On May 24, while Ireland was announcing 57 new Covid-19 cases and four deaths, Israel seemed to have truly flattened the curve: a country of 8.4 million, it reported just five new cases and no deaths.
For a number of days towards the end of that month, its new case tally was in single figures. A wholesale easing of restrictions started to come into effect.
Schools reopened, shops and businesses largely resumed where they had been before the pandemic and crowds flocked to beaches on the Mediterranean and Sea of Galilee. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was bullish: Israel was back on its feet. The battle against the coronavirus had been won.
Fast-forward to Wednesday of this week and Israel is in the grip of a nightmare. New Covid cases were at 1,473 - far higher than on any day since the virus was first detected in the country on February 21. After rising steadily during June, a second surge has led to strict restrictions coming into place once more.
On the same day, Israel's top public health official resigned over how the government had "lost its bearings".
Epidemiologist Siegal Sadetzki said: "The achievements in dealing with the first wave [of infections] were cancelled out by the broad and swift opening of the economy."
Australia, which had appeared to escape while Europe, Brazil and the US took the brunt of the infections, is also coming to terms with a new wave of infection. This week, Melbourne went into a harsh six-week lockdown as attempts to limit transmission kicked in.
Irish residents in the city spoke of their fears that they would be unable to return home within the next year as they faced the prospect of having to stay in their homes for all but the most urgent of reasons.
And, closer to home, in the Catalonia region of Spain, more than 200,000 people are affected by a new, localised lockdown that was imposed at the start of the week. Having been hit especially hard by the first wave of coronavirus, officials there are desperately trying to keep new infections under control.
As Ireland reached a point where new daily cases were in single figures earlier this week- some days have seen the lowest level of transmission since early March - there appeared to be cause for celebration.
The worst appeared to be behind us - but by Thursday, the numbers were creeping up again, and three-quarters of new infections were among people aged under 25. Many of the new cases are reported to be travel-related.
The virus is still out there, we are not immune - very few of us have had this
Experience of Israel, Melbourne and Catalonia, among many other places all over the world, suggests that it is far too soon to be getting complacent and assuming Covid-19 is on the verge of extinction here.
Acting Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn this week expressed concern that Ireland could experience a second wave. He was speaking after video footage of large groups of people drinking and socialising together in the centre of Dublin went viral on social media. "If gatherings like that continue, then it is inevitable that we will run into problems," he said. "The virus is still out there, we are not immune - very few of us have had this."
A strong feeling among the public that a second wave will hit Ireland is indicated in research conducted by the Department of Health. It shows there is "a higher level of overall worry among the population" about Covid-19.
The nationally representative sample of 2,004 people shows almost three-quarters think that there will be a second wave - a rise of 20pc in the past month. And while 41pc believe the toughest days are behind us, some 32pc believe the worst is yet to come.
Those fears have been thrown into sharp relief with a rise in the number of people travelling to and from the country - despite health chiefs, including Glynn, urging us not to travel abroad unless absolutely necessary and to holiday at home instead. And the anxiety has been increased as a result of activity engendered by the introduction of phase three of lockdown easing, which came into effect on June 29.
That mask-wearing has not been made mandatory has given some significant cause for concern, especially as anecdotal evidence suggests that more of us are choosing not to wear masks than wear them.
On Thursday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed that the crisis was still "accelerating". More than 12 million people have been infected with the virus and almost 550,000 have died from it.
The US alone has had more than 3 million cases with a record 59,000 new cases announced on Wednesday. Despite President Donald Trump suggesting the country was a "world leader" in the pandemic response, the American death toll has passed 130,000.
Kingston Mills, professor of immunology at Trinity College Dublin, is especially troubled by the thoughts of unfettered international travel. "It's not just the prospect of people coming here from countries with a high incidence of the virus," he says, "it's the fact that being on a plane, in a confined space and with recycled air, is just about the worst place you can be if there's someone on board who has been infected."
Mills is taking his holidays in Ireland - he was in a rainy Wexford this week - and he says that only by properly testing arrivals at Irish airports and ports can the country ensure that the virus doesn't get out of control.
Authorities in both Melbourne and Israel have blamed an influx in overseas visitors for the troubles they now find themselves in.
After months of stagnation, air travel has resumed and further easing is set to come into effect on July 20 with the announcement of so-called 'air bridge' arrangements facilitating travel between Ireland and countries with a lower incidence of the virus.
Right now, Ryanair is running an ad campaign boasting of 1,000 flights per day - and highlighting low fares to Portugal. The commercial neglects to mention that its capital, Lisbon, has been back in lockdown this week with new cases there exceeding 300-a-day.
Fears that the virus is coming back to Ireland via overseas travel have not abated with findings that show that just six out of every 10 passengers arriving in the country are answering calls to check if they are self-quarantining for the recommended 14 days.
