Coronavirus has turned our world upside, shutting down workplaces and schools, and making tens of thousands temporarily unemployed as fears for our health mount.
But it has also proved that the country has a strong sense of social cohesion, and is capable of an enormous community response in a crisis.
It is not yet clear how many people have joined the volunteer army assisting in the community battle to cope with the spread of the virus.
That is because much of this help is offered informally between neighbours along streets, in townlands and in apartment blocks all across the country.
Over 3,000 people came forward within a matter of days to offer assistance at Volunteer Ireland, which supplies volunteers to a range of organisations.
They will help emergency responders, older people, community groups and those with disabilities during the Covid-19 crisis.
Separately close to 7,000 people have joined a volunteer movement initiated on social media by the former broadcast executive and recent returned emigrant Helen O'Rahilly, using the hashtag #selfisolationhelp. Volunteers help with the delivery of groceries and medicines.
O'Rahilly says this week the response had been stunning and the strength of community spirit is enormous.
"[There is] such goodwill towards neighbours and strangers." she says. "Ireland has the heart to respond to this crisis. The strength is in the people."
There are similar initiatives all across the country, frequently organised in local WhatsApp groups or on Facebook.
The organisation Alone, which helps elderly people, also reports a huge response from the public with people across the age spectrum coming forward to help with grocery deliveries, medical supplies and to offer telephone support.
Alone spokeswoman Grainne Loughran says: "We have been inundated by new volunteers contacting us on social media, by email and in phone calls. It has been phenomenal."
Wexford hotelier John Paul Hanrahan is typical of the numerous individuals who have taken their own initiative across the country.
Even though his hotel at Curracloe is facing the imminent threat of closure and Hanrahan can only employ a skeleton staff, he posted a message offering meals to be delivered to vulnerable people in his immediate area.
The service is aimed at those who are elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions.
The hotelier told Review this week: "If everybody looks out for each other during this crisis, well and good. I believe that's human nature.
"It's a hotel, we have food here - so why wouldn't we help? Older people are having to stay at home in the current crisis and who can blame them? My own parents are heading towards seventy."
There are two aspects of the community response in the current crisis that are important as the authorities try to stop the spread of the virus.
Firstly, there is the voluntary effort of thousands who want to help their neighbours as they are forced into self-isolation and often devoid of human contact and assistance.
Secondly, there is the community response to entreaties from the government and public health officials to behave in a certain way.
The behavioural economist Professor Pete Lunn of the Economic and Social Research Institute has studied what kind of strategies work best in prompting good behaviour and he has been encouraged by the response of the republic.
We have been encouraged to wash our hands, cut down the number of social interactions, engage in the practice of social distancing, and isolate ourselves if we have symptoms.
"If we are looking for collective action it is very important that there is a clear message that we are all in this together" says Professor Lunn. "The evidence shows that public-spirited behaviour is much more likely when there is frequent communication of how we can best help each other."
Professor Lunn says the majority of people will usually pull together in a crisis and make sacrifices for the public good, provided they see others doing the same. If they see a significant number of others not behaving well, they themselves may not cooperate.
According to the economist, a key to the success of the public health authorities in encouraging a positive community response is good communication.
"Co-operation is increased by clear statements, articulated by leaders and repeated by others, of a desired collective behaviour that is in the group interest."
Language and leadership are crucial in getting the message across.
Where behaviour is about "we" and "us" rather than "I" or "you", more public-spirited responses are likely, according to Professor Lunn.
"The message should be - this is what we have to do and we all have to do it together."
In his broadcast to the nation on Tuesday night, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar conveyed that message and related the crisis to his partner and family.
Professor Lunn says the message from the public health authorities has been clear and it has got steadily stronger as the crisis has become deeper.
"The messages have been repeated again and again, and as a result they have been effective in changing behaviour," he said
Of course, not all the behaviour of the public has been positive and at some stages in the crisis there has been frantic panic buying.
There was also outrage when a video appeared on social media showing revellers drinking cheek by jowl in a crowded pub in Temple Bar, going against the principles of social distancing.
Professor Lunn says a certain measure of social disapproval can help to change this type of behaviour, but it does not work if the punishment is too strong.
"We had panic buying in supermarkets but it didn't last too long because there was social disapproval and people saw that the shelves quickly filled up again. People perhaps realised that vegetables are not going to stop growing in Ireland and cows will still have to be milked.
"I saw some people giving filthy glances to people who were stocking up on too many goods, and I think that social disapproval worked."
