Social media is full of jokes and videos about couples in quarantine. Take the spoof chat between the two male neighbours pleading with one another to end their torment at the hands of their wives as all they have to drink is Prosecco.
In reality, the lockdown has presented couples with very real challenges. For many over-70s, who've been cocooning at home together since March, it's been a long period of upheaval. Normal routines, like seeing friends or family, or hobbies and pastimes, all came to a grinding halt, and couples found themselves spending 24 hours a day with one another. So what happens to your relationship when you're in such close quarters for such a prolonged length of time?
For Aidan O'Hara and his wife Joyce, both 81, who live in Longford, not being able to come and go as they like has been the biggest frustration of quarantine. But Aidan says the couple, who have been married for 55 years and have three children and five grandchildren, understand that being busy in lockdown helps to keep things running smoothly at home. Dancing around the house to Glen Miller's In The Mood and daily hugs make them feel young at heart and keep their spirits up.
While Aidan says he never officially retired - he's still working as a historian and writer - he's lucky in that he married a woman with 'patience galore'. "If the village was in any way stressed, I'd prescribe Joyce as a remedy," he says. "Our lives have not changed all that dramatically. We thought when we first heard about coronavirus that they were telling us it was the beginning of the end of the world. With modern technology, we can still talk to our children and grandchildren. We've done Zoom and Skype."
Joyce explains that she used the quarantine period to call two people every day. These would be people she might not have spoken to in a while and decided to reconnect with. "We chat about ordinary, everyday things - not too much about Trump or Brexit," she says.
Their interests in music, literature, gardening and history have meant they haven't been bored or got on one another's nerves, explains Aidan, who is translating a book he wrote on the Irish in Newfoundland from Irish into English.
Because their grandchildren are in Donegal and in Scotland, Joyce says the first thing they'll do once restrictions are lifted is travel to see their family. "We just have to be patient," says Aidan.
Spending a lot of time together means patience is something they've both learned over the years, not just in lockdown. "One of the other things we learned at the beginning of our marriage is that we'd never let the sun go down on any difference we felt," says Aidan.
"As we age, we are supposed to be more vulnerable - we don't dwell on that. We live for the day. We have different interests and shared interests and we get on really well. We've had a very happy relationship for all these years and it ain't over yet," he adds.
Maureen Kelleher (74), from Larchfield just outside Cork City, describes lockdown as the most difficult period of her married life. Married to Dan (74) for 53 years, Maureen cares for her husband, who is in a wheelchair and suffers from COPD, a disease that makes it hard to empty air out of your lungs. He needs oxygen 24 hours a day.
When the over-70s were told to cocoon, Maureen says it made Dan very protective of both their health and he wasn't happy about his wife going outside the house at all. It's only in the last week that Maureen says she goes out for a short walk at 8am while her husband still sleeps.
Maureen and Dan usually make the trip to the Family Carers Ireland centre on Tuckey Street in the city to meet up with other people, or have a cup of tea and a chat several times a week but lockdown put an end to what Maureen describes as a vital lifeline.
"I found it all very hard and spent a lot of time crying for what felt like being locked in. I couldn't go out and I couldn't go to family carers. I couldn't see my grandchildren. One of my daughters would drop the shopping at the gate. I felt I was going to have a nervous breakdown."
She says her husband's health condition meant he was understandably worried about the virus and while she says he's a very quiet and kind man, he did become obsessive about coronavirus. "I spent a lot of time arguing with him. He was obsessive at times and I felt everything was closing in on me. I was so used to going out. This week we should have been in Ballybunion, Co Kerry on a family carers outing. Things can be difficult anyway but I found this whole time very hard," says Maureen.
Having met when Dan was a telegram boy in the GPO in Cork City and Maureen worked in a nearby restaurant, the couple went on to have four children, 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, with another one on the way. For the last 13 years, Maureen has cared for Dan in their home.
She says while everyone has their ups and downs, she and Dan never argued much at all throughout their marriage. "I could have said I'm going to Mars and Dan would've said 'OK love'. Dan's very quiet and I'm the bossy one but he was almost paranoid during this time. I know it was hard on him as well," she says.
Dan admits it's been difficult, especially not being able to get out to meet others, and says it did put a strain on them. "When the family carers centre opens its doors, I'll be the first one in the door," he says.
For John and Catherine O'Rourke from Dublin's Rialto, who are married for 54 years, the most difficult part of lockdown was losing John's older brother Michael to Covid-19. Michael (82), who had been suffering from dementia and was in a nursing home, was the last of John's three brothers. "I couldn't have coped without Catherine. She's my rock and my anchor," John (76) says of his wife Catherine (73), who he met in the Ritz Ballroom in Ballyfermot when they were both teenagers.
The couple, who have three daughters and seven grandchildren, have spent much of lockdown tending the plants and flowers along the avenue they live on and found themselves reminiscing about their lives during the period.
Catherine says they put a lot of their home videos together on YouTube for the family and this was a wonderful distraction from what was going on in the world.
"We count ourselves very lucky. We've had good times and bad times and we both worked very hard," says John, a former truck driver. "When I retired 11 years ago, it took a while to settle into life again. And it took Catherine a while to get used to seeing me every day. Like everyone, we had our ups and downs but I'd marry Catherine all over again. I don't know what the secret is - when my wife says jump, I say how high and I'm still jumping," he jokes.
Despite not getting out to do his rowing and admitting he's put on a few pounds over lockdown, John says he and his wife managed to get through the period by reminding themselves how lucky they were.
"We still really enjoy each other's company. Of course we have disagreements but it blows over fairly quickly. It helps that I'm a bit of a joker."
At their home in Carndonagh, Co Donegal, Letitia Doherty and her husband Paddy, who have been married for 55 years, have found a breathing space in lockdown.
Letitia (80), a former primary school principal, and Paddy, a former newsagent who will turn 80 later this month, have both been retired for some years but their involvement in local community organisations, a passion for golf, children and grandchildren popping in and out every day, means retirement was never a quiet time.
Lockdown has seen them spend time in the garden together and since restrictions have been eased they take a short drive to land they own outside the town and take in the views.
However Paddy - who usually goes out once a week to meet two friends - is frustrated that he hasn't been able to do that. "We might talk politics or just chit-chat. I miss that terribly. I don't take a drink but we'd go to Simpson's Bar in the town at 8pm and leave at midnight. It's a big loss and it was the highlight of my week," he says.
His wife says that in all their years of marriage they've never spent as much time together. "Because Paddy was in the shop from early morning till late at night and I was teaching, we were coming and going at different times. When I retired early in 1998, I did my own thing playing golf three times a week. Paddy didn't retire until 2007. We had very busy lives and with six children it was all just go in our house," says Letitia.
Planting cabbages, beetroot and broad beans in Paddy's glasshouse in their garden has given the couple time to reflect on the speed at which their lives seemed to move once their children came along, says Letitia.
Even with spending so much time at home together in lockdown, Letitia says their own separate interests have been important. "We've got on very well in this time. When you're together for 55 years you have to get on. As I say to my own children, deal with what's here and now; deal with what you have to at this minute and let it go," she says.
"Looking back on our married lives, it was just a flash," says Paddy.
"Many a row we had over the years - there's never been a marriage without a row - but we hadn't a cross word in lockdown."