I am starting to repeat myself. Every week I say the same thing: "Things seem a bit more normal this week." I hate to repeat myself, but it's true. It feels as though the world is rewinding.
We no longer have to climb into full PPE in surgery. No more duck-bill masks. We are no longer ordered out of theatre for the mandatory 10 minutes while the anaesthetist intubates or extubates a patient. No more plastic visors.
All patients are now tested before surgery. As long as the patient has no temperature, no symptoms associated with Covid infection and has had a negative swab within the last 48 hours, we can leave the PPE at the door.
I discovered this major rewind back to normal times when I turned up for theatre one day last week. "What? No PPE?" I asked, shocked.
My colleagues looked at me as though to say: "Do keep up. PPE is so Covid-19."
Turned out I'd missed the circular emailed to all surgical NCHDs (non-consultant hospital doctors).
The relaxing of restrictions didn't stop me from being nervous, however. Inserting tubes in patients to help them breathe is a risky procedure when it comes to Covid-19. All of last week, I still stepped out of theatre whenever the anaesthetists took over.
My world rewound further when I passed four patients sitting in wheelchairs outside the front door of the hospital, laughing in a fug of cigarette smoke.
The campus is supposed to be a smoke-free zone, but it's not a good look for the hospital to dispatch security guards to chase down sick people puffing away in their dressing gowns. It's an addiction and some people are just stuck with it.
I tell my patients all the time to give up or, at the very least, not to smoke before an operation.
Studies have shown that patients who don't smoke 24 hours before surgery are less likely to get a wound infection.
"Can you just stay off the fags for 24 hours and you'll do better in surgery?" I'd plead.
"Of course, doctor," the patient might reply.
Quite often, the following morning on my way into hospital, I might find myself walking past the patient I'm due to operate on puffing at the front door.
Of course, doctors smoke too. There is a smoking shed somewhere in Beaumont Hospital too, but I'm told it's mostly older doctors who hang out there because hardly any of the younger ones smoke.
I'm not surprised given the rampant puffing that many of us children of the 1980s had to endure.
I spent some of my formative years in the back of my father's car while he chain-smoked his way through one trip or another.
A three-hour car journey to visit my grandparents in Co Clare was particularly memorable.
My grandfather ran a pub in Kilrush, one of the old-fashioned ones with a bar in front and the house out the back. We were seven or eight or nine and told to play in the back room, separated from the bar by a big door, the portal to the adult world. The cloud of choking cigarette smoke that whooshed in and enveloped us every time it opened just added to the mystique of what lay on the other side.
My father, who was a pharmacist, had a cigarette constantly on the go in his dispensary. He only gave up when the price of them rose to more than £2 a pack.
He gave me one of his cigarettes once, which I think was an experiment in the way a farmer might put manners on a dog that worries sheep by locking him in a pen with an aggressive ram. I promptly vomited and never smoked again.
Strangely, I never did thank him for that particular life's lesson. Thanks, Dad.
John Duddy is a specialist registrar in neurosurgery at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin
In conversation with Maeve Sheehan