Taoiseach Micheal Martin announced last week of the Government's decision to move the country to Level 3 Covid-19 restrictions
On Monday evening, Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced that the country was going to a Level 3 footing under Ireland’s Plan for Living with Covid-19, rejecting the Level 5 recommendation which NPHET had made in a bombshell development the previous evening.
On Monday lunchtime, the GAA announced that it was suspending all club fixtures indefinitely and the country found itself collectively taking a deep breath in anticipation of what might happen next.
At a local level the insidious nature of Covid-19 has been starkly illustrated by the surge in figures over the past fortnight.
In the ten days to October 4 there have been 52 cases in Longford, according to the daily incident report from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre. The county’s incidence rate, at 132.1 per 100,000 (as at October 5) is the fifth highest in the country.
It's a reminder, and it's hardly needed, that this virus is really going nowhere for the foreseeable future.
The debate that erupted over the Level 5 recommendation threw into stark relief the juncture we have reached in dealing with this pandemic.
The economic and social life of the country has been upended in ways we couldn’t have imagined at the start of the year.
The initial buy in from the public into lockdown was exemplary.
Similarly with businesses, who shut their doors and then, when lockdown lifted, adjusted their operations accordingly and essentially got on with it.
However, sight must not be lost of the fact that some businesses closed their doors not to re-open.
As the prospect of Level 5 loomed for a time, many businesses stared into the abyss.
Many are just about coping as best they can with the circumstances they have been presented with, and the outlook remains difficult.
Going to Level 5 is not what any responsible business deserves and it behoves everyone to ensure that this does not happen.