Many jobs, many households and many businesses are still threatened by the impact of the pandemic.
Behind the protection of the imaginative furlough scheme, there are hundreds of jobs and many businesses which have been damaged as the economy has contracted by much more than could be described as a normal marginal adjustment.
The temporary furlough scheme and the range of other one-off special Government support mechanisms have slightly modified the scale of the crisis.
Ministers in the Executive have been responding. Minister for the Economy, Diane Dodds, has prepared a comprehensive Economic Recovery Action Plan.
Minister for Infrastructure, Nicola Mallon, has put down markers for some infrastructure projects. Minister of Finance, Connor Murphy, will be tested in scheduling how plans are to be financed.
The Recovery Action Plan is a refreshingly frank statement of the wide remit that must be developed by the Department for the Economy.
In large measure this plan is, effectively, a recasting of the agenda for that department. It is essentially a codification of the agenda with indications of priorities and the £290m estimate for delivery costs.
Each of these themes points to the need for operational delivery policies.
It is disappointing, but realistic, to read that after several decades of emphasis on creating a modern skilled workforce, the need for greater efforts to be able to offer a well prepared labour force attracts such a high priority.
The initiative must, in part, now pass to the NI Executive. The Executive has the responsibility and authority to influence critical aspects of economic activity.
With the discretion allowed within the budget, ministers can make important allocation decisions affecting infrastructure plans, business promotion incentives, universities and higher education, provision for skills training schemes, provision of the main utilities (electricity, gas and water), discretionary local property taxes (rates), urban redevelopment (including housing) and planning policies to encourage or deter development projects.
Since the emergence of the pandemic, the Executive has introduced schemes of support broadly mirroring those introduced in Great Britain.
The UK Treasury has allocated extra funding to enable Stormont to work in parallel to London. The challenge now, as the economy re-adjusts, is to anticipate the scale of the problems in building a more successful economy. The adjustment process must compensate for the damage to the economy as well as build a stronger economy continuing the process of catching up with other parts of the UK.
The Executive is engaged in development ideas affecting all departments. Two merit particular mention: the formulation of a new revised Programme for Government and the formal statement of the Stormont Budget, 2021-22.
For each of these policy documents, the Executive has invited consultative comments and advice. The central policy making for the Executive, in the Executive Office and the Department of Finance, has been stronger on invective and ambition than operational detail.
There is a danger that the strong language in a PfG will not be converted into an effective 'on the ground' implementation plan. As argued in the consultative document, the Executive will begin with a draft Framework of Outcomes which will be a 'statement of societal wellbeing intended to capture the things that matter to people.'
These outcomes (there are eight) are high level general statements. On building a stronger economy, it stated aim is that "our economy is globally competitive, regionally balanced and carbon-neutral". Another is that "everyone feels safe- we all respect the law and each other".
The consultative document and the issues identified leave a gap between a long list of possible issues that could be important in a PfG and a much more practical action list. In order to avoid being accused of 'blue sky' thinking, which lacks clear operational guidelines, the Executive (and each Minister) will need to bridge the gap between the principles and persuasive policy actions.
Diane Dodds' recovery action plan begins to fill that gap. Winning the battle with Covid-19 will not be enough. Further discrete local actions to increase employment and rebuild the economy must follow. The plan pinpoints where action should now take place.