It's probably fair to say that we're all feeling a little raw at the moment.
Obviously, those who are working to keep the rest of us safe through this crisis are the ones we should be most concerned about, but it's virtually impossible to watch the news or read the papers without being stricken by a vague sense of existential dread.
You may not even realise you feel that way, but it's there, lurking in the back of your mind waiting for something to trigger it.
My trigger arrived late one evening last week.
A short text, brutal in its brevity, pinged into the phone: "John Prine is on life support with Covid. Not looking good."
I'm not ashamed to admit it, I immediately choked up. In fact, I was surprised at how upset I was. Was such an emotional reaction the result of a) all the pent-up stress finally finding an outlet or was it b) the thoughts of never seeing Prine play again or hear any new songs?
It's probably a little from column a), and it's definitely a lot from column b).
When the news came through on Wednesday that he had been pronounced dead in hospital in Nashville, I just put my head in my hands and said nothing.
He was, after all, 73 and had already survived two bouts of cancer so he was always going to be in the highest risk category. But Prine fans - partly due to the fact that he had survived those two cancer scares - were quietly optimistic that he would pull through. He didn't, and the outpouring of grief from his admirers was palpable and genuine.
It's not an exaggeration to say that I loved that man. I have done since the late 1970s.
Da's favourite party piece was singing 'Sam Stone' and, as a child, the line "there's a hole in Daddy's arm where all the money goes" both intrigued and terrified me.
Too young to know that it was about drug addiction, I was haunted by the thoughts of a guy stuffing dollar bills into a gaping wound in his arm - and it's an image that still makes me shiver.
Wherever we went, Prine went with us. During an almost comically disastrous family holiday to France in the 1980s, we were stuck in a dilapidated old farmhouse with no TV, no running water, miles from anywhere.
The only company was provided by two cassettes of his albums Bruised Orange and Diamonds in the Rough.
And it really did feel like John was keeping us company. Ask any of his fans and they will all acknowledge that when you immerse yourself in his music, it's as if he was sitting beside you, telling you a story over a beer.
And what stories they were.
From Sam Stone, the soldier who came back from Vietnam "with a purple heart and a monkey on his back" to the pain of being old and sad and broken in 'Hello in There' to 'Jesus, The Missing Years' which saw him speculate what Jesus got up to on his wanderings, there was always a profound sense of humanity in his songs and it's no surprise that he became known to his devotees as the Mark Twain of American music.
As I grew up, my music constantly evolved - indie, rap, trip hop all came and went but no matter what I was into at the time, there was always a special place for Prine, even when he was seen as deeply unfashionable by people who knew no better.
When me and my old man inevitably grew apart as I grew up, the one thing guaranteed to break a long silence, or end a simmering row, was to talk about Prine.
He was, I suppose, the last bit of glue that held the two of us together.
I was widely mocked by readers of this paper a few years ago for saying that seeing him live wasn't so much a gig as a pilgrimage, but fellow fans knew what I meant. He could introduce a song with the ease of a stand-up comedian, telling a great yarn, and could manipulate the crowd into laughing one minute to quietly sobbing the next.
The last time I saw him, he was getting older and frailer but the gift was still there and he almost seemed to be carried along by the good wishes from the crowd.
I even got to interview him a couple of times. They say never meet your heroes but that wasn't the case here - he was funny, curious and kind. On the first occasion, I told him that my Prine-loving Dad also had cancer. On the second occasion, the first thing he asked was "how is Donal?"
I was stunned he remembered his name. When I said he had died the previous week, there was a prolonged silence on the other end, then: "Oh man, I'm so sorry..."
And he meant it.
We loved him and he loved this country. Like Jesus during those missing years, John also found an Irish bride, Fiona, and he set up a home in Kinvara, which he fondly described as a "drinking village with a fishing problem".
He was a great man who provided countless people with the soundtrack to their lives.
That soundtrack is silent now.
And the world is darker without him.