Our country is dying. Slowly but surely, we are watching a horror movie unfold in front of our eyes, yet we can't seem to do anything about it.
There is no doubt that Covid-19 has been the worst thing to ever happen to most of us. Certainly, people who can remember World War II might be forgiven for thinking that they had lived through worse times, but in contemporary terms this is a disaster which is only comparable to 9/11 in relation to the damage it has wreaked on us all.
But the time has surely come to say enough is enough. We need to get the country back off its knees and back to work, to socialise, to communicate like normal people and, essentially, to get back to living.
We have been in a state of suspended animation since the first lockdown rules kicked in on March 12. These restrictions, which shut down all but the most essential services, made sense at the time.
But as we enter another week of severe restrictions, with some vague plans about maybe getting some things back to normal by July 20, we have also become used to the Government repeatedly extending various deadlines and, therefore, we have also become accustomed to looking at the various dates and phases for opening shops, bars and hairdressers, and taking these deadlines with a rather large pinch of salt.
This is not the Government's fault. In fact, one could reasonably argue that even though he's only in charge of a caretaker administration at the moment, Leo Varadkar has done as good a job as could be expected. He has certainly performed better than either of our big neighbours to the west and east.
Boris Johnson's risible performance on Sunday, which was a masterclass in waffle and humbug, was a salutary reminder of what can happen when a leader simply isn't on top of his brief and, similarly, we have been spared the embarrassment of our Taoiseach suggesting, a la Donald Trump, that people should start injecting bleach to ward off the virus.
But while Varadkar has done a decent job - and he seems as irked by the restrictions as everyone else, in fairness to him - we can no longer sit idly by while we commit economic genocide on ourselves.
We have outsourced our own sense of judgment to the now ubiquitous public health officials who seem to have morphed into a shadow government without any of us realising it. They're only doing their jobs, but we need to get back to doing ours.
In many ways, we have a lot to be proud of when it comes to how the ordinary citizens have conducted themselves. We have been compliant and obedient, and there has been a rather inspiring sense of solidarity amongst people.
In other words, we collectively recognised that this wasn't just a bad flu doing the rounds.
We all understood the gravity of the situation and we reacted appropriately. We stopped visiting friends and family. Many of us endured the truly hellish and heartbreaking scenario of waving goodbye to a dying relative through a window rather than holding them close in our arms during their final hours.
We put up with the shops shutting down, the hairdressers and barbers lowering their shutters for what now feels like an eternity. We accepted that the days of meeting someone for a beer after work, or enjoying dinner as a treat in our favourite local restaurant, were over.
But enough is enough. Spain and Italy, which were the most impacted of all the EU countries, have now begun a gradual re-emergence into the light of an open economy. Schools across Europe are gradually reopening. Cafes, bars and restaurants from Denmark to Dubrovnik are back in business. We need to follow suit. And we need to do it quicker than the current guidelines of late June/early July.
We also need to remember, or merely accept, one crucial thing - the economy is more important than any individual life. It's more important than mine, and it's more important than yours.
We cannot simply sacrifice a million jobs, and place most of the population on a new form of dole out of fear.
There has been a lot of blather in some circles about how we all need to stay indoors for an indefinite period of time. The standard refrain from the cliche-peddlars is that 'if it saves one life it will be worth it'.
But that is a false and craven logic. After all, 148 people lost their lives in traffic accidents in 2019. Nobody wants to ban cars. Similarly, there were 12 fatalities on Irish construction sites last year, yet everyone knows we need to get the builders back working.
Life is full of risk. We know, deep down, that every time we get on a plane, we're taking our lives in our hands - or to be more precise, we know that we're putting our lives in someone else's hands.
The economic costs have already spiralled into the realms of a true disaster, one which will surpass the devastating crash of 2008-2010.
We have accepted this tremendous burden in the name of the national good, but you don't need to be one of the tin-foil helmet brigade to realise that this is simply unsustainable.
As I write, 1,900 people have died from the virus on this island - although whether they died with it or from it will be a source of conjecture for many years to come. But public patience is wearing thin. Even the most responsible of us, those who have obeyed all the rules, are beginning to realise that, to use a shop-worn cliche, the cure is becoming worse than the disease.
Ireland needs to open again. We need to get back to work and not just from a financial perspective - it's deeply unhealthy to have a huge proportion of the adult population sitting around and staring at their toes when they mentally and emotionally need to be working and contributing to society.
This has been a truly horrendous time for all of us, particularly those who have been doing Herculean work in the frontline medical services. But there comes a time when we also have to have the courage to say that we need to get this country started again.
The ramifications of the Covid pandemic will be with us, perhaps, for a decade or more. There will be a second wave, of that there's no doubt.
So do we spend the rest of our lives cowering in our sitting room and becoming ever more anxious? Or do we decide to accept the risks, take the necessary and sensible precautions and get back out there and start living a free life again?
My hope is for the latter, but I fear that hope may be forlorn.