By Thursday of this week, there had been no significant outbreaks of public disorder similar to the incident during the Storm Emma snowstorm, when a Lidl supermarket in Tallaght was attacked and looted.
By early this week, we saw the goodwill spreading through communities faster than the dreaded virus itself.
In one of the numerous initiatives, more than €50,000 was raised in a day to help feed staff in Irish hospitals who are working to treat and contain the Coronavirus.
The 'Feed the Heroes' campaign was set up by Cian O'Flaherty after he saw a post on social media on Sunday morning, telling how an anonymous member of the public had dropped a large takeaway order into staff working at the Mater Hospital.
Over 24,000 people were reported to have contacted the HSE after the government launched a recruitment drive for health workers to help tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. Many came out of retirement or are set to return from abroad to help out in the current crisis.
It is not just the hospitals that are under pressure. Homeless and Disability charities this week put an urgent appeal to ask members of the public to register as emergency staff.
A number of organisations have come together in the Crisis Cover Initiative to urge the public to become 'ordinary heroes' to prevent services to vulnerable people from having to shut their doors during the pandemic.
A range of skills and roles are required, including reception and cleaning staff, as well as specialist supports such as disability care workers, healthcare workers, and project workers.
One of the leaders of the initiative, Anthony Staines, Professor of Public Health at Dublin City University, says: "We are looking for people who may have lost their job last Friday or have time on their hands. They could offer service in a whole range of roles."
The reason we are doing this is that people who use these services are vulnerable to catching the Coronavirus, and staff may also get it from neighbours, families and friends.
"They don't have surplus staff and they are desperately trying to keep their services open."
Professor Staines is encouraged by the response of the public to the present crisis and believes it could play an important role in stopping the spread of the disease.
"If we can mobilise the Irish community it will make a very big difference," says Professor Staines. "Getting this community response off the ground is tough, but sustaining it is going to be tougher."
Many have responded to the requests to be cocooned at home for the past week, but will they be so compliant a month or two down the line?
With fine sunny weather and spring flowers in full bloom, it would be easy to let our guard down and there is still an air of unreality about the crisis. The insidious virus is creeping stealthily and invisibly through the population, as hikers stroll in parks and along hillsides in the sunshine.
Professor Pete Lunn says the message delivered here by the authorities is a lot clearer than in Britain, where they kept the schools open until yesterday and big gatherings continued into this week.
"In Britain it has not been easy to see what the strategy is: Some people seemed to believe that the disease should spread but only among the non-vulnerable, and then there are announcements of measures to slow down the spread of the disease. It looks like a contradiction.
"You cannot get people to rally around a message that is contradictory or unclear."
Professor Staines says the British communication of information on the Coronavirus has been a shambles, when compared to the approach of our authorities.
The professor of public health says: "There is no guarantee that our approach will work, but it is certainly worth trying instead of staying around in the middle of the road waiting for a bus to run us over."
Volunteer Ireland gives advice to those wanting to help out during the current Covid-19 crisis.
⬤ Before considering taking on a role ask yourself - 'Am I well enough to volunteer?' Your safety and limiting the spread of the Coronavirus should be a priority. Volunteer centres urge volunteers to stick to HSE instructions on how best to avoid Covid-19, both in the work environment and at home. www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/protect-yourself.html
⬤ One option is to contact and register with your local volunteer centre. The network of Volunteer Centres across Ireland are expecting many Covid-19 roles to be listed on their database on their database i-vol.ie in the coming days.
⬤ Some roles will be directly related to Covid-19 support. Other roles for volunteers may be related to helping community organisations to keep normal services running.
⬤ Another way of helping out is to volunteer informally in your own community.If you know people in your community who may be vulnerable and can contact them safely (e.g. phone call, WhatsApp, drop a note through letterbox), just let them know that you are available and can assist with shopping or other deliveries.
⬤ Do not assume that someone needs help or call directly to someone's house unannounced, as some people may be very anxious about making face-to-face contact, particularly if they have a medical condition or are living alone.
⬤ What if someone asks me to do something I can't actually do? In this case, you should let the person know that you cannot help and recommend that the Volunteer Centre may be able to assist in finding a solution.
⬤ Everyone can volunteer. What is important is finding a volunteering role that suits your skills and abilities. Through i-vol.ie you can see the wide range of volunteer opportunities that exist both locally and nationally.
⬤ Many volunteer roles may require Garda vetting, particularly if they involve children or vulnerable groups. The process is being streamlined at the moment to take account of the Coronavirus crisis.