In times of crisis you find out who people really are. This week we discovered the patriots and the panic-stricken; the epidemiologists and the Greens.
The patriots: civil servants, the Cabinet, teachers, healthcare workers and supermarket staff faced into the storm. We should salute them.
The panic-stricken disgraced themselves with their bulk-buying, exposing their stupidity and greed. Let them be judged accordingly.
More interesting was the overnight expertise in public health policy. We're all epidemiologists now. Who knew? I was content to listen carefully to Dr Tony Holohan, the chief medical officer. But it turns out I needn't bother.
Instead I can go on Twitter where a nation of experts confidently disputes his analysis and advice. It's the beauty of the internet, you see. With free access to scientific literature, one can read a single medical paper and then criticise public health officials with astounding authority.
This is why Catholics resisted the Reformation. Priests knew if you let the great unwashed read Leviticus and Deuteronomy unmediated there'd be chaos. A few hundred years later the vice-president of the United States believes this is the End Times and Mary on Facebook isn't getting her children vaccinated. Who needs experts?
Now, I shouldn't judge too harshly. I'm a "commentator" after all. Every broadcaster has my number and will pay me a modest fee to show up on radio and television confidently expressing opinions about any random topic in the news cycle.
But this is a proper crisis. What is required of us now is to be calm and practical, generous and kind, and respectful of those who bear grave responsibility.
Everyone has a role to play in this crisis, and ours is to recognise we're simply not qualified to criticise public health officials who have to make hard decisions. They are following the advice of the WHO and ECDC, not people on Twitter.
The problem is the coronavirus is a little bit like cancer. The cure is toxic. Social distancing is poisonous to the economy.
Shutting down the schools was a massive decision. The Government had to be sure it was necessary and it had to take a few days to allow the schools and colleges to prepare. In the end I think it got the timing right, because the people were ready for it.
You see, it's all very well knowing what has to be done in theory, but there is a massive difference between sitting at one's computer declaring the country should be locked down, and sitting around a table making that decision.
I have often wondered how the likes of me would cope if we were obliged to make a real decision with real consequences, as opposed to judging those who do so every day. A little humility from my media colleagues wouldn't go astray during these uncertain days.
The best we can hope for is that it will be a short, sharp shock and if the financial crisis is anything to go by, we will bounce back with ferocity. What we've also learned in the past week is the importance of a proper government, composed of responsible, experienced people who are willing to pause before making a serious decision, and take it with their eyes wide open.
Which brings me to the Greens.
I'm forever quoting my father when it comes to politics, but as a man who spent nearly 50 years as a Fine Gael county councillor, he's seen it all before.
A week ago, when discussing coalition options with a fellow Fine Gaeler, he darkly warned: "Watch the Greens. They're dangerous."
As usual, I thought he was overstating it. As usual, I was wrong.
Before the election, I wrote that with the Greens likely to win seats, I looked forward to seeing them in government, where they'd be needed to make brave decisions on climate change. The exit poll showed they were elected by former Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil voters who expected nothing else.
Where's the bravery now? They're sulking, because their 12-seat success is a burden: carrying the expectation they step up and do what they were elected to do, govern. But it appears they are suffering from PTSD, as their last experiment with coalition ended in a rout.
What they really want is to sit in opposition criticising unpopular decisions rather than go into government and take unpopular decisions. They could have the integrity to simply say so, as Labour and the Social Democrats have done.
Knowing how badly this would be received they're cooking up amateur devices to avoid the inevitable. This week, when we faced a health crisis not seen since the days of TB, they made a ridiculous proposal to establish a rolling three-month national government. That's a recipe for nothing but chaos, which was quickly blown out of the water by every other political party.
The time for games is over now. We need a stable government with a five-year plan. When Greta Thunberg is begging politicians to step up and be brave, and the Greens choose this moment to shirk their duty, so be it.
So let's turn to the Independents. The media class may sneer at rural Independents from the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael gene pools - but when these culchies make deals, they keep them.
Only patriots are wanted now. History will judge the rest.