A man from Mesquite, Texas receives a vaccination shot (Image: AP/LM Otero)

As the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic draws to a close, Australia ranks among the countries that have best navigated the crisis. Viewed from afar, it seems not all Australians share that view. 

Certainly Australia's success has not been achieved without significant hardships and sacrifices. Melbourne endured the longest cumulative lockdown in the world. Sydney also weathered extended confinement. The entire nation shared similar restrictions at various times.

International and state borders were closed at short notice. Families were separated. People were stranded. Businesses failed. Jobs were lost. Governments made good choices and bad. Mistakes were made. Some people died as a result.