It was reported in this newspaper last week that certain tensions have developed between Nphet, the National Public Health Emergency Team headed by the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan and members of the Cabinet. That such frustrations exist is a good thing.
The tensions may have arisen more out of the manner in which Cabinet is managed these days than necessarily towards Dr Holohan and his team of experts. The Taoiseach, finance minister and health minister are fully in the loop; other ministers are much less involved and informed. That several of the Cabinet are no longer TDs does not help the situation either. In such circumstances, tensions can arise. In fact, it would be extraordinary if they did not.
Going into the lockdown, it was essential for the Cabinet to take the experts' advice without hesitation. Coming out of lockdown, it is important for Nphet to listen to the politicians.
Experience tells us that there are none, or few, so attuned to the mood of the public than our politicians.
Their views are more nuanced or textured, I would wager, than the results of focus groups or opinion polls routinely taken by Nphet, important though that information will be.
The experts tend to apply due logic to data - and Nphet is coming down with people who respect The Data. But politicians can bring something different to the decision-making process, and coming out of the lockdown there is a need for both perspectives.
Between them, the Cabinet and Nphet got the coronavirus exit strategy right last weekend, I believe. And if there were some difficult conversations in finalising the five-phase plan that emerged, then that surely was all for the better.
Last week the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, expressed a virtually blanket denial that any tensions exist between the two decision-making bodies taking the country through the Covid-19 crisis. His denial is simply not sustainable. Neither should it be taken as a criticism that frustrations exist. It serves no purpose for a politician as capable as Coveney to react so defensively to the suggestion that politicians have sought to take back some control and make decisions based on a bigger picture than Nphet is qualified to paint.
In the fallout from these developments, a central point has been lost in the debate around the Government's broadly sensible exit strategy. It is that, in the words of Minister for Health Simon Harris, the plan is a "living" document.
That the roadmap towards reopening society and business is not written in stone is also a good thing: there is an implicit admission here that the ongoing fight against Covid-19 is one of moving parts, with an eye to events elsewhere in Europe and around the world in a coronavirus ''time zone'' two weeks ahead of Ireland - while never being diverted from events as they unfold at home.
It is clear, also, that the debate on that exit plan continued right up to shortly before its publication last Friday. Such is the nature of politics on the hoof in a time of crisis. If you saw how the sausage was made, you would not eat it.
That Leo Varadkar had to refer to the plan from his inside pocket on The Late Late Show is not a fault to be found. He came hot-foot from the printers - a details man having not yet familiarised himself with the absolute detail, drawn to the lure of mass media as he tends to be. For all his well mannered professionalism, neither is the Taoiseach above satire or criticism. He is doing a good job all the same - as is Dr Tony Holohan.
It was always inevitable that issue would be taken with the roadmap as soon as it was published: the publicans were first out of the blocks, hairdressers and others followed. Their anxiety is understandable. We all get that. It is heartening to see such business people planning to put in place measures which, they hope, will see them progress up the phases to reopen earlier than envisaged. Let their hard work be given proper consideration in due course.
In extremely difficult circumstances, the people leading our Covid-19 response have got much more right than wrong. In this regard, Dr Holohan has led from the front. He has done so with gravitas and grace at a time when he must be under enormous and ever increasing pressure.
But Nphet and, by extension, the Government, has not got every call right. It would be difficult to do so in a once-in-a-lifetime crisis. However, these authorities surely made each difficult and complex call in the best interest of the public at the time.
In due course, we will come to demand answers to the hard questions. What really happened in our nursing homes? A big part of the issue here, I would say, is the relegation of social care as a tenet of health policy through the decades.
There are questions to be asked too on the deal done with the private hospitals, which have largely lain idle through the duration of the crisis as patients with cancer, strokes and heart attacks mount up. Undoubtedly there are questions around the transparency behind the process.
And there are questions around the democratic environment in which hugely significant decisions are being taken by good people in the best interests of everybody in so far as they can work it out on the run, but without appropriate real time accountability.
Then there are the almost incomprehensible questions to do with the economy and what happens next, and how the public will react.
But let us get there first. There is not that long to go, we must hope. Before the full answers, first let us draw a line under all of this death.
Last week I said a Fine Gael member took a photograph of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, in medical scrubs, at Traveller accommodation. That statement was on foot of media reports which were not denied at the time.
In fact, the photograph was taken by a local resident and posted online by the Blanchardstown Traveller Development Group, and was subsequently posted on Twitter by a Fine Gael politician and retweeted by several others.
The Taoiseach has asserted that this event was not a planned photo-opportunity. I am happy to accept that assertion.