Welcome to Groundhog Day. Yes, as the country girds its loins for its return to a version of Lockdown 5, we're reminded once more that we're all in this together, whether we like it or not.
When the first rumours of a return to the strictest levels of lockdown first emerged two weeks ago, there was widespread national rancour.
Could the economy really withstand another hit? How many people could survive on the weekly PUP allowance? Were we creating a cure that was going to be more damaging than the disease itself?
There seems to have been a change of mood in the last fortnight as people began to grasp the fact that, rather than Covid-19 being brought under control, cases have been spiking at a most alarming level.
Simply put, something needs to be done. Whether this return to another six weeks of the restrictions we endured back in March and April will provide the magic bullet remains to be seen.
We've entered a new world which is driven by uncertainty and doubt. Even the international experts are divided about the efficacy of another lockdown.
The mixed messages coming from the World Health Organisation (WHO) - some of their officials urge another lockdown, while some dissenting scientists reckon such an approach is little more than a fig leaf that will cause more harm than good - haven't helped matters.
The one thing we are all looking for is clarity from the Government; and, while the situation is changing on a daily basis, we now know that the next month, at least, will see us returning to the state of suspended animation we endured six months ago. November now looks like it's going to be one hell of a tough month.
Why are so many people who were vigorously opposed to another lockdown only a few weeks ago so much more amenable to the idea today?
The answer can be delivered in one word - Christmas. Nobody wants Christmas to be cancelled, yet that is the risk we face if we don't try to get the numbers down and reduce the R rate of infection.
It's impossible not to feel a sense of overwhelming despondency about the current state of affairs.
After all, back in March, we all thought that the virus was a temporary inconvenience and one which, if we played our cards sensibly, could be under control by the time the leaves started to turn brown and fall from the trees.
As we now know, those thoughts were fanciful and wildly optimistic. Rather than getting things under control, the virus now seems to pose an even bigger threat than it did during the balmy days of May, when being forced to sit in your back garden didn't seem too much of a gross imposition.
That's all changed now. In fact, now we're looking at more endless weeks of cocooning at home during bad weather and desperately trying to decide who to include in our 'bubble list' of people we are allowed to meet and visit.
As things stand, this latest round of restrictions is disappointing but unsurprising. Bars, restaurants, gyms and hairdressers will be told to shut their doors once more, travel restrictions are back in place and there have also been renewed calls to limit the sale of alcohol from off-licences in a bid to stymie house parties.
This will be the final killer blow to many Irish businesses. It's certainly a coup de grace for thousands of hotels and pubs which had only gradually, tentatively tried to get back to some sort of normal business.
But the facts don't lie. Yesterday saw a further 1,031 confirmed cases of the virus, which now brings the total number of infected people up to 50,993, with the death toll now standing at 1,852. The fact that there are now over 50,000 positive cases is undeniably worrying. But, as tempting as it is to stick our heads in the sand and pretend the whole thing is just going to go away, the reality is that the virus ain't going anywhere any time soon.
If anything, and it pains me to say it, one could argue that the new restrictions don't go far enough. Certainly, the desire to keep schools and creches open is a noble one, but the decision won't help stem the flow of positive cases. Similarly, the desire to keep elite sports going is understandable but, in the face of all the other draconian rules, seems rather half-hearted - either we want to take drastic measures or we don't.
Many people in the hospitality trade have pointed to the fact that they can't operate, yet our airports and ferry terminals continue to operate.
Also, does anyone really think that the schools will remain open during the next six weeks of restrictions? Both the main teachers' unions - the Irish National Teachers Organisation and the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland - have expressed grave concerns at such a prospect and it's highly likely that we'll see some form of industrial action if the teachers are forced to work in what they feel is an unsafe environment.
The impact of the lockdown has been catastrophic for many of us. It's no surprise, for example, that calls to domestic violence hotlines have reached record levels in the last few months. Even if a vaccine were suddenly conjured tomorrow, we will be living with the ramifications of Covid for years to come.
But as depressing as that is, what's the alternative? Other cities across Europe are now instituting curfews, which is surely something we all want to avoid.
But if we are to entertain any hopes of having a Christmas, then it appears we will just have to take a deep breath and endure another six weeks of enforced isolation and severe inconvenience. It's not ideal, and nobody wants it. It's also true that we must remain vigilant against over-reach by the authorities.
The next six weeks will undoubtedly be tough but I return to my earlier question - does anyone have a better alternative?