During the darkest of times, it was a photograph that became a beacon of hope.
It featured Paddy-Joe Lynch, in his dressing gown, being wheeled out of Sligo General Hospital after beating a virus he thought would kill him.
There he was, his face covered with a mask, with one hand triumphantly held aloft, celebrating his victory over Covid-19. Recovered. Smiling. Alive.
The reaction to that photo and Paddy-Joe's story of recovery in yesterday's Irish Independent has made one thing abundantly clear - people are yearning for a good news story and Paddy-Joe has been just the tonic.
At 82, with several underlying health issues, the farmer from Ballinameen, near Boyle, Co Roscommon, believed his "time was up" after testing positive for Covid-19 almost two weeks ago.
"I was convinced that it was it for me," he told the Irish Independent.
"I was very afraid. I can't tell you how afraid I was. When I was told I had tested positive I couldn't believe it. I didn't think I would make it.
"I said, 'That's it, this is the end of the line now for me'."
From his hospital bed, he spoke by phone to his daughters, telling them he feared he would die. During his days and hours alone in isolation, he contemplated his funeral, one with nobody there to mourn. He had heard all the statistics regarding Covid-19, and believed he would become just another number in a newspaper.
And yet, on Wednesday evening, he was back home, reunited with the people he thought he would never again see.
For those reading his story of hope, there has been a collective sense of pride in Paddy-Joe's recovery. From the hundreds of messages he has received from well-wishers, a resounding sentiment has emerged, one of heartfelt gratitude.
Thanks for giving hope. Thanks for bringing some good news. Thanks for bringing a smile to everyone's face.
People who have never met him have reached out with well-wishes for his continued good health.
Buoyed by a feeling of raised spirits, his local community members have issued social-media statements praising his extraordinary comeback. He has been inundated with calls and texts congratulating him on winning what was a hard-fought battle.
Former President Mary McAleese even took to the airwaves on RTÉ Radio 1 yesterday to praise him for highlighting a positive outcome in the midst of much despair.
If we are to believe the statistics to date, Paddy-Joe shouldn't have made it, he has said so himself. But he did make it.
Moreover, his story of survival against all the odds has tapped into a basic human instinct - the desire to believe that the same is possible for others. The numbers on those who are infected, as well as those who have died, are distributed daily, but statistics on those who have recovered have been publicised much less.
At a time when the news cycle has been filled with stories of sickness and death, the nation has been craving some release. In Paddy Joe, they got just that.
Yesterday, as the father-of-seven woke up at home for the first time in almost two weeks, the impact he has had on the nation still hadn't fully sunk in.
"I really didn't expect such a reaction," he said.
"The whole thing has been quite overwhelming but I'm very touched by all the kind words.
"The fact that I've brought a smile to a few faces and given people an escape from the doom and gloom means a lot.
"Like I said before, I didn't think I would be here to tell the tale so everything else is a bonus."
In the midst of the fear, worry, and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, each day seems to bring news that's worse than the day before. These unprecedented times we find ourselves in have caused nothing but panic, fear and fake WhatsApp messages.
Against this backdrop, there has been a remarkable explosion of good feeling in the wake of Paddy-Joe's story.
This alone underlines how vital stories like his are in lifting the mood of the nation as the coronavirus crisis continues. Even if it's just for a little while, we should focus on the positives.
Sometimes it takes the worst of bad news to get the good news on the map.
A few minutes of non-negative reading can do wonders for our general health and well-being.
Now, more than ever before, stories of triumph in the face of adversity are giving the nation a much-needed dose of joy.
Not everything is falling apart and, at some point, we too will come out of this.
This week, there were encouraging words from chief medical officer Tony Holohan when he said we had flattened the curve.
"But we need to flatten it further," he added.
Although our economy is experiencing a seismic shock, experts are hopeful that there will be a rapid recovery. There is hope, despite the daily deluge of dispiriting news.
Coronavirus has changed our lives. It has changed newsrooms too. Never before have so many journalists cast around for silver linings. Never before has so much optimism been needed and read.
While the importance must still be on keeping the public conscious of the dangers, and with that comes the duty to report on the deaths, there is still a need to deliver news that will lift the spirit.
More importantly, stories such as Paddy-Joe's will give inspiration to our vulnerable elderly population, many of whom are cocooning alone at present, perhaps frightened and scared of what is to come.
"I have one message for all of those people," said Paddy-Joe, speaking from his home yesterday.
"Don't be afraid, don't focus on the negatives and don't give up hope.
"If you can, try and stay positive because that's all you can do right now. I shouldn't be here, but I am - and that in itself is something else."