Those acquainted with a crisis will tell you it is a series of unfortunate events rather than a single 'trigger' that can turn it into a disaster.
Developer Johnny Ronan knows that feeling after a video of him joke-coughing and spluttering around a sign for Corona beer went viral last week, followed almost immediately by the announcement that the much-loved Bewley's Oriental Cafe in Grafton Street, Dublin, is to close, in part because its owners believe the rent they pay him is unsustainable.
"Jaysus, if every time we went for a pint and it appeared on social media we'd all be living very dull lives," he told me yesterday, adding: "I've apologised and meant it, but genuinely we had no idea what was coming down the tracks at the time. I know now that it's no laughing matter."
As for Bewley's, he says: "It's a magnificent building and I love beautiful buildings.That's one of the reasons I bought it.
"I am hoping someone fantastic will rent it and replace what's there with an amazing, world-class better version of Bewley's, but at the moment I just don't know."
The controversial property developer, who is in the process of building European headquarters for Salesforce on the banks of the Liffey, Facebook in Ballsbridge and has approval for a 23-storey structure on Tara Street, says he does not want to trivialise what happened to him last week, but his major concern is what the lockdown is doing to the Irish economy.
"I think doctors and frontline workers have put their lives on the line, they are doing an unbelievable job, but the Government have to speed up getting people back to work," he says.
"Nobody is going to get it 100pc right but I really do think we need to start opening things up.
"My own mother is 92 and I love her dearly - even she said to me when I spoke to her this morning, 'you can't destroy the economy, you can only do so much and then you have to call a halt'.
"It is a delicate balancing act, but we have to try to open for business and we have to do it faster than planned."
Ronan, once co-owner of Treasury Holdings, spent the Celtic Tiger years oscillating from the farcical to the formidable.
In between building the Convention Centre by the Liffey and other international developments, there were bizarre and much publicised encounters with celebrities Glenda Gilson and Rosanna Davison that became part of the mythology of the Celtic Tiger era.
But since escaping the clutches of the State's bad bank Nama in 2015, when he teamed up with US property and investment group Colony Capital, he has maintained a relatively low profile, apart from his constant battles with Dublin City Council to have height restrictions lifted in certain parts of the city.
But the rise and fall and rise again of Johnny Ronan has left a trail of people itching to take him down a peg or two, and last week the opportunity was handed to them on a plate.
A mobile phone clip filmed in South Africa on February 29, in which he makes fun of coronavirus (declared a pandemic on March 11) went viral just as Dublin's Bewley's Oriental Cafe announced it was closing its doors for good, partly due to the €1.4m rent it must pay Ronan every year.
In hindsight Ronan's coronavirus video was juvenile and lamentably 'laddish' for a grown man, but Ronan and another confederate, the one-time Formula One team owner Eddie Jordan, are types who can say sorry and move swiftly on.
Philip Cassidy, the former Irish cycling champion who circulated it to his cycling buddies "for private use", hasn't been able to sleep at night since it was released feeling he'd let the two men down and he sounded distressed when he appeared on the radio with Joe Duffy last week.
The group, who regularly participate in gruelling charity cycles, were in South Africa to raise funds for an ill friend, who has since died.
"I know people were annoyed and some even angry and I understand that, but if we were all aware that our private moments, especially after a few drinks, were to go online, we'd be living different and very quiet lives," Ronan says.
"Jaysus, a lot of people wouldn't like me, or anybody else, to see what's on their phones."
Itching to move on to other topics, Ronan adds: "We did the 109km Argus race in three hours, 16 minutes, not bad after all the drink."
The question of the closure of Bewley's flagship cafe he takes far more seriously.
"A hundred or so people are going to lose their jobs, that is a tragedy for them," he says. "I understand that, but I don't run Bewley's, it's the Campbell family's business. It's one of the biggest buildings on Grafton Street. People don't realise that, and that is one of the reasons the rent is so high.
"We drew up plans, very detailed plans, to convert it into a hotel, with a much smaller cafe that could have operated on a reduced rent."
