The streets of Wexford town are strange places right now. Devoid of their usual hustle and bustle, they echo only with the sounds of seagulls and the hurried footsteps of the local townsfolk.
When people stop to talk to one another they do so from a distance, their measured conversation audible from afar, their stilted laughter out of keeping with the sombre mood.
But there is one other sound, a familiar background arrangement which has continued throughout the pandemic. It comes courtesy of a man called Pete, or as he is more commonly known, 'The Yeti'.
Having travelled the world playing music for more than 30 years, Pete came to Wexford in 2018 and began busking in the town centre, earning a living in the only way he knew how.
And he has stayed working right through lockdown, taking up residence outside Shaws or the Schnitzel Haus, depending on the weather, performing to often deserted streets.
'I need to eat at the end of the day,' he says when asked why he keeps playing. 'If I don't need to be here, I'm not here - I don't do this for fun.
'This is my living, we've got no pub gigs to back us up, we've got no sessions, we can't teach, this is literally the only working opportunity that's left.'
But isn't contactless king right now? Hasn't cash died out? Not so. Even at 10.30 a.m. on a Friday morning there's a healthy smattering of coins in Pete's guitar case.
'People are still using cash, I think that's a bit of a misnomer,' he says. 'If you go into shops there's still a lot of people using cash; I see it, they might not be carrying as much as they used to but they are still carrying cash.'
While most are happy to see him, to hear him, not all those who pass by do so with a smile.
'Some people are more appreciative of me being here now, but others come up and say "why should you be allowed to do this?"', Pete says. 'I make as much space as I can, I don't see how it's doing any harm, certainly it's helping my mental health and it's helping people who say things like "isn't it nice to hear something."'
'If there were 200 people trying to do the same thing it would be a problem. Some busking performances attract crowds, but busking like this never attracts big crowds. It's background music, it's entertainment, middle-of-the-road, non-offensive, it's not attracting crowds who stand and watch.'
A traditional singer with a strong, sonorous voice, one could imagine Pete sat on stage with Ronnie Drew, belting out the old favourites to an appreciative audience.
Indeed, in his heyday Pete may have done just that, or at least similar, during a career which saw him perform all across Europe, North America and the Caribbean. He had previously lived in Wexford, in '1999, 2000, 2001, around then', before coming back in 2018. However, his return wasn't a happy one, at least not initially.
'I was on the street here for nearly eight months when I first came back in 2018, homeless,' he says. 'Try and find accommodation in Wexford when you haven't got the references and everything that goes with it, large deposits and everything else.
'Luckily I've got a friend who lets me use their spare room at the moment. But the services are virtually nil (for the homeless), it's very, very difficult.
'The one charity shop we had here got shut down. If you went in there they would give you a sleeping bag and a tent, you had a whole tent village going on across the water at one stage.'
Ineligible for the PUP scheme or for state benefits, Pete busks to earn a living, to survive, and he says the pandemic has made life incredibly difficult for gigging musicians.
'The guys I feel for are the wedding bands, those guys making their living professionally as musicians, those who were doing three or four gigs a week beforehand,' he says. 'They have nothing else, they can get the PUP if they are eligible for it but some of them are getting nothing, same as me.'
Now 'well into his sixties', Pete says he is 'fed up of travelling' and would like to make Wexford his home, would like to continue to entertain its people for as long as he can.
When restrictions ease he may return to doing the odd pub gig, the odd music lesson, but it's busking which will ensure his survival.
'The mainstay of it is busking. That's the everyday way of putting food on the table,' he says.