In many far corners of the globe, Irish diplomats are helping Irish citizens stuck abroad to get home for Easter, rescuing them from being sequestered in Peru or Australia during the uncertain span of the lockdown.
Other nations are similarly bringing home their nationals - Britain, Poland, Germany, Austria, Latvia, Czechia - just as birds feel the need to get back to the home roost in pressing times.
My situation is a little more ambivalent. I live in Kent but usually spend time in Dublin, and other parts of Ireland, every month, so am accustomed to flitting across the Irish Sea on a regular basis. But the current lockdown has made me question when - maybe if ever - I will cross that Irish Sea again.
Flight plans have had to be altered from March to April and now beyond, and a way of life I've taken for granted for decades may well be coming to an end. Even if regular flying is restored, I wonder if we will quite revert to that ease of movement again? We have been warned that another wave of the pandemic could hit again in the autumn and to be on our guard against future strains.
You don't miss the water till the well runs dry, as they say. I begin to see Galway Bay in all the hues of nostalgic yearning or a picture of the Blasket Islands prompts dewy-eyed mal du pays. I think ruefully of the happy, serene hours I've spent in the lovely National Library of Ireland, and wonder shall I ever cross its portals again?
And that's not even to begin on the connections of family and friends - the human touch replaced by the Zoom meeting and all forms of the electronic communication.
In times of crisis everything seems more dramatic, and having habitual choices removed seems an outrageous injustice, even when the explanation is rational and for the common good.
Irish history is replete with song and story about the mournful exile of Erin, because emigration has been such an interwoven part of our social history. 'The Fields of Athenry' would hardly have had such a purchase on the imagination if it hadn't echoed a race memory of unjust exile. Percy French made much-loved ballads from the emigrant experience - the jarvey who departed from Cavan immortalised in 'Come Back Paddy Reilly to Ballyjamesduff', and a road-digger in London's Strand as the much-loved voice of 'The Mountains of Mourne'. More poignant still is his lament by the young Donegal emigrant watching the coast of Ireland fade in 'The Emigrant's Letter' - "they're cuttin' the corn in Creeshla the day".
These doleful songs about missing Ireland were written at a time when departure meant forever. Liam O'Flaherty's story 'Going into Exile' describes the heartache of "the American wake", when there would be a party the night before leaving home, with dancing, laughing, singing and much drinking. But the revels were all designed to camouflage the bitter fact of a never-to-return exile. This was the 1930s, but even in the 1950s there were tearful scenes at Dún Laoghaire pier as emigrants "took the mailboat" with a mournful loneliness.
This familiar trope in Irish storytelling and tradition came to an end during the latter half of the 20th century with cheaper and more accessible jet travel.
By the time Ryanair got going in the 1980s, emigration and exile had lost its sting - I came to know people who worked in London during the week and flew home to the Irish midlands every weekend or, indeed, flew back and forth across the Atlantic regularly in the course of work and family meetings.
"My feet are here on Broadway/This blessed harvest morn" could henceforth be replaced by a budget airline ticket from Broadway and back.
The EU's commitment to freedom of movement confirmed and underpinned a concept that easily took hold of younger generations - that you moved around easily and frequently, crossing borders and mixing cultures. Migrants into Ireland became as frequent as emigrants out of it. We were all multi-culti now.
We came to live in a globalised, international society where our clothes came from China, our books via Amazon, probably from the Netherlands, our music was downloaded from "clouds" somewhere and our electronic communications, invented by Silicon Valley, had no borders. Our food might be flown half-way across the world to be delivered through the logistics of modern transportation.
And then it all came to a halt. We were to be "cocooned", confined, restricted in our movements. Racegoers who attended the Cheltenham Festival in March were lacerated for making a risky choice which could bring more viruses into the country.
Governments started ordering their citizens to stay put and the exiles caught abroad suddenly felt a pang of homesickness. The skies were emptied of flights. The package holiday and the family trip alike were cancelled or deferred. We were grounded.
Self-pity about the small inconveniences of not being able to jump on a plane at will is hardly proportionate to what others are suffering in illness, death and loss.
But there has been a real sea change. There is a "home place" which calls. There is an attachment to roots. We may be more international but national identity still counts and, just when you can't get back to your native soil, you long to.
It must be lovely to be able to gaze over that peerless arc of Dublin Bay this Eastertide.
A mate of mine had a flat in Marino on Dublin's northside back in what now seems like another lifetime. One evening there was some persistent ringing at the hall door and he eventually, reluctantly, went to answer.
Fear is hard-wired into the human brain and is a completely normal response when we are in immediate danger. When fear strikes, our internal fight-flight-freeze response gets switched on and we go into a state of high alert.