Living on a small island on the western fringes of Europe has many advantages but it can sometimes encourage an overly-relaxed attitude to the kind of disciplines needed to sustain a cordon sanitaire in the face of a deadly, new, quickly spreading, global disease.
That a man was escorted off a flight from Moscow at Dublin Airport on Saturday night after showing signs of coronavirus underlines that 2020 actuality.
Fellow passengers say they were kept on the plane for two hours while medics in hazmat suits took the man away.
The HSE, while not confirming any details relating to the incident, said they have a “protocol in place” to activate any plan at ports of entry into Ireland.
It may be a case of when, rather than if, coronavirus reaches this island — but every effort should be made to prevent it reaching Ireland.
It maybe slightly facetious — just — to suggest we should treat coronavirus just as we treated the threat posed by foot and mouth disease to the national herd two decades ago.
That disciplined, concerted effort saved the day. It would again.