By now, sprays of blood resembling a botched hit on 'The Sopranos' will have splattered the walls of your local DIY store following tussles over 10 litre tubs of white emulsion.
In the neighbouring bathroom accessories section, initial skirmishes over encaustic Parisian wall tiles will have gravitated into outright insurrection with cadres of rabid fix-uppers going full-on 'Braveheart' lunatic. Worst of all is the garden section, bearing a decent likeness to Carthage in the first Punic War, with thrashed Albertine climbing roses and ravaged dahlia Golden Sceptres needing the solemn reportage of Paschal Sheehy to envision the carnage. Yes, God is in his heaven and Ireland is back in the shops again.
However, could it be that we've swapped one pathogen for another almost as destructive? Already dominating the post-Covid landscape, God help us, are those super-contagious hackneyed phrases from which no face mask offers sufficient protection.
As we dip our toes in "the new normal", it's easy to imagine "nothing will ever be the same again" - but we must strive to "take the learnings" of the past three months to heart. Always remembering that "we're in this together", unified in sticking to "the roadmap for reopening society". In short, a wickedly infectious vocabulary requiring a lengthy quarantine on an island off the coast of Tierra del Fuego. And if I hear one more voice suggesting we need "a national conversation", I will personally flatten their curve in a manner not found within the Tony Holohan handbook.
Corona fallacies fly like confetti on the wind, including the declaration that this experience "will change us" irrevocably. The fact is, most of us are yearning to slip back into old habits, good and bad. "The chains of custom are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken," so said Samuel Pepys - a Londoner who survived both the Black Death and the Great Fire.
An even worse corona perjury is the idea of "me time" and its benefits. Most people I know fall into two categories - those hanging by their fingernails to jobs that may soon evaporate, and those already on the scrap heap at 45. Learn the guitar and take a mindfulness course - are you havin' a laugh, mate?
The joy of family figured prominently over the past two months, as normally time-poor parents found themselves in the 24/7 embrace of their offspring. Result? As a dad of two boys under 10 told me: "I will never object to a teacher's pay rise again." And as to the belief that sections of society will become home-working pioneers - well, it depends. My friend Lara, who'd sell ice to Eskimos, put it best: "You might be able to sign a deal on Zoom, but you won't do a deal on it. You have to see the whites of their eyes to make things happen."
So really, the new normal is actually the old normal in a fresh shirt - and that's pretty much how we'd prefer it.
Smoke and fire
Will smokers be out in the street when the pubs reopen their doors?
A quick vox pop with two younger acquaintances who frequent Dublin's Coppers and Rearden's in Cork found both in full agreement - the smoking zone is where romance is ignited.
"You have a dance, you go for a smoke, and the conversation opens up," says the Dub. "I don't even smoke, but it's always where the best craic is," added the Corkonian. "Smokers' zones are very bohemian, cosmopolitan, lots of EU students. Things happen there."
Gives a whole new meaning to "I love you to death", doesn't it?
Walk on, Donald
The US president is about to unwittingly step into an open manhole. "One small step for man - one giant step for mankind."
Sorry, Donny - couldn't resist.