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Only total co-operation will allow us to beat this

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Social distancing guidelines at the Forty Foot in Sandycove, Dublin. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Social distancing guidelines at the Forty Foot in Sandycove, Dublin. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

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Social distancing guidelines at the Forty Foot in Sandycove, Dublin. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Revolutions are not by nature predictable. If they were, the Bolsheviks would have been snuffed out.

The Bostonians who hurled a consignment of taxed tea from the East India Company into the harbour would have been routed before the American Revolution kicked off in the 18th century and the rabble outside the Bastille a few years later rumbled before Madame Guillotine ever found her edge.

Into such a heady mix, Ireland's golfers seem out of place. Who would have thought they would be the ones to lead the charge against Covid-19 restrictions?

The notion that the long arm of the law is being tested by individuals who have found the curtailment of their freedom to swing a club an infringement of their civil liberties too far would be funny if there wasn't a far more serious point at issue.

Nelson Mandela said: "When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw."

Even so, our rebel golfers would be wise to keep their powder dry for another day.

We have a good few steps on the road before we are free from this virus.

When the lockdown began, it was clear laws would have little impact on stopping the spread of Covid-19.

This can only be achieved by complete co-operation from communities and individuals.

GardaĆ­ do their job on the basis of public support - every police force in the world relies upon social acceptance. The Taoiseach made the point when he noted that consent, not coercion, will see us through.

Clearly a certain amount of confinement fatigue is setting in. Observance of social distancing is becoming worryingly casual.

Minister for Health Simon Harris has said the reproductive rate of the coronavirus has remained stable at around 0.5. The number is now between 0.45 and 0.63.

This is a significant victory but sadly one which almost 1,600 Irish victims of the pandemic will not savour.

The sacrifices made in the past four weeks have kept the number below one. As Mr Harris noted, our efforts may have pushed Covid-19 back, but it has not gone away.

Its re-emergence can only be checked by continued adherence to guidelines.

The negative side of life under restrictions gets constant attention.

Less spoken of, but more remarkable, has been the extraordinary consideration, attention and awareness demonstrated quietly by so many to show how they truly care for others.

Despite the grave threat to life, people have in their own extraordinary way proved we are far from helpless despite the danger.

As one week merges into a monotonous other, we may be excused for having difficulty differentiating this day from the next.

But there can be no excuse for not recognising by now how much we depend on each other.

Irish Independent