Covid-19 has closed down normal politics as we know it, leaving slim pickings for political columnists.
That is why I was glad of Leo Varadkar's speech, which gave me something substantial to ponder.
Being a sometime-speechwriter myself, I am better placed than most to evaluate his speech. As Cassius Clay said: "It's not boasting if you can back it up." And I can.
My speech for Mary Robinson ("the hand that rocked the cradle rocked the system") and for David Trimble ("a cold house for Catholics") have both stood the test of time.
Normally what I like is a structured speech with memorable lines and a driving sense of destination.
Leo Varadkar's speech was nothing like my idea of a great speech in that it was discursive, digressive and even the best lines had echoes from elsewhere.
But, in my view, it was all the better for that. Because the only thing that finally matters about a speech is whether it can move an audience to action. Or in this case, to controlled inaction and disciplined isolation.
We who were watching at home did not want to hear any rhetorical drum-rolls of the Churchillian sort - although the Churchillian echoes fitted perfectly.
We did not want our spirits rhetorically roused to smite an invisible foe.
What we wanted was a practical speech from a trusted political leader who knew how to cope with a crisis for which there was no previous precedent.
That was the speech Leo Varadkar delivered to perfection and deservedly general acclamation - barring a sour note from Sinn Fein's Paul Donnelly TD.
Naturally, I wanted to know why the speech worked so well. As always, Aristotle had the answer.
Aristotle says there are three important ingredients in any great speech: ethos (who is speaking), pathos (emotion) and logos (logic).
Churchill brought some ethos to bear (his record as a soldier), but mostly his speeches were all pathos, all emotion, evoked by rolling rhetorical cadences that came close to poetry.
In contrast, Varadkar's speech was mostly ethos, about his authority to speak; the rest was logos as practical guidance.
But his ethos did not come from his public persona as Taoiseach but from his private profession as a medical doctor.
As someone who has had more than his fair share of what are called health issues, I am as much a connoisseur of doctors as I am of speeches.
In my experience, most doctors make a decent effort at empathy, and some excel at the bedside manner.
But the doctors who really reassure me are the ones with a chip of ice in their hearts, and a cold willingness to do battle for me, even if it kills me.
An excessively empathic doctor would be as useless as an infantry officer in battle who stopped to grieve over every casualty.
Leo Varadkar is a doctor and for all his empathic efforts, an aura of detachment is part of his professional persona.
In the past, that aura has provoked critics in the hail fellow, handshaking, world of Irish politics.
But in the Covid-19 world, where hail fellow and handshaking is strictly forbidden, his cool aura is a mighty plus in terms of his public persona.
The fact that he is a doctor played to his strengths in his speech and was the subliminal factor that made us feel better.
It was Doctor Varadkar, not Taoiseach Varadkar, who delivered that strong speech. He didn't deliver it particularly well - the robotic rhythms were reinforced by an auto-cue that was slightly too high - but that did not matter. Authority and content did.
As a doctor we felt he understood the issues, and he never looked flustered.
Churchill, a military man facing a military crisis, could credibly lead in war.
Dr Varadkar, a medical man facing a medical crisis, carried equal conviction.
In doing so, I am certain he stood head and shoulders above his counterparts in other countries.
Look at Boris, look at Macron, look at Trudeau. All were petrified. You could see it in their eyes. But Leo Varadkar was not fazed.
He radiated the same assurance to his ministers, who rose to the challenge without impeding Tony Holohan and the HSE.
Cometh the hour, cometh the men and women. Covid-19 can only be solved by medical technocrats. But we also needed a politician who could calm our nerves.
Last week, Leo Varadkar made me proud to be Irish. Normally no fan of his, I take off my hat to him.
But just because I think he was a star last Tuesday, does not make me starry eyed. His speech did not lack acceptable guile - he was careful to remind us his sisters and his partner were medical professionals.
Not so acceptable was his failure to pay tribute to supportive politicians like Micheal Martin who has consistently put his country above party point-scoring, from Brexit to Covid-19.
Leo lacked cop in not doing so. Martin is helping him to hold the centre of Irish politics and keeping Yeats's rough beast of anarchy from the door of Irish democracy.
Leo also needs to cure his Haugheyite habit of waving the green flag for a cheap political boost. Like Haughey, he is faking most of the flaggery. But in doing, he gives permission to the Posh Tribalists in our media to behave like sneering sectarians.
Last week, after Michelle O'Neill changed her mind overnight, posh tweeters lined up behind Sinn Fein, spewing sectarian sewage.
Even the normally emollient Newton Emerson was taken aback by this tribal jeering and said so.
"From the Republic, attacks on unionists went beyond the usual social media static to include journalists, commentators and political representatives, many of whom appear uncertain where political criticism ends and an ethnic slur begins."
Leo Varadkar's careless Brit-bashing during the backstop has left a lasting nasty legacy behind.
On St Patrick's Day someone posted a short video clip on Twitter, taken from a window looking down over Dartmouth Square in Dublin.
It showed a handful of forlorn figures, standing well apart from each other, around the square.
To honour the day, they tried to find something they could all sing together. So they sang Ireland's Call.
It was deeply moving to hear these few faint voices, seeking solidarity across a deserted square, on this grim St Patrick's Day.
But because they sang Ireland's Call they were subjected to vicious tribal abuse on Twitter.
From the start, Ireland's Call brought out everything evil in Irish nationalism. Especially among educated sectarians in our media, hiding behind aesthetic affectation, pretending it's too musically offensive to their sensitive ears.
Why then are they so deaf to our dreary anthem Amhran na bhFiann?
But it's not the music or the lyrics the sectarians can't stand - it's the pluralism, the fact that Ireland's Call was a decent compromise to make a space for Ulster unionists on the Irish rugby team.
Neither Amhran na bhFiann nor Ireland's Call have much to do with music. They are about our history, about 1916, and about our attempts to deal with the lethal legacy of the IRA who abused 1916. Leave them be.