Travel here was how the virus got to Ireland in the first place
For Jack Lambert, consultant in infectious diseases at Dublin's Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, having an effective monitoring system for people coming into Ireland is essential in helping to stop a second wave. "Travel here was how the virus got to Ireland in the first place," he says. "It can very easily return and we have seen before how quickly it can spread."
He differs from many of his medical colleagues in that he believes travel should be permitted between Ireland and countries with a low incidence of Covid-19. "I don't think there will be catastrophic flare-ups," he says, "but we need to make mask-wearing mandatory on public transport and in indoor areas. The messaging around this has been very confused and not enough people are wearing them, but I think it's absolutely vital going forward."
John Wenger, a professor of chemistry at University College Cork (UCC), is one of a group of 239 scientists worldwide who have called on the WHO to update its guidance on how the virus is transmitted. He believes it is an airborne virus that can be easily spread in indoor environments, such as pubs, and he argues that Covid-19 isn't just transmitted through droplets expelled in coughs and sneezes.
"A large body of evidence now shows that exhaled breath releases smaller particles, smaller than droplets which are called aerosols and they can travel further," he says, "and they can remain in indoor environments for a few hours."
"Face coverings are important," he adds, "as is social distancing and I'd have concerns about how the virus can be transmitted in indoor pub environments, where you might have to shout to be heard and inhibitions [around social distancing] are lowered."
Since some pubs - primarily those serving food - were permitted to open at the end of June, there have been concerns about adhering to distancing guidelines and the length of time that pub-goers are allowed to stay on site.
"We don't want to alarm people," Wenger says, "but the transmission of the virus is easier indoors than outdoors. I think when it comes to pubs we need better ventilation and mask-wearing, especially among staff."
There is increasing evidence that certain indoor environments are riskier than others. TCD biochemistry and immunology professor Luke O'Neill - arguably the country's leading mask-wearing proponent - shared information this week from the Texas Heath Department which showed that busy pubs and nightclubs represent the greatest risk when it comes to transmission.
At the other end of the spectrum, activities such as tennis, cycling and camping carry the lowest risk of infection.
Rural GP Liam Glynn, who is a professor of general practice at the University of Limerick (UL), believes there is a distinct risk of a second surge in cases where the public becomes complacent about the need for social distancing and hygiene.
"The most powerful weapon against Covid-19 is how individuals act, that element of personal responsibility," he says. "We've done very well up to now and community transmission was brought to a very low level, but as society opens up further, the chances for an increase in cases go up."
Glynn believes our island status gives Ireland - north and south - a good opportunity to avoid a second wave, but it means taking hard decisions at entry points. "Travel into the country is going to be the chief reason for any re-ignition of Covid-19. You have to look at how we manage border control. It's not realistic to think that people aren't going to come in and out - everything's got to be balanced by the collateral damage that's caused by lockdown. And I think it would be a great failure if we had to go into a full lockdown again."
Should daily infection go up significantly, a form of lockdown will be introduced. But a scientific source close to the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) says it is "highly unlikely" that it will be a nationwide closure, like the one introduced in late March. "We've all tried very hard to limit its spread and the lockdown that we've come out of was difficult," says the source.
"Of course, if the numbers went up to very high levels, it might have to come back, but any future lockdowns are likely to be localised - with a town or part of a city locked down for a number of weeks and it would be entirely dependent on where clusters are.
"You'd look closely at what's happening in places like Leicester [the English city is currently in lockdown after unusually high levels of Covid-transmission] and to see how that might be adapted here."
While the threat of a second wave remains, there was some good news for Ireland's potential response this week. The long-promised contact tracing app was finally launched by the HSE and, within 48 hours, it had clocked up more than one million downloads - far in excess of what had been anticipated.
"It's a tool, and a useful tool," says Jack Lambert, "and you would hope it can help to quickly track people in the event of flare-ups. But it's just one tool of many. For me, masks remain critical and with the new findings on aerosols, they're even more important than social distancing."
Lambert believes that we need to learn to live with the risks of Covid-19, especially as a vaccine and anti-viral drugs could be quite a way away. "There are no easy answers here but the answer is not 'stay in lockdown' in order to avoid a really bad surge, and then if we surge again to go back into lockdown - I don't think that's the solution either."
Meanwhile, in Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu has been facing up to one of the toughest challenges of his tenure. "The pandemic is spreading," he said. "That's as clear as day."
After tasting freedom in June, the country's residents are having to get used to a new batch of restrictions. Just 20 people will be allowed in restaurants and 30 outside while numbers attending synagogues have been limited to 19.
And the Shin Bet, the country's internal security service, have started to redeploy controversial phone surveillance technology that tracks those who have been in contact with infected people and tells them to quarantine.
"Israel has lost control of the pandemic," was the stark appraisal of Eli Waxman, who heads the panel of experts advising the government. "It's our greatest civilian crisis."
Here, new health minister Stephen Donnelly and crisis control experts like the Acting Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn, will be hoping that Ireland's experience in the near future will be very different.