This summer, we saw the introduction as de rigeur of the water break in our team sports. Initially introduced because players were playing in games at times of the year when temperatures were higher than normal, they also allowed an opportunity for players to rehydrate hygienically.
However, as players and managers grew accustomed to the new quarters being introduced, they began to be viewed tactically. Now, all of a sudden, a game could be divided into more sections, with twice as many opportunities for rest and for tactical instruction to react to what had happened in the quarter just gone.
It worked for many teams, as it allowed sides to compartmentalise and to improvise knowing that you change tack again in the next break.
In a way, we can all learn from it. Our game of everyday living has been broken up into many sections. Every week or so we are set new deadlines, new restrictions. New promised lands that we see in the horizon, but which are often dashed as we go three steps forward and two steps back.
It is a time when we have to use the experience of one lockdown to see us through another.
There was a tense start to this week with the spat between NEPHET and the Government, but such tensions are inevitable when the stakes are so high for so many. In the course of one evening, the entire country feared that livelihoods were going to be shed within days, while the alternative was the possibility of the virus continuing its crawl around the country.
At time of going to press Wednesday evening, there was one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Galway hospitals today; in UHG, while another five patients are being treated as being possible cases. Four more patients are awaiting test results in Portiuncula.
At UHG, another five patients are undergoing general treatment for suspected cases of the virus, while four patients are awaiting coronavirus test results at Portiuncula.
Although there are no confirmed cases of the virus in Galway ICUs, one ICU patient is awaiting a test result for the virus in the intensive care unit at UHG. As a viral infection survivor myself, I wish them all well, in the hope that they too will make a complete recovery.
So you can see that we are not anywhere near being overwhelmed, but as we face into a month when temperatures fall and the rains increase, we need to keep the hospitals free for the normal cut and thrust illnesses of the winter. We need to be sensible more than ever before.
But we got through the worst of this before and we can do it again. We got through it by supporting one another. By buying our necessary goods in our local shops and protecting those jobs that are needed to put bread on so many tables. By supporting those businesses and services that are open. By encouraging each other to see hope where they might be little. By availing of exercise for all the family wherever possible.
There may well be higher levels of restriction if we are to keep the virus contained this side of Christmas, so we need to be creative in how we handle these limitations on our movement, on our socialising, on our general perception of life.
In sporting terms, we have to be tactically alert as we head towards another water break, knowing what we learned from the last one, and knowing how that will help us through the next one.
Stay sensible, stay safe, and stay sound, and we can see Galway, and Ireland through all of this.