Even the pessimists should now plan for a new normal. The economy will function again without special Covid-19 measures and the debate will centre on how we restore output in the regional economy and find new employment and new employers to replace the businesses which have closed, or downsized.
The new normal will have distinct differences. High street retailing will be a smaller part of the jobs market.
Businesses across Northern Ireland will need to adjust to the post-Brexit conditions. Now, only a few weeks away from the final changes to be caused by Brexit, the new business environment for retailers and their suppliers remains problematic.
Business organisations, in both parts of this island, are asking for clearer guidance from governments and the European Union about, first, how Brexit will affect UK-EU trading relations and, second, how the protocol affecting Northern Ireland's position will be delivered.
In Northern Ireland the debate is about whether 'unfettered trade within the UK' will really be unfettered or how significant (and costly) will be the trail of documentation needed to monitor goods coming into Northern Ireland which are (in the phrases of the protocol) at risk of being traded through NI as a route into Ireland or for further shipment elsewhere in the EU.
In NI the new trading formalities seem destined to fall short of continued unfettered access from GB for many goods, especially some food products.
Less conspicuously, goods manufactured or processed in NI going to GB will become 'exports' to the British market.
If there is an imperfect arrangement (or no agreement) to create a free trade agreement between the UK and EU, there may be a new disincentive for NI manufacturers to face.
In addition there are some uncertainties about the operation of VAT.
In NI there is now serious concern that the talks, designed to get certainty about the operational details for NI-GB trade, have done too little to make the protocol an acceptable arrangement.
Whilst there is continuing uncertainty for businesses in NI there is no comfort for businesses in the Republic of Ireland.
For their businesses the high degree of interdependence on trade with the UK means that the fear of economic disruption is even higher than in NI.
Serious business analysis in Sunday newspaper The Business Post refers to the waiting game as a possible "countdown to chaos".
The sea ports around Ireland are concerned that freight traffic will face congestion in the ports and that this may be even more worrying for road freight crossing England to reach destinations on the European Continent.
Brexit and Covid-19 have come together to create a double-blow for the economy. Both are currently functioning to local disadvantage.
The continuing impacts of Brexit and Covid-19 are more complicated than can have anticipated by expecting a return to 'old' normal. Trade and production will adjust to new conditions, unfortunately, initially to local disadvantage.
The Brexit discussions led to the protocol which was designed to give Northern Ireland a trading advantage following Brexit.
The advantage of continued trading for goods within the EU should have been combined with unfettered arrangements in the UK.
The uncertainties of the final arrangements mean that, for the immediate future, NI is a less clearly attractive as a location for new investing businesses.
That calls for constructive efforts at the Joint Committee with the EU to administer the protocol. The NI Executive has an important role to play.
A passive degree of inaction would be a mistake. There is a legitimate expectation that, when the Brexit arrangements are ultimately finalised, Northern Ireland manufacturers and processors should have a beneficial outcome.
There is less certainty about the long-term impact of Covid-19. Retailing will provide fewer jobs in a restructured framework.
Tourism, travel and hospitality will recover, but only slowly and gradually into 2022 and later. Arts and cultural activities have good longer term prospects but on a smaller scale.
A combination of a new effective vaccine with a rebuilt level of productive efficiency should make 2022 a new beginning. A very challenging re-start.