I hope the Debenhams workers obtain every support they need, and a justice of settlement too - 2,000 people have lost their jobs with the liquidation of the 11 Debenhams stores in Dublin, Cork, Galway and elsewhere around the country. If the EU has a €100 billion fund to support businesses during the coronavirus, why shouldn't retail staff also be helped?
One of the most touching photographs published last week was that of two Italian grandparents, Melia and Giovanni Famoso of Milan, joyfully hugging their grandchildren after a two-month lockdown. It must represent such a universal sentiment of families reunited after this surreal and sometimes tormenting period we've been going through. For all the many tragedies, losses and economic anxieties, the one positive that has emerged is that the pandemic has brought families together (and kept them together!). And sometimes brought a new perspective on family life, too.
I had been pondering on the theme of friendship, when I learned that Eavan Boland had died from a stroke. She was considered to be the leading female voice in Irish, or even world, poetry. She wrote about the experiences of women, in a domestic setting, with great intelligence and a fine lyrical voice.
Ah, the empty skies! Climate campaigners may celebrate the 41pc decline in air traffic since the onset of the coronavirus - the air is purer, the birdies are singing louder - but it's sad all the same. We may reflect that many of us have probably lived through a golden age of air travel, ever since Dublin Airport was opened 80 years ago, in January 1940. Some may even recall that it was once called 'Collinstown' and that children were taken to the airport for their special First Communion treat, just to watch planes take off. I was brought to Shannon, aged about 10, as a special treat, and I thought it was the most exciting place in the world. I resolved there and then to be an air hostess, deviating from my previous aspiration to be a prima ballerina.
Is the Irish language unique in having a special word for left-handed people: cithóg? American baseball introduced "southpaw" into English. Italian, like some of the other Latin languages, has unfortunately conjugated "left" - "sinistro" with "sinister" and "damaged". Throughout history, left-handed people - about 10pc of an average population - have felt that society disfavoured them.
Here's a generalisation: the Irish are totally unsuited to social distancing. Ireland is a strongly social culture. Read any travel book about this country over the past hundred years and the conclusions are always this: whatever grumbles the visitor may have had about unreliable weather, reckless driving habits or inadequate food standards (the lack of imaginative vegetable dishes was a common complaint until recent years), on one point they were agreed: the Irish were consistently warm and friendly.
One thing I can be sure of - I'm hardly likely to be buying myself a new hat for Easter. No weddings. No funeral gatherings allowed. No christenings. No race meetings. Philip Treacy, the Galway-born world king of millinery haute couture, must be despairing.
When I awake these spring mornings, my first thought is: "So I made it through the night!" One of my sons, who knows about statistics and probabilities, has dolefully mentioned that I have a one-in-10 chance of dying from Covid-19, should I be infected, because of three conditions: age, a former smoking habit and an existing respiratory condition.