There are more important issues than kicking a ball over the bar
At the moment, Ireland north and south is doing relatively well against the plague.
As of Friday, the south had a minimum of 486 deaths (100 deaths per million of population) and the north had a minimum of 158 deaths (77 deaths per million of population).
Contrast this with the UK, exempting the North, which had 13,571 recorded deaths at a rate of 200 deaths per million. All of which might be prompting us to start feeling optimistic about an end to restrictions and to day-dream about when the hurling and football might start again.
But as Minister for Health Simon Harris signalled on Saturday, mass gatherings at inter-county GAA matches are unlikely to happen any time this year.
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So, at the moment, all we have is nostalgia. What's your greatest ever Dublin 15? Who are the greatest six hurling defenders never to win Liam? Last week, journalist Cahair O'Kane invited readers to pick 'The 2010-2019 Derry junior championship XV'.
We are being reintroduced to great games and players of the past. Journalists struggling for inspiration are interviewing legendary past players. The highlight of the week came when Tony Scullion did a rare podcast interview with Shane Stapleton that has since gone viral.
Tony, who didn't believe in stretching and used to grin and chain smoke as we did our pre-match stretches, cannot be explained in normal human words.
He used to arrive at the car park of whatever ground we were training at, his car filled with smoke, Country and Irish singer Hugo Duncan belting out on his eight-track. For younger readers, the eight-track was the forerunner of the tape and CD.
It looked like an old style video-cassette that you slotted into the player. Scullion would swing in, classics like 'Cottage on the Old Dungannon Road' or 'Village Where I Went to School' blasting out.
For a man who never so much as looked at a dumbbell, he had prodigious strength.
Once, when the team was in Glasgow to play an exhibition match against Donegal, Declan Bonner was annoying him in the bar afterwards and after two or three fair warnings, Scullion — who was normally a pacifist — picked Bonner up and threw him across two tables, scattering pints. The place went suddenly silent.
When Bonner, lying full stretch on the floor, made it clear through his body language that he had no interest in retaliation, we resumed our carousing.
When the Donegal man was back on his feet, Scullion raised his hand and wagging his finger, said "Now Declan, you were behaving badly. There was no call for that."
With a low death rate and the GAA holding conference calls and creating emergency powers to explore what a possible once-off knock-out championship might look like, there is hope that we could soon swap nostalgia for real live sport.
Sadly, a 2020 All-Ireland championship is a pleasant fantasy, as real as hoping to open our (disinfected) cornflakes packet and find a golden ticket for Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. We can afford to dream, but the scientists cannot.
On Tuesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom said that having taken advice from his team of scientific advisors, “For sports fans, the prospect of mass gatherings is negligible at best until we get to herd immunity and get to a vaccine.”
The following day, Neil Ferguson, professor of epidemiology and mathematical biology at Imperial College London, and the UK government’s senior Covid-19 advisor, was asked about a timescale for return to normality.
He said: "At the moment, we have relatively little leeway. If we relax measures too much we will see a surge. No matter what happens, it is not going to go back to normal.
"We will have to maintain social distancing, a significant level of social distancing, probably indefinitely until we have a vaccine available."
To date, we have been shadow boxing with a plague that has no cure. Our social distancing measures are cordoning off our society from the sort of catastrophe that has submerged Spanish and Italian hospitals.
As Graham Smedley (professor of infectious disease modelling and Director of the UK Centre for Mathematical modelling of infectious diseases) said on Thursday, "People need to be clear that all that has happened so far is that the lockdown measures have stopped the NHS becoming overwhelmed."
Tim Brown, the renowned consultant transplant surgeon at the City Hospital, spoke to me at length by Skype last week from The City, which has temporarily been turned into a Covid hospital.
In the course of a lengthy interview about the prospect of playing the championship, any championship, this year, he said: "This is new to the human race.
"There are only unknowns. We have no idea whether herd immunity is even achievable because we don't know if people who have had Covid become immune.
"If they do, acquiring herd immunity means around 90 per cent of the population would need to be infected, which would mean almost six million people on the island of Ireland and at least 60,000-100,000 deaths.
"But if having previously had Covid doesn't confer immunity, then there is no herd immunity.
"Another unknown is that we have no idea if a successful vaccine can be created. Even if the pioneering RNA/DNA work going on at the moment cracks it in record time, there would need to be lengthy patient trials, then global mass production.
"The bottom line is that restarting the GAA championships in 2020 would trigger an uncontrolled chain of infection transmission and result in a national tragedy. There are more important issues to consider than watching someone kick a ball over the bar."
This from a man who had a life-changing epiphany when I brought him to his first Gaelic football match, an epic battle between Crossmaglen and Castlebar Mitchels in the 2016 All-Ireland club semi-final.
On the final whistle, a fist-fight broke out between the subs benches and when it was over, Brown turned to me with a beaming smile and said, “That was great.”
On Saturday, the WHO's infectious diseases team leader Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, warned governments who are putting their faith in antibody testing that "there is no proof that those who have been infected cannot be infected again."
Simply put, there is no evidence that even if we lost 100,000 people to the virus, we would have herd immunity.
Professor William Hanage of Harvard, a world authority on infectious diseases, responded last week to people asking ‘What the hell are we locking down for?’ by writing an article titled, ‘No matter how you crunch the numbers, this pandemic is only getting started’.
He said there were so many unknowns that ending lockdown completely and resuming normal life would be "like politely applauding the performance in a jazz club and murmuring ‘nice’ while the building is demolished around you and the piano player gets decapitated."
It is, of course, important that we remain hopeful and do not allow ourselves to surrender to bleakness. But as Seamus Heaney put it, "Hope is not optimism, which expects things to turn out well, but something rooted in the conviction that there is good worth working for."
Before there is a vaccine, 30,000 spectators at MacHale Park, 45,000 in Semple Stadium or 80,000 in Croke Park would represent a Covid bombing campaign.
But what of championships behind closed doors? After all, the PGA tour is due (for the moment at least) to resume without spectators from June.
Darts would be a safe TV sport also, and the broadcasters could pep it up by using the audience soundtracks from previous tournaments. But our games?
Brown again: “GAA is a breeding ground for the virus. With everyone in a changing room together and sweating players constantly coming into contact on the field at close quarters this allows for rapid transmission of Covid.
It would be reckless to the players’ safety and as an inevitable by-product, reckless to the safety of their families and anyone they come in contact with. What about the bus drivers? Or the officials? Or the physiotherapists?”
Can you imagine the players from both teams coming out onto the field for the first round dressed like Homer Simpson at the nuclear factory: hazmat suits, protective goggles, perspex visors and overshoes on their boots?
What would happen if a player tested positive after a match? In that case, every player on both squads would have to go into self-isolation for at least 14 days.
What if a player went on to become seriously ill from the virus, or even die? Or if an infected player living with his parents was asymptomatic and infected them?
We are slowly driving away from a tsunami, staying just ahead of it. The championship would mean turning the car and driving at full speed straight back into it.