Sam McBride: If Kovid had struck before the resumption of the Assembly, what would we have done?

On a cold January night two years ago, Julian Smith and Simon Coveney stood almost in the dark under Carson’s statue on the Stormont estate and announced that a deal existed to restore the transfer.

Unknown to the parties debating the Irish Language Act, the virus that would dominate our lives was already spreading from Wuhan 5,500 miles away. Northern Ireland’s first case will be confirmed exactly 39 days later.