Rules? What rules? We used to think we had problems with former Health Minister David Clark not obeying them. In Ireland last week, two senior members of the government resigned after attending a dinner with 80 other "luminaries" of Irish society, including the European Union commissioner and a Supreme Court justice who is also a former attorney general.
The dinner took place just one day after new regulations banned indoor meetings of more than six people.
Ireland's a basket case in the fight against Covid-19. There's no good reason for it, either, despite the blather of any number of commentators who seem almost embarrassed at how far adrift of New Zealand's success their country is.
Here's Dr Jack Lambert, professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the University College Dublin School of Medicine, writing in the Irish Times: "Elimination of coronavirus in Ireland is a fantasy ... There are calls for Ireland to adopt a New Zealand model, but New Zealand is not a part of the European Union, and it does not share a common border with Northern Ireland. This model will not work for Ireland."
He said New Zealand was lucky because, as an island in the South Pacific, we had "both the time and space to witness how fast the disease spread across other parts of the world". That meant we could act "swiftly and decisively to restrict movement and impose an early lockdown".
Actually, Ireland is also an island. And pandemic control in Europe has varied widely: many countries in the EU, like Greece, Austria and Denmark, have done far better than Ireland.
Ireland recorded its first case of Covid-19 on February 29, one day after we did. Today is our six-month anniversary of that sobering event; tomorrow is theirs. We started on this thing together.
Ireland "locked down" on March 27, again, just one day after New Zealand. But there were two critical differences. One: the day Jacinda Ardern announced our lockdown date, we recorded 23 new cases. By that stage, Ireland' daily rate was more than 200. They waited too long.
And two: the Irish lockdown wasn't really a lockdown. The border remained relatively open and people were more able to go about their ordinary lives. They didn't do enough.
Irish critics say the government was more worried it might upset someone than it was about combating the virus. "A good government," said one, "will make unpopular decisions for the greater good of society." True that.
As of yesterday, Ireland had 28,363 recorded cases and 1777 deaths. New Zealand's numbers, for those who like to say we have a "shambles" and a "complete lack of planning", were 1702 and 22. Ireland has had 363 death per million population. In New Zealand, it's 4.5. We're doing so well.
And what about Nigeria? Africa's largest country teems with 200 million people and has a relatively underdeveloped health system, and it also reported its first case at the end of February.
Nigeria now has 52,800 recorded cases and 1007 deaths. Fewer than Ireland! The death rate per million is 4.9: almost identical to ours.
How did that happen? Nigerian officials don't have all the answers. They admit the numbers will be under-reported (that's true for most countries) and they fear they may simply still be earlier on the curve.
But there is another theory: that in countries where the health system is largely focused on public health and the government is determined to do its best, much prevention can be done. It's a salutary lesson for "developed" countries, where health dollars get sucked up by expensive tertiary medicine to the neglect of primary healthcare in the community.
That's clearly a big part of the problem in America, but it's also a factor in the poor Covid record of European countries like Britain, Spain and France.
And it's about to be put to the test in New Zealand. The level 4 lockdown reinforced by checkpoints worked extremely well in isolated communities to limit the spread of Covid, but does South Auckland, epicentre of the current outbreak, have the public health capacity to cope?
As for Nigeria, even if the numbers don't tell the whole story, that story is nowhere near as tragic as in Brazil, which also has 200 million people and recorded its first case in late February.
The Brazilian government has blocked and ridiculed health and community workers trying to fight the virus at every point. The result: the country now has 3.72 million infected, including the president, Jair Bolsonaro, and 118,000 dead. That's a per million rate of 549, one of the highest in the world.
The lesson of the Australian state of Victoria is similar to Ireland's. They watched the re-emergence of the virus, caused by dreadfully slack border controls, and worried for weeks that a lockdown would be too damaging to the economy. New cases and deaths grew fast, so eventually they tried mini-lockdowns in 10 postal areas around Melbourne. It failed.
Now they have a "stage 3 lockdown", with more than 20 people dying each day and a total of more than 18,000 reported cases. The state's population is less than 7 million.
We don't have cause to celebrate our six-month anniversary of Covid-19. We lost 22 people, each of them with families and friends left in grief. Unemployment numbers may soon soar, and business failures too. Times are tough.
But they're tougher almost everywhere else - and in some places it's hard to imagine the horror.
In America, 57 per cent of members of the ruling Republican Party say they believe the death toll so far – 177,000, the worst in the world – is "acceptable". Leading scientists have been ignored and mocked. More than a million people have registered for unemployment benefit each week for 21 of the last 22 weeks. And 31 per cent of Americans still say Donald Trump has done a good job handling the pandemic.
There is a glimmer of good news: that number is down from 44 per cent in March.
• Tomorrow in the Herald: Six months after Covid reached New Zealand, where are we now?