If sport indeed mirrors life, it cannot escape its privations.
or, indeed, the extraordinary efforts required to adapt and survive. And, some day, hopefully thrive once more.
Pandemic has irreparably destroyed so many of our favourite social present times and also our favourite sporting past-times.
From the Olympics to the Euros, postponements of a year, perhaps even two, have been necessary; both behemoths must decide sooner rather than later whether a 2021 staging is possible.
Weekly, daily even, games and tournaments are being suspended or cancelled.
Rugby, too, as it grapples with domestic and continental disruption, must attempt to co-ordinate ever-altering schedules and timetables.
Prevailing signals are not favourable, as highlighted by the contrasting attitude of administrators, from the English Premiership, who have abandoned the next fortnight’s play, to the Top 14 in France, who have not.
And, lest we forget, all of these decisions cannot be made without reference to the reasons that caused them in the first place.
Meanwhile, the 2021 Six Nations will plough on past all moral and medical quandaries, albeit here the French government are leading the running, confirming that their country’s opening fixture against Italy can go ahead but demanding assurances before they complete their programme.
France host the 2023 World Cup and with its government now calling the shots, the "relaxed" head of French rugby, Bernard Laporte, knows that much of what that happens in French rugby before then will be outside his control
For when public health policy and rugby administrators clash, there is only going to be one winner.
In 2020, plans to stage the Rugby Championship in its usual format were abandoned; first, by the withdrawal of the world champions.
Then, the strict adherence by NZ PM Jacinda Ardern to her country’s quarantine protocols meant that the tournament had to be staged entirely in Australia.
The last Six Nations faced similar disruption, pre-empted by a government decree here which barred Italy’s international team from entering this country in March.
This was a decision which, initially at least, seemed to contradict the wishes of the IRFU who were then perhaps as surprised as the rest of us when subsequently a horde of Italian fans still managed to travel here even though their rugby team had not.
A reminder that while public policy remains the primary dictator of what is the right thing to do, even this is not at all infallible.
Like the Rugby Championship, the Six Nations was eventually completed, with little fanfare and even less entertainment; few cared as merely having any sport to watch at all seemed like so much blessed relief.
Argentina, whose coach and six players tested positive for Covid-19, and who hadn’t played rugby in 402 days, shocked the All Blacks. France’s kids thrilled up north.
Down south, rugby’s version of society’s "We’re all in this together" – which likes to propagate the spurious claim that the pandemic affects everyone equally – was to place "all hands in the middle", ensuring that New Zealand did not absorb a potential loss of some €60m alone.
All expenses and profits were shared. So was the burden.
It remains to be seen whether 2021 will see such solidarity attain a wider reach.
But there is an elephant in the room. Or rather a Lion. Thousands and thousands of them, in fact, as the Lions tour is as much, if not more about the supporters and their wallets than it is the players.
A trip of any kind to South Africa is now an anathema, let alone one involving thousands of people from a variety of nationalities, trampling up and down a continent to watch millions of euros worth of professional rugby talent.
Of course, everyone knows this but few are willing to concede defeat despite the incontrovertible evidence that a Lions tour of recognisable construction is an impossibility.
The haste in which rugby authorities can concoct a new tournament – hello Rainbow Cup - will not be matched by a decisive response when it comes to addressing the uncertainty of 2021’s behemoth.
Those in charge of the Lions – and the IRFU are just one voice amongst the four Home Unions who have substantial skin in this expensive game – are determined not to make a final decision until February, a month-long delay which is entirely unnecessary and smacks of Olympian self-importance.
There are suggestions, emanating from this sense of smug superiority, no doubt, which have mooted proposals including staging fixtures on these islands.
Any such conjecture should be muted.
No more than the Ryder Cup, a gargantuan exercise that pulls its constituents from so many countries cannot be staged without supporters, in a vacuum pumped with fake noise and cardboard cut-outs.
Preposterous talk of Croke Park or Wembley, the Principality or Murrayfield, belongs in the bin, as no crowds will be allowed this summer to engineer the revenues required.
It may be important to do something but that doesn’t make it the right thing.
Covid-19 may have disrupted South African rugby more than anyone else – although the Argentineans will argue that point, never mind those wallowing minnows beyond Tier One – and thus led to the Boks’ franchises’ hasty transfer north to the PRO16 after they were dumped by Super Rugby.
But just because rugby’s suits demonstrated that they can make a swift decision in these times in the best interests of a wider concern, that doesn’t necessarily mean that such a template is set in stone – goodbye Rainbow Cup.
If everything is up for discussion, then that should be the case with the Lions,
After all, when apartheid removed South Africa from the schedule in the 1980s, a six-year gap ensued and was then filled by a first trip to Australia in 90 years. What’s another year? Or two?
Historic moments prompt historic reactions, not hysterical ones.
Postponement is the obvious option but this would require a selfless buy-in from everyone – particularly as the World Cup will be affected. And wallets.
Ireland has skin in this game; and not just because, from previous evidence of their attendance at World Rugby meetings, the IRFU have had little interest in preserving the sanctity of the Lions and, at best, can be accused of siting on their hands as Lions concept becomes ever more squeezed.
The IRFU did not raise a whisper in 2017 when they sat around the table when yet more matches and days were selfishly shaved off the Lions tour schedule.
A reminder that it is every man and woman for themselves. In that spirit, don’t be surprised to see a few solo runs in the desperate scramble for solution; this selfishness might unwittingly provide one.
Ireland are due to tour New Zealand in 2022 and without a Lions tour, there will be a huge hole to fill.
One possibility it so ask the Kiwis to push back their dates with Italy and Fiji and bring the three-test series with Ireland forward by 12 months.
Who knows? If there truly is a global commitment to calendar co-ordination, all other tours could also be switched.
And, in a time when we are unsure whether rugby will be played next weekend, never mind next summer, this can allow everyone the chance to schedule the Lions tour properly, in the context of domestic and European competition.
Whenever that can be.
But with England, France and the home Unions this week unveiling three different solutions to the same problem, don’t hold your breath.
There is always a way. Finding a will is the difficult part.