There's a lot to be thankful for as summer - in name and date at least - approaches.
Buckets of rain mean a green Christmas for Canberra and the region, rather than a fiery, smoky, terrifying one.
Travel is back on the cards, we are moving around the city maskless, and there's every likelihood most, if not all, Australians will have the chance to spend some time with their loved ones without fear of lockdowns, quarantines or mass-strandings in unfamiliar cities.
But, as is the case with all of these things, an underlying sense of uncertainty is - and could be well into the future - the new normal.
Just as this prodigious rain means more fuel for fires should the weather ever decide to heat up, our increased movement and sudden freedoms carry the ever-present risk of further COVID waves.
It has become our habit to watch what's happening in Europe, the US - and now especially Africa - and prepare accordingly.
And in those countries, newfound freedoms are looking shaky; Germany is about to enter another lockdown, and the UK is gearing up for a difficult winter.
Meanwhile, in South Africa, a newly identified coronavirus variant - Omicrom - is the "most concerning British health officials have seen", with double the number of mutations of the Delta variant, including some associated with evading immune response.
While the threat is being assessed, the UK has already announced it would ban flights from southern parts of Africa and the World Health Organisation has called an urgent meeting to discuss the potential threat.
Australian health minister Greg Hunt, meanwhile, has assured media that Australia would be able to "act quickly" if the threat suddenly loomed large here. The Omicrom variant was already in NSW, it was confirmed on Sunday.
So, while we should never take our freedoms for granted - and should, in fact, do everything we can to enjoy them as much as possible - we should also remember the shadow of the alternative.
It's a shadow that reminds us not to be complacent even as it feels like we're at the tail-end of the pandemic.
Opening Australia's borders feels to many like a joyous act - an opening back up to the outside world so many Australians have been unable to visit.
But concerning new variants and constant surges of the virus in other countries shouldn't be ignored.
We know all too well how easily a new variant - like Delta, for example - can vault over the walls we thought we had built up so carefully to keep us safe.
So, while Christmas trees are going up, sales are in full swing and the social calendars are steadily filling up for months into the future, it's not yet time to draw a line under the pandemic and act as though it's over.
It's not, and won't be for some time, even if we may well be through the worst of it.
Wearing masks in shops and checking in with QR codes - not to mention getting vaccinated and seeking out booster shots - feel like an incredibly small price to pay to ensure our continued freedoms.
And if they make you feel in some way oppressed, think of the unimaginable spectre of yet another winter of horror in those parts of Europe where hospitals are filling up and cases are spiralling.
We're not oppressed - we're fortunate. Let's keep it that way. The alternative is both awful, and largely preventable.
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