How precarious the present feels, even as the parameters of our world are about to be extended by a few kilometres. Whether the exclusion zone is 5km or 2km, our reality remains shrunken.
But there are ways to challenge this telescoped reality: acts of kindness and sharing can draw us closer together as we stay apart.
Here's one I'd like to tell you about. A group of women in my hometown of Omagh, Co Tyrone, meets every Wednesday for craftwork - they call themselves the Vintage Ladies because they gather above a vintage clothing shop.
When the pandemic put paid to those encounters, they decided to keep on knitting and crocheting but to redirect their efforts towards healthcare workers. Lockdown has led to no let-up for their industrious fingers: they have been making tiny hearts and rainbows which can be pinned to uniforms or slipped into pockets for good luck. The rainbows represent brighter days ahead. A small gesture, perhaps, but who wouldn't feel gladdened to be on the receiving end of a loving, handmade gift?
To date, their hearts and rainbows have been given as presents mainly to staff in Northern Ireland's health service, but now the women are looking across the Border in a signal of North-south solidarity.
This weekend, some 50 purple crocheted hearts were posted off to Mayo University Hospital in Castlebar. The delivery is intended to show healthcare staff their tireless work and dedication to keeping people alive is valued.
"It's to show we care - we are so proud of the frontline workers and everything they do. The community spirit matters, with everyone supporting each other," says Eithne Devlin, one of the Vintage Ladies (full disclosure: she's also my sister-in-law).
Their hearts are purple to represent the end of life, she explains, and intended as pairs: one heart is to be placed with a person who dies in hospital, while the other is for sending to their family, along with a card saying they were not alone when they passed away. "I think it is a beautiful idea, as not being with your loved one when they die is heart-breaking. It is to let the families of the bereaved know we are thinking of them during these difficult circumstances," says Eithne.
Traditional funerals, so deeply embedded in the Irish cultural DNA, have been suspended but a heart in the post might just help someone to feel less alone.
I lit a candle at home for the great Eavan Boland who was buried yesterday, as did others, because it was all I could do. Such gestures help us to connect in these fragmented times.
We are an intimately interconnected nation - the pandemic is a reminder of that. Awareness of our co-dependence is mounting daily. For no particular rhyme or reason, some days prove to be easier than others. At times, it can feel as if we are living through a version of Edgar Allan Poe's macabre story, 'The Pit and the Pendulum', where a terrified prisoner watches the walls of his cell grind inwards. But human interaction - however socially distanced - keeps us afloat.
From my perspective, days are illuminated by unexpected cards in the post, shared social media clips, 'emergency' DVD drops by a friend, emails, calls and text messages. There have been conversations across the garden wall with neighbours - something we used to do regularly as a society, which dwindled as everyone became busy-busy-busier.
And the cultural wealth available is magnificent, from the Abbey Theatre's specially commissioned 'Dear Ireland' monologues to Cúirt's decision to move its literary festival online and make it freely accessible.
Few of us have false expectations about life returning to the way it was before lockdown. The latest tweaks to restrictions, while welcome, are limited. Even when other limitations are lifted, social distancing will continue whether it's recommended or not. Facemasks will be worn still by those who can lay their hands on them.
Oddly, the Government has not yet made facemasks compulsory in public, even in enclosed places. It's an illogical decision from the public health perspective. After all, facemasks safeguard others rather than the person wearing them - one facemask protects a number of people. And when we see them worn, psychologically we feel more secure. Our mental health matters here, too.
Take the following case. On the Dart passing through Dublin's southside this week, a man let out an almighty sneeze. Hay fever, maybe. The woman nearby scolded him: "Don't you know you're meant to cover your face?" No answer. His silence enraged the woman, who had a scarf over her mouth and wore a hat and gloves. "Don't you know you're meant to cover your face?" she repeated, louder now. "I heard you the first time," he said. Back she snapped: "I'm going to keep on saying it." The train pulled into a station and he disembarked. As soon as he left, another man walked up and down the carriage opening every window. Nobody else spoke - but the atmosphere was decidedly uptight.
It's a sign of people beginning to unravel. Increasingly, the populace is tetchy, stressed and fearful - and those feelings will intensify the longer tight restrictions remain in place. The incident is a reminder of how courtesy is an important thread in the warp and weft of our social fabric.
But it's a prompt about something else, too. That skirmish wouldn't have happened if everyone concerned was wearing a mask because the sneezing man couldn't have ejected anything into the air. However, facemasks can't be made mandatory unless they are available.
Pressure on supplies may explain Leo Varadkar's reluctance to insist on them as public policy. Currently, availability is limited, and increasing demand would divert personal protective equipment away from the healthcare workers whose need is most pressing.
When supplies multiply, facemask-wearing looks set to become public policy. After all, Covid-19 is going to be with us for quite some time.
Meanwhile, do we really need to wait to be told it's a good idea to find some kind of covering for noses and mouths?
Making our own masks doesn't seem an impossible task and the DIY option means we wouldn't be taking them from frontline workers. A cotton mask has the advantage of being worn again if washed in hot water and detergent.
Finally, the Italian artist Giorgio Morandi lived all of his life in Bologna, using his bedroom as a studio, making still life paintings over and over from the same vases, bowls and bottles. He said: "To achieve understanding it is necessary not to see many things, but to look hard at what you do see."
As lockdown survival philosophy goes, that takes some beating. An entire universe exists in the apparently trifling things in life, the deceptively simple - such as crocheted hearts and rainbows.