I have seen the post-lockdown future. And it works. In the last few weeks, I've been doing things that a couple of months ago seemed almost impossible. The same sort of things that six months ago were so normal, so commonplace, that it would never, ever even have crossed my mind that one day I'd be writing about how thrilled I am to be able to do them again.
In recent days, I've flown on a plane, stayed in a hotel, travelled by train. I've been in bars (several), in restaurants (ditto), I've been in clothes shops, a shoe shop and I've tried on pairs of sunglasses.
I've even - joy of joys - had a haircut.
It goes without saying, I'm no longer in Northern Ireland.
I'm in Portugal, one of the European countries which has managed the Covid crisis better than most. With a population of around 10.3 million people, Portugal has recorded just under 1,500 deaths from the coronavirus.
The country took early steps to control the spread of the disease and is currently emerging cautiously into the post-lockdown world.
What is happening down here right now may well be what awaits Northern Ireland over the next few weeks.
So what's it like to return to life as we knew it - sort of?
To get here, I flew from Dublin to Lisbon. Mr Michael O'Leary, God bless him, is still flying his Ryanair, albeit on a reduced timetable.
Dublin Airport at the scrake of dawn is never going to be the busiest of places anyway. But on the Sunday morning we flew, it was almost tumbleweed at the check-in counter.
The airport was our first introduction to the face mask. By the time we'd walked through the empty departure lounge - duty free closed, but an eatery open - I felt I was starting to hyperventilate.
There was a fair sized crowd for the plane, mostly Portuguese, zero holidaymakers.
We stood the required two metres apart at the boarding gate which seemed a bit daft given that we were all going to be sitting in closer proximity on board.
I am with my new hero Mr O'Leary, on the silliness of some air travel suggestions.
A woman was seated in our row when we boarded. She swiftly evacuated herself over to join her partner on the other side of the aisle. I assume she thought our seats were free and she could social distance a bit.
Throughout the flight, we wore the masks. If anyone required the loo, they had to signal to air crew first. Since there were no in-flight refreshments available, demand for the facilities was negligible.
We were given forms to fill in with flight number, seat number and our contact details when in Portugal. These were handed over at Arrivals. The country has a good track and trace system.
In Lisbon airport, we wore masks, too. Portugal's new rules mean that anyone entering a shop or place of business must wear a mask. It's really not that bad when you get used to it.
Earlier, the hotel we'd booked into for the night had emailed to say that they were moving us to another in their chain fairly close to our first choice. I assume there were so few bookings, they'd opted to concentrate all guests in the one place.
Again, masks were required inside. There was hand sanitiser everywhere. At the desk, at the lift. I've had more exposure to hand sanitiser recently than Donald Trump.
Portugal is a clean country anyway. The Portuguese have always been hot on hygiene and have embraced the sanitising system with much enthusiasm.
I like to do my own sanitising, but every business you now go into requires you to sluice yourself with spray from a stand at the door before admittance.
In Lisbon, we went to a bar for the first time in ages. Restaurants and bars which serve food are open - with restrictions on customer numbers and adherence to social distancing rules. But it does work.
Pubs which don't do food are still closed.
Before we were allowed in - masks donned - we were checked first by a member of staff with a hand-held thermometer which looked a bit like a small ray gun. We were allowed to proceed.
The menu was available by scanning on your phone a QR code (the wee square barcode thingy). The table, which was spotless anyway, was sanitised when we took our seats.
Obviously in the bar - needing access to mouth - we were allowed to remove our masks.
This is now standard mask procedure in all cafes/bars/restaurants.
You have to wear it when entering and leaving or when going to the loo. Any time you walk about basically.
Again, it takes a bit of getting used to.
In the Algarve where we now are, I stupidly walked into a local cafe without it.
Before the gentlemanly Nuno, who runs the place, could even get the words out to remind me, some know-all seated on the terrace had rushed in to complain. The same old busybody has reported other businesses for other minor infraction of rules.
Don't you just love a tout?
Speaking of terraces, this is of course, the aspect that mainly sets continental eateries apart from our own. The terraces are bigger, the weather's better.
But I still think that at home with hostelries being allowed some more leeway - ie, being allowed to expand a bit on pavements or even in closed-off streets - it would work just as well. Customers could wear coats.
For me, the biggest deal of all - the haircut. Call me shallow, but I really needed that haircut.
The salon (I was their only client at the time) was as normal as... well... normal.
The stylist and I both wore masks and all implements and all surfaces were sanitised relentlessly. Otherwise, it was business as usual. I had to pay in cash though, something I've noticed increasingly in a number small businesses here.
A sign perhaps of how they must be struggling financially.
The clothes shop was reasonably normal, too, in that, like many shops, it now operates a one-way traffic system around the store.
Tricky enough to adhere to though, when you spot that great top which is, unfortunately, down the reverse-arrowed aisle.
The changing rooms were dramatically blocked off with what resembled crime scene tape.
Undeterred, one woman was trying on a bra in the middle of the store. On top of her jumper. Needs must.
I bought a pair of sandals in another shop, but didn't try them on there. I looked for sunglasses in yet another store. Each time, after I'd tried on a pair, the assistant hovering nearby relieved me of them - before submerging them in a tray of disinfectant and then wiping them down. A bit off-putting, yes.
The town we're currently in is what they call a working town. It's not entirely dependent on tourism in the way that resorts like Albufeira are.
But it's obviously taking a big hit from the absence of visitors, too. The smaller cafes seem to be doing a near normal trade with locals. The bigger restaurants much, much less.
We've been in a couple of restaurants where we were the only customers. It's a worrying vision of what may be facing our own local hospitality industry in the weeks ahead.
I had assumed that once bars and restaurants opened their doors, customers would be storming the ramparts. Obviously it's going to be slower. And those sections of our local trade which depend upon visitors will undoubtedly need further help.
Across Europe, countries which are even more dependant upon tourism, like Greece and Spain and, yes, Portugal, are having to face up to a chilly new wind of commercial reality.
Portugal is an object lesson, however, in how with common-sense and responsible behaviour, clear-cut rules and strict adherence to hygiene, it is possible to juggle pandemic restriction with economic resuscitation.
The country has been in the news for the most tragic of reasons, lately - a new development in the case of missing Madeleine McCann.
But Portugal has also been receiving kudos in the international press for the way it has handled the Covid crisis.
At the time of writing, there have been, in the Algarve, 15 deaths in total attributed to the virus. Next door, the great wine-making rural region, the Alentejo, has recorded just one.
Politicians across all parties have pulled together in their approach to the pandemic.
From President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who's been pictured grocery shopping in his shorts and mask, to mayors of towns and cities throughout the country, the message is that Portugal is open for business.
The beaches have just opened. President Marcelo (71) was photographed gamely taking a dip to mark the occasion.
The Portuguese, like the people of Ireland north and south, are friendly, warm, family-orientated, cheery and hard-working. They will get through this.
And the way in which they have managed their successful lockdown relaxation is an image of hope for us, too - a generally positive picture of what lies ahead.
It's a bit weird, yes. But wonderful. And, most important of all, it's workable.
One tip I would pass on, though - start sourcing masks now. I think you're going to need them.