Founded in 1927 and run by various members of the Quaker Bewley family for generations, the business, including ownership of the Grafton Street building, which once housed Whyte's Academy where the Duke of Wellington went to school, passed into the hands of Patrick Campbell and Campbell Catering in 1986. The following year the Grafton Street building was sold to the Royal Insurance on a 35-year 'sale and leaseback agreement' with provision for upward only rent increases.
"The key thing here is that when Campbell Catering took over they sold the building and put the lease in place and banked an enormous profit. Now they are moaning about the rent on the lease they wrote themselves," says Ronan.
When contacted by the Sunday Independent last week, a statement was issued on behalf of Bewley's Cafe Grafton Street Limited which said: "The company has no further information to add to its statement issued recently (6 May, 2020) and is now fully focused on engaging with its impacted employees in a sensitive and considerate manner on a consultation process as part of the proposed permanent closure of Bewley's Cafe Grafton Street."
Ronan bought the building from the insurance company about 20 years ago. He also owns the TSB building on the corner of Grafton Street and the former American Express building opposite the Provost's House of Trinity College through his company RGRE Grafton.
During a period when an arbitrator had pitched the rent at €728,000 per annum, Ronan says he was offered €2m a year for the building by Spanish retailer Zara. He claims he offered to buy back the lease from Bewley's for €6m but they declined. The rent was eventually set at €1,464,000 per annum after a Supreme Court case while his empire was in Nama, which were party to the action.
"It is all very fine for people to say 'let the landlord take less or let the landlord take the hit' but I have two mortgages on that property. In April we had to pay the quarterly interest on what we've borrowed. Even if we wanted to give them a break the bank would have to consent and they never would. The rent goes from Bewley's into our bank - we don't even see it. Bewley's is a very profitable company but they're trying to blame this on me.
"In fairness to Patrick Campbell, he put €12m into refurbishing the restaurant. It's very sad, but they've decided to close it, not me."
In a note to staff published last Thursday Bewley's managing director, Col Campbell, son of the owner Patrick Campbell, said that because of a "real likelihood that the cafe will generate substantial and unsustainable losses into the future" urgent steps were needed to preserve the overall Bewley's business. This includes other cafes and a tea and coffee importing subsidiary that generated turnover of €147m last year. It said the request for a rent reduction from Ronan's company was "not forthcoming".
In reply, Rory Williams, CEO of the Ronan Group, said: "It has been made clear to Bewley's on numerous occasions that we are not in a position to subsidise its business when its shareholders are perfectly capable of doing so. Bewley's is a successful and profitable company and has generated significant earnings for its shareholders over a period of many years."
When the cafe closed due to Covid-19 in March, Bewley's asked for a rent 'holiday' for an initial period of six months. The Ronan Group says an offer to set up a meeting between Johnny Ronan and Patrick Campbell, now an artist, to resolve matters was not availed of.
"At this moment in time I don't know what's going to happen to Bewley's," Ronan says. "They haven't called us to tell us what they plan to do. We've read about it in the papers."
Ronan says the current lockdown is "hurting everybody" and many businesses are going to suffer, but he is hoping that decisive government action can help save as much of the economy as possible. He is also dubious about whether the widespread working-from-home regime will continue when lockdown restrictions are lifted.
"I don't know of many people, unless they have extraordinary relationships, who want to continue working from home. Most of them want to get back to the office as quickly as they can," he says, with a laugh.
However, he adds that the trend for some companies to squeeze employees into small spaces like rows of sardines is a thing of the past.
"A lot of elite companies we deal with are giving more space per employee. They were doing it anyway - they want to attract talented people and give them the space to work and extra facilities to keep them happy."
It may have been a stressful week for some of those around him, but for Johnny Ronan it's all part of life's rich pageant.
How did his family take the South African escapade I ask: "Jaysus, don't even go there," he answers.
Later he sends me a couple of photographs of himself and his buddies on the various charity cycles that occupy his spare time when he's not dreaming up grandiose plans for the city skyline.
He's already moving on to a new adventure.