In early March, the Government was in two minds about whether or not to let hundreds of thousands of people on to the streets for St Patrick's Day.
Now, it's forbidden for even small groups of people to gather. Queueing to enter the supermarket has become routine and studiously avoiding one another on the footpath has become a courtesy rather than hostility.
But, when all is said and done, will Covid-19 have a more profound effect on the way we live our lives?
When this pandemic passes - for pass it will - how will our world have changed and how will we relate to one another?
Well, one place to start would be to think a bit more about others and a bit less about ourselves.
Let me explain. When you think about it, the behaviour that this pestilence asks of us goes against almost everything that modern culture tells us will make us happy.
Our bookshops - when they were open - were filled with self-help books. Everything from revolutionary diets to change one's life to others promising to contain the secret to happiness from some guru or other no one had heard of a few weeks earlier.
Self-esteem, self-respect, self-fulfilment, self-actualisation, the selfie - almost everything in today's culture is about 'me'. And yet, coronavirus has forced our collective imagination to think more about the 'us' of society.
As a 40-year-old man, the reason I am not now as free to live my life as normal is not because I'm at a substantial risk of dying from the virus - I'm not.
The reason that young and relatively healthy people are asked to stay home and avoid friends and family is for the good of those for whom this virus will not be mild. We're being asked to put the needs of others ahead of our own desires.
It's what philosophers and political scientists call the common good. Those of us who can sacrifice do so for the sake of those who cannot or need a little bit more help than we do. You might even call it the difference between living as part of a society or merely an economy.
The common good has become very real for us as our individualistic culture has been turned upside down and inside out.
Jonathan Sacks is the former chief rabbi of Britain and one of the foremost thinkers in the English-speaking world about community and society.
His new book, 'Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times', was published in March just as Covd-19 was starting to hit the headlines in Europe.
As you might guess from the title, his main focus was the fall-out from Brexit and the increasingly fractious nature of US politics. But as I turn every page I'm struck by the fact that he is actually presenting a roadmap for a new vision of the world post-coronavirus.
"Ours," he writes, "is an age in which there is too much 'I' and too little 'we'."
He suggests that to make the world a better place for every one of us, we perform a search-and-replace operation on our mind. Wherever we encounter the word 'self', we should substitute in the word 'other'.
So, he argues, instead of self-help, other-help; instead of self-esteem, other-esteem. "That," he insists, "would transform us and begin to transform our world".
It's a paradox that the more we live our lives for others, the happier we become.
Doing good to and for others is good for our health, physical and psychological.
In experiments in which people are given a sum of money, and half are told to spend it on themselves while the other half are told to give it to charity, those who gave it away received more pleasure than those who spent it on themselves.
We have seen a massive outpouring of altruism in Ireland in response to Covid-19 - the willingness to make sacrifices for the sake of those at risk and the spirit of volunteerism that has characterised the community response is extraordinary.
Taking pleasure and deriving strength from others seems to be deeply embedded in our nature.
Even children as young as 18 months old show empathy for other children and adults in whom they see signs of distress. They will give a blanket to an adult who is cold or a toy to a child who is sad.
Our capacity to feel and be moved by the pain of others is an undeniable fact of our nature.
As restrictions ease, social distancing and the need to continue to make sacrifices for others will be part of our new normal.
We have an opportunity to emerge from this crisis stronger and to build a better, more just and safer world.
Rabbi Sacks is adamant: "Do a search-and-replace operation in your mind, and every time you see the word 'self', delete it and write 'other'.
"Just do that, and you'll find that you will be much happier, your relationships will improve, and you will feel that your life is meaningful in a way that it wasn't before," he insists.
In any crisis we can be overwhelmed, or we can try to see how we can make something good out of something terrible. If we can see this pandemic as an opportunity for a reboot, a good place to start would be trying to walk in the shoes of others and thinking a bit more about us and a bit less about me.
We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being decent is worth it.