Opportunities to take power don't come around so often that they can be missed in the best of times. In the worst of times, it is ever more critical they be seized.
Pandemics invert things. The remarkable has lost its lustre and what used to be regarded as normal is now wistfully thought of as richly exotic.
This was the ether in which we saw bitter, historic rivalries disappear.
The Covid-19 outbreak has thrown Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael into the same bed in a marriage of great inconvenience to both, but one which may be invaluable for the country. But like trees, the strength of political parties rests in their roots.
The taste of the fruit of this unique cross-fertilisation could be bitter for some of their faithful. In his book, 'Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us', Seth Godin wrote: "A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader and connected to an idea. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate."
The shared interest for both parties must be the saving of lives and the revitalisation of a flat-lining economy. To be effective, the traditional "big two" will have to maintain connections to their voters. These links are both precious and distinctive. Keeping their identities in the new dispensation will require respect.
Neither Micheál Martin nor Leo Varadkar could have conceived of the black anvil of circumstances on which this union would be hammered out. Not so very long ago, commenting on the prospect of a coalition, Mr Varadkar said: "The dream of a grand coalition (Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael) would actually be a nightmare. It is why it cannot happen."
But that was pre-Covid-19.
Their future is now linked, for better or worse. If it is to thrive, Mr Martin must remember those who have travelled with his party down the years.
The small farmers, the clergy, the tradesmen the unions and, of course, the builders.
Mr Varadkar, too, has legacies and trusts to preserve and protect.
Voting blocs have become more independent minded as a fragmented Dáil shows.
Managing or building on what is left of their cores will be a delicate, but vital task.
It will require dexterity to keep all these strands together in whatever bond is eventually agreed on. Persuading one of the smaller parties - be it the Social Democrats, Greens or Labour - to come on board ought to be a formality. But they seem more preoccupied with their own agendas than playing their part in serving their country.
In a national emergency, the binary choice of fight or flight is a luxury we don't have.