Covid has been a cruel master.
First and foremost – and never to be forgotten – it has robbed thousands of Scottish families of loved ones, taken too soon and in the most awful and heart-rending of circumstances.
And, sadly, many of those who did survive the virus still face a long and difficult battle back to health.
But Covid did not stop there. It also tore families, communities and social norms asunder.
Social distancing rules were introduced to stop the viral chains of transmission.
As a public health measure, it has inarguably been a success in helping to bring the pandemic under control.
But it is a blunt tool that many will view as having done as much damage as good.
Hugs and happiness
There is nothing more natural than a granny or grandad giving their grandchildren a hug.
But under the Covid restrictions such a simple, loving, everyday gesture became a no-no due to the transmission risk it posed.
On Monday, those hugs will be back on the agenda, thanks to the collective public effort to suppress the virus these past months.
It is a change that will bring joy and tears and happiness to homes across the land.
If the relaxation of the rules is treated as a free-for-all, one step forward will quickly morph into two steps back
But there will also be those who approach the milestone with trepidation, fearful it – and the wider easing of restrictions such as the ability to host overnight stays for other households and larger group gatherings – may spark a new wave of infections.
That is a very real concern and a prospect no-one wants to see.
Not for the first time, Nicola Sturgeon has asked the public to be responsible in how they behave in the days ahead.
If the relaxation of the rules is treated as a free-for-all, then the one step forward Scotland takes on Monday will quickly morph into two steps back.
A case for caution
Covid has dominated our lives for too long to let the virus regain the upper hand. The good news is the vaccine roll-out – the key to ending this collective nightmare – continues apace and better times are within our grasp.
Now is not the time to throw caution to the wind.