As the lockdown drags on, the level of sanctimony in some quarters about people allegedly breaching social distancing guidelines is reaching epic proportions. Last week, those with holiday homes were public enemy number one. These selfish swine were apparently travelling from their palatial pads in Dublin to bijou cottages in some of Ireland's most scenic areas - carrying disease and pestilence with them in their vulgar Range Rovers.
To listen to some reports, the hordes decamping to rural areas were akin to some kind of biblical plague swarming throughout the country. Vigilante signs, threatening to destroy their property, even appeared in one sleepy village.
But where was the evidence that this mass movement of well-heeled ingrates was occurring? Some of those complaining offered pictures of queues of traffic on motorways to support their contention that there was a mass exodus from the city. They failed to mention that lanes had been closed to facilitate Garda checkpoints, creating long tailbacks, or that thousands of essential staff still need to commute to the capital for work.
According to the 2016 Census, Ireland has 2,003,645 houses and apartments, with vacant holiday homes accounting for 62,148 of these - just 3pc of our housing stock. Last week, however, you could have been forgiven for thinking that more than 50pc of the population had a holiday home, and they were all determined to flout travel restrictions and visit them, such was the level of wall-to-wall criticism.
Did some self-centred people with holiday homes travel to them over the long weekend? Most assuredly and they deserve to be criticised. But they were a small cohort of an already tiny cohort of the population.
Coming a close second, in the public enemy stakes, are joggers. According to some of their more hysterical critics, joggers spend more time spitting on pavements than actually running on them. And, when they're not spewing spittle, they're bashing into pedestrians and huffing and puffing all over them as they flail along.
Now, I have never jogged in my life, so I have no skin in the game, but I have been stunned at the level of vitriol that has been meted out to people who are doing nothing more perverse than trying to exercise. Some of us would go mad without our daily walk. Others prefer to jog. After being cooped up in small flats, or with small children while trying to work all day, a run can provide some much-needed relief.
Most of those jogging abide by social distancing guidelines and are respectful of other people. A tiny proportion are aggressive or rude. So, why do so many of us focus on the objectionable behaviour of a small proportion of people instead of the laudatory behaviour of the majority?
Our inclination to find fault in others, and our own behaviour exemplary, was reflected in a survey of 100,000 people carried out by researchers at DCU and NUIG last week. While 75pc of respondents said they had adapted their own behaviour in public since the start of this crisis, just 37pc felt other people had changed theirs.
Clearly, the only explanation for this inconsistent finding is that a lot of us are hypercritical of strangers while giving ourselves a free ride.
As well as focusing on keeping a distance of two metres from those around us, maybe we could all try adopting an additional guideline - being less judgemental of those we see on our brief excursions from our homes. The figures from public health officials, documenting a decrease in people's close contacts and a reduction in the replication rate of coronavirus, is evidence that most of us are doing our best. For the minority who are not adhering to the guidelines there may be reasons, other than a selfish contempt for the rules, to explain their behaviour. Maybe they are having a bad day. Maybe they don't have a garden and are briefly sitting in a park to enjoy some fresh air. Maybe the woman walking for hours is a victim of domestic violence with nowhere else to go and not a gym bunny at a loose end. Maybe that jogger just didn't see you when they got too close.
We don't know what's going on in other people's lives so a bit of empathy, rather than a rush to condemn, would be nice.
Speaking on Monday, Health Minister Simon Harris said it was likely that social distancing guidelines will be in place until a vaccine is found. This means our lives may be constrained for at least 18 months.
Some will find this tougher than others. If you live in a large house with a big fridge, a deep freezer and a spacious garden, you may be in a better place to cope than someone in a studio flat or those living in bunkbeds in cramped house shares.
It's perfectly acceptable for people to vocalise the fact they find social distancing to be difficult. It does not mean they are not willing to adhere to the rules, have contempt for healthcare workers or are minimising the risks of the disease. It simply means they are finding these unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedom tough.
The imperative of plotting a course out of the most draconian of these restrictions, as soon as it is safe to do so, is why we now need a government to be formed as quickly as possible. The current caretaker administration has done a commendable job in guiding the country through the start of this crisis, but a new government will be responsible for managing the exit.
Irish people have shown great resolve in willingly upending their lives, closing their businesses and cutting themselves off from family and friends, but there are some politicians who are still unwilling to make even minor concessions in the public interest. After all, it doesn't cost anyone anything to talk. Ordinary people making huge sacrifices will not easily forgive political parties who refuse to even countenance participation in government at a time of unparalleled national crisis.
Most of us have had to drastically change our priorities over the course of the past five weeks. It is not unreasonable to expect politicians to also compromise and work together so the country weathers the storm of Covid-19 with the least amount of damage to society and the economy.
The lockdown measures have been toughest for the most vulnerable in society. Left-wing parties should be willing to consider a role in government so that they can protect and defend their interests. Otherwise, what was the point of voting for them?