The tyranny of the coronavirus has seen the carving out of separate spheres of autonomy. Strict borders were set in place in a collaboration between government and expert groups. Their legitimacy rests in the fact they are saving lives - when the price of delay is apocalyptic, you don't stand on ceremony.
Yet none of this seemed to matter in the Dáil as cudgel and cutlass came out in another dispiriting show of political street-fighting.
Parties which have shown no passion for helping the country in a time of national heartbreak still seem able to summon energy to attack what has been done. If they feel they can do better, they have a duty to demonstrate it with actions and not just hollow words, by helping to form a new government.
Mistakes have certainly been made, and errors must be accounted for. But right now it would be far better to agree a platform and get involved in the process than to carp and snipe incessantly from the wings.
Labour leader Alan Kelly has questioned the make-up of the National Public Health Emergency Team, which he said had grown substantially since it was convened in January, with 11 sub-groups, and he asked if the Government had approved this.
"Ultimate decision-making cannot be in the hands of a few and elected office cannot be subservient, even in this crisis," he said.
There may be merit in such an argument, but Mr Kelly has an open door to Government should he see fit to walk through it.
Nothing about the current situation is remotely approaching normal.
In the corridors of power, and in all our walks of life, impatience and ill-temper could be the greatest allies the pandemic could have.
Any slip-up in public adherence to the stringent restrictions could see the health services overwhelmed.
In America, the fight to defeat the virus has become highly politicised and partisan, undermining the enormous efforts of health workers.
Too many major decisions here have had to be made on the hoof by the caretaker Government. Circumstances left no other choice, but now there is an opportunity to sit down and put an administration together.
Instead of squabbling, politicians need to stand up and be counted.
In 'The Art of War', Sun Tzu wrote: "Who wishes to fight must first count the cost."
We have no option but to fight the pandemic, even though we have no way of computing the ultimate bill. The Irish economy could shrink by more than 10pc, unemployment soar to 22pc and the deficit could hit €23bn.
Complacency is our greatest threat, as the Taoiseach has warned. Terrible though the toll has been to date, it could become much worse should we drop our guard.
Efforts must surely be concentrated on countering the medical and economic catastrophe, not diverted by petty political skirmishes.