Businesses have been in a kind of limbo since the economy began to open up over the summer. The relief felt by the likes of retailers, restaurateurs and hairdressers at finally re-opening has been temporary and a little unreal. It is now beginning to subside for many of them.
Winter is coming and the scale of the problems likely to come at us looms large. There are already plenty of warning signs.
Aviation: Aer Lingus is looking at around 500 redundancies and may not re-open regional bases in Shannon and Cork. The company which could end up availing of state intervention lost €316m in the first six months of this year. In the absence a large public appetite in the country to end 14-day self-isolation rules, politicians won't change course.
Elsewhere in the sector the Dublin Airport Authority is eyeing 750 to 1,000 job cuts, as Dublin and Cork Airports are losing €1m per day.
Commercial Property: We won't see the end of the office any time soon, but it is changing. Many CEOs see a hybrid model of working from home a few days a week as a likely future option. Eir chief executive Carolan Lennon is examining future hybrid options which would mean less floor space for a business with thousands of staff in five main buildings.
These moves won't be lost on property investors which could have knock-on effects on construction activity as early as next year,
Hotels: Tourist hotels around the country are getting a stay-cation bounce while hotels in Dublin continue to suffer badly. Dublin hotels have been a licence to print money in the last five years, but ironically are being hit even harder than their west coast equivalents.
No conferences, no business travel, no concerts and Irish people who don't want to holiday in a city with a population of one million, are all combining to make it a very tough summer for Dublin hotels. Not much will change in the winter without a massive reversal of government policy on social distancing and international travel.
Banks: First-half results from the banks are showing the scale of their expected loan losses this year caused by the coronavirus. Bank of Ireland yesterday reported a €669m loss and is looking to shed 1,400 staff.
Permanent TSB has taken an impairment charge of €75m in the first half, though its CEO Eamonn Crowley did say on Tuesday he could see small signs of recovery .
AIB will announce its figures today but they are expected to be on the higher end of guidance it gave, pushing total bad loan provisions well over €1bn for the main banks. PTSB expects its new lending to be down 40pc this year.
We all give out when they make too much money, but banks losing money isn't good for the economy.
SMEs: Small companies tend to let staff go quickly in a downturn because it is a cost they can control, unlike rent for example. Similarly, there is a strong tendency for small firms to collapse towards the end of a downturn as their under-capitalised balance sheets simply buckle from prolonged pressure. This is a ticking time bomb when it comes to jobs.
The challenges for government facing into this winter are significant. It must focus on the business sector and small firms in particular.
The political distractions of a bad start in power will have to end now as reality is about to bite hard.