If I could choose a favourite moment of the whole pandemic - if there is such a thing - it would be a moment during Eurovision - Europe Shine A Light when the singer from Georgia said his few words.
Looking straight at the camera with an expression of almost overpowering intensity, Tornike Kipiani put it like this: "I'd like to use my few seconds to pay my tribute with a moment of silence to those who passed away…"
And there followed a moment of silence, a moment during which the man from Georgia stopped talking, before concluding with the statement: "Thank you very much, we love you, and we wish you all the best."
"Good man, that was classy," said Marty Whelan after the gesture made by the noble Georgian. When you only have a few seconds anyway to address hundreds of millions of people, and you give up one of them for the greater good, you are indeed a good man, maybe a better man than most of us.
Usually you'd have a minute's silence at the start of a football match, but you can't do that any more, because there aren't many football matches going on, and though the German league has started up again, it is being played behind closed doors. So the impact of the minute's silence would be completely lost, without the roar of approval which should follow - indeed we now realise that the impact of the silence is in direct proportion to the reaction of the crowd, it's just that we always assumed until a few weeks ago that there would be a crowd.
If Tornike Kipiani was seizing his moment, the Eurovision was seizing a few moments of its own to offer us a more… eh…. reflective sort of an evening, with these postcards of what might have been from the contestants; and some performances of old Euro-classics in the deserted streets of Jerusalem or Belgrade; and interviews with Euro-connoisseurs such as Mr Graham Norton, who remarked on how moved he had been by it all; and just the three presenters in Hilversum and no crowds. Though, of course, three is a crowd too.
RTE indeed had warmed us up for the virtual Eurovision with an hour of very special moments from Ireland's Euro-story, naturally presented by Marty Whelan, which is all that matters.
The Eurovision brings all things to our minds, and one of these things is the question of how can we have Marty on the television more. Then again I 'watch' his morning radio show on Lyric FM on the telly most days, and maybe that's enough - as Johnny Logan (inset, below) demonstrates, it's not necessarily the size of your exposure that matters.
There he was, more or less kicking off this entire evening of Euro-love, with a few well-chosen words to the multitudes, and a rendition of What's Another Year?, which sounded wildly appropriate in the circumstances.
A vision in white, it seems Johnny perfectly embodies that role of the Prince of Eurovision, the kindly ruler of a magical kingdom which exists for only one night of the year - but it is the best of nights. These are his moments, these are his people, a multi-screen full of them joining him in the song, paying tribute to his transcendental stature, and that of Shay Healy.
It was magical too at the other end, with a rare personal message from Bjorn of Abba - if Johnny Logan is the kindly prince of this other realm, Bjorn exists on an even more exalted plane, as a kindly god. And indeed his few words were spoken with such serene wisdom, he seemed like the only world leader with the gravitas that is needed at this time.
With the mellow sounds of a piano in the background, Bjorn spoke of the Eurovision as "one of the most genuinely joyous events of the TV year", one that is "so… disarmingly European".
And in the most Euro-tastic moments of all, the performers of 2020 came together, as it were, to sing Love Shine A Light, each taking a line of the song which had won for Katrina and the Waves for the UK in 1997 - the last time the old Royaume Uni won it.
Yes, it was big of the Eurovision family to reach out to Royaume Uni at this time, when Royaume Uni is concerned only with reaching in to the darker parts of its personality.
Eurovision in recent years had adopted some of the errors of the modern age, when it allowed the people to vote by text, rather than leaving the judging to the experts - it was strangely Brexity, that undermining of expertise, and yet the largeness of spirit of the old continent could be felt with this collective Shining of the Light.
It was so…disarmingly European.
Sunday Indo Living