT on a Sunday to clean his restaurant, even though it was closed for sit-down trade.
Officers wouldn't let him through because the restaurant was registered as closed (Paolo is one of those meticulous people who doesn't let chores go undone. He was not one to slump into letting things slide).
His business has just about survived thanks to government help, but he thinks of others: "I really feel for people who have just started in this industry. I feel for them."
For others, the psychological cost of lockdown has been immense. Canberra Times photographer Sitthixay Ditthavong was unable to see his father before he died in a Sydney hospital (where he caught the disease).
The lockdown still prevents him from being with his widowed mother just to hold her hand.
"The biggest cost of the lockdown is that I can't support my mother in her grief," Sitthixay said.
We underestimate the importance of touch, according to Father Tony Percy, the vicar general of the archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn.
"Without it, we couldn't function. Touch is the sense which communicates love, and that's what we've been missing. We need to be greeting each other with a touch. It's the language of love," he said.
He said that people had been deprived of that sensation - the ability to clasp the hands of those at a funeral or to hug someone joyfully at a wedding.
A touch may seem fleeting and unimportant, but clinical psychologist Dr Vivienne Lewis of the University of Canberra says it plays an important role in our mental health, particularly for adolescents.
"We need touch - the need to be able to feel someone's presence - and it's not the same with the phone. That interpersonal link is essential to human survival," she said.
"The cost of lockdown is quite heavy on people's mental health, even in Canberra where we haven't had a long lockdown compared with Melbourne and Sydney."
A lack of touch and contact can make people depressed and listless, she said. They may start not being bothered to go for a walk, for example, or doing their schoolwork.
"You see it very much with children. Children need to be around children. Just being with parents is not enough."
Psychologically, we are now in uncharted territory. There has not been a global event like this in our lifetimes. Its only rival as a shaker-up of the way we live is war - so the social consequences are impossible to determine. As with war, society may be transformed.
"On the flip side, couples who never used to see each other because they were always working are reconnecting with each other," Dr Lewis said.
"You might have Mum and Dad and the kids who were like ships in the night, but now they are together and enjoying each other."
There may also be adolescents who don't function well in school and have worked better at home.
Dr Lewis thinks it is important now to seize on the benefits and make them work in the future.
If, for example, a family has learnt to eat together - and so to communicate at the dinner table - it might be a good idea to keep doing so out of lockdown, when the members disperse during the day to their places of work and education.
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