The optimism in suburban Dublin, which I highlighted when last in these pages just before Christmas, has been somewhat dented with the new lockdown, which came unexpectedly early, due to the then high level of community Covid infections all over Ireland, but particularly here in the capital. The so-called third wave of the pandemic has been remorseless.
Back in early January walkers in the local parks, some wearing masks and apparently keeping greater distances than before walked past with a kind of grim determination, suggesting with their body language that they realised the game was up!
However, a few weeks later as we now move into the early days of February, the rigid demeanours are gradually thawing to the extent that a friendly word is now exchanged at a safe distance.
Such brief conversations elicit a belief in most people that this will be our lot in the medium term or longer, that the current lockdown, apart from small adjustments, will be here until all those who have reached the later age groups, and are thus deemed vulnerable, receive a vaccine.
Invariably most will mention the hope of improving weather and the longer evenings on the horizon. Such sustaining thoughts are indeed more helpful than the alternative!