God bless the nuns. While boys of generations past were intravenously fed misery history by the brothers, so as all the better to hate the Brits, the girls were at least being taught useful life skills. That's why my wife is the one busily sewing up masks for all the family, even the members we can't reach and only still vaguely recognise because of Zoom. I don't think she has as much as darned a sock in the intervening millennium and the results will be interesting, if not necessarily flattering.
At the very least such masks, whether mass produced or stitched together with love and devotion by mammies everywhere, will make us feel better about ourselves as we gingerly tiptoe back into the once familiar landscape of our lives.
The science seems to insist now that by covering the face you can make a real difference, not so much to yourself but the random strangers that inevitably cross your path. At the moment masks are optional, but I imagine we are only a few weeks away from when venturing forth without some strip of fabric will be deemed careless if not downright irresponsible.
I'm getting two bespoke creations, it seems, both re-threads from sad old T-shirts that were most likely bought in Penneys for a Gran Canaria two-weeker some time in the late nineties.
Whether such stitch-ups will actually protect those we encounter from this awful virus or simply give them a good giggle is something we will find out in the fullness of time.
Either way, they'll make the world a better place.
It's usually a post-Christmas thing. That feeling that you are carrying a bit of lard around the middle and the usual response is to burrow deeper into the couch with the tin of Roses and watch 'Where Eagles Dare' again.
It's a tried and tested rite of passage, a cultural inheritance deeply ingrained. Even more essentially, we are genetically predisposed to hibernating in that dark and miserable time of year. Like squirrels, except with cable television, chocolates and booze. But I'm feeling lardy now too and it is harder to muster credible justification. Being marooned and virtually housebound doesn't exonerate the tortured Irish soul from Catholic guilt.
It's not even that we've been constantly grazing or serial munching in our house, but we have been eating more and much too well.
If you have all that time on your hands, and those same hands are idle, it is highly likely they will eventually turn to cooking food and then consuming it. Then there's the wine and the clink-clink of shame on the slow waddle to the recycling. We've all been there. I know because I saw you.
This smart bugger of a virus, it seems, has many novel ways of trying to kill us.
I don't know how much Covid-19 has essentially changed me, but I know for certain that our little Yorkie is a different beast from the one she resembled two months ago. Lola has become a diva. Taking advantage of the constant company, she has been cunningly observing us and learning some appalling human behaviours.
Having more or less given up eating her own healthy food she constantly begs for ours, displays great irritation if she doesn't get her favourite place on the sofa, binge-watches Netflix and only walks on short routes of her choosing. We're worried she actually think she's one of us, such is the deterioration in her manners, moods and morals. Somebody call the ISPCA.