Lockdown, introduced in Northern Ireland on March 23, was about saving lives through containing the spread of coronavirus. That proved highly successful, with the province performing better than any other region of these islands.
Now the focus is on saving the high street and kick-starting the economy. Will that bear similar positive results? Even the most optimistic forecasters admit that it could be a long slog.
With 240,000 people here currently furloughed and the return to any sort of normality showing only tentative green shoots, our months in lockdown have conditioned many people to a new lifestyle.
Take something as basic as food shopping. Such was the demand for home deliveries that even grocery giants such as Tesco and Asda were hard-pressed to give delivery dates within a week of the order being placed.
Market research agency Mintel revealed that online grocery sales in the UK increased by about a third and warned that recent changes in shopping habits may be long-lasting.
Even those of a venerable age forced to stay inside because of their vulnerability to the virus have learned enough basic technology skills to obtain the essentials of life.
But surely, with all shops now able to open - although not all have done so - customers will want to go back to the high street?
Stroll around any large store and you will find social distancing is not a problem.
Consumer confidence has been dented by the transmissible ease of the virus, and the wearing of face masks in shops may reinforce their concerns over the new normal.
Online shopping has advantages - greater choice, cheaper prices, long-term returns policies - but also disadvantages - you cannot feel or try on garments before buying and repackaging and returning products can be a hassle. The concern is, how many bricks and mortar retailers will be left on the high street?
Being forced to stay indoors for three months has, with some minor exceptions, been a boon for many people. No more rising early and battling the rush hour to get to work, spending more time with family and saving money have been not inconsiderable benefits.
Life suddenly was lived at a slower pace.
Homes and gardens got makeovers and people met their neighbours, often for the first time, even if it was at a safe distance.
But that change of lifestyle was fine for those able to work from home and continue to earn a living. Others were not so lucky. They have to get back out into the world if their jobs are still there - and that is not a given.
EY chief economist Neil Gibson recently warned that Northern Ireland would be very fortunate to avoid seeing 100,000 people unemployed by the end of the year.
That is almost a doomsday figure for an economy which had the lowest unemployment rate on these islands - and lower than the EU average - before the virus arrived.
He urged all of us to make an effort to support local retailers to ensure that the worst economic forecasts don't become a reality.
We asked three writers to give us their reaction - would they reach for their credit cards now that the high street is open for business, or would their more frugal lifestyle retain its appeal?
Northern Ireland's Mr Showbiz Paul Martin says that we all have a civic duty to spend, spend, spend!
Somewhere between the untamed revelry of a lavish dinner at the Merchant Hotel, ordering a consignment of champagne from my local wine merchant and an adrenaline-fuelled luxury hotel booking blitz, my bank manager must have had a mini heart attack.
And that was just for starters. More cash carnage quickly followed. We were out of lockdown and into a spending frenzy.
In the matter of minutes, a night at the North Coast's most decadent B&B, The Carrick, flights for a luxurious London weekend and cocktails with journalist pals in a Belfast jazz bar were hastily arranged.
Some would call my spree "splashing the cash". I prefer to brand it as "sharing the love". And I make no apologies for it.
It should be our collective civil duty to put our money where our mouth is now that we're escaping lockdown. Doing the right thing, they call it.
Just as we rightly showed restraint during lockdown, we must now indulge a little frivolity with the purse strings as life returns to a new normal.
I'll admit that after months of placing orders with a robot called Amazon on a computer screen, I'm overjoyed to impart my hard-earned money to some real human beings with stories right here in Northern Ireland.
Humans with faces. Humans with words. Humans with families and tales of troubling times. Humans whose businesses have somehow, against all odds, survived a shambolic fall from grace and emerged triumphant once again to keep the Northern Ireland community in full and vigorous swing.
These people aren't just business owners. Many of them are my friends, my favourite chefs, my trusted hotel owners - and I'm rooting for them.
If splurging the showbiz bank account is helping to play a small part in their comeback, it's the least I can do.
I have no doubt that there's probably some fancy medical term for the phenomenon I'm experiencing. Let's call it spend-escape-osis for now (I'll run it by my doctor girlfriend Jenny later).
Essentially, my flashing the cash is a reaction to being cooped up for so long, but it's also a joyful celebration of life.
Touching clothes in a Lisburn Road boutique, rather than staring at them on a laptop screen, has encouraged me to indulge in a wardrobe revamp.
Be under no illusions, I understand that the real struggles of everyday life must always come first.
I too have to put a roof over my children's heads and food on their table.
But like many in Northern Ireland, I'm also lucky enough to have a disposable income and I'm determined that every last penny of it should go into rejuvenating our local economy and showing solidarity with business owners who have suffered an excruciatingly stultifying year at the hands of this pernicious virus.
In my case, the spending has perhaps gone a few digits higher than I would have hoped but, my goodness, it feels great.
That's in no small part down to a long-overdue visit from my Miami girlfriend Jenny Krieger, who has been fighting the pandemic on the front lines of her Florida hospital - a hotspot of carnage and hapless government errors that have seen cases soar in recent weeks.
Despite the fact Jenny can test herself daily, she still completed the obligatory two-week self-isolation and then we went on the mother of all spending sprees to celebrate our new-found freedom after being kept apart for three months.
We dined out in every corner of this beautiful land, rested our weary heads in Northern Ireland's fantastic hotels and sipped jovial drinks in the beautiful bars that furnish our city streets.
You see, coming out of lockdown has sparked a spend, spend, spend narrative that we must all buy into.
They say that for every action there's a reaction. In this case, the reaction to months of stifled living is to buy our way to what we perceive as freedom.
So, while my bank balance may have been looking a little less healthy these past couple of weeks, it's worth every impulse buy to see some life returning to our economy. Money can't buy happiness, but it sure can help share the love.
And that's something we can all buy into.
THE DAMAGE FOR JULY
EATING OUT £820
COCKTAILS IN BARS £210
CHAMPAGNE FOR DINNER PARTIES £210
TAXIS ON NIGHTS OUT £80
GYM MEMBERSHIPS £40
PETROL / ROAD TRIPS £320
Dad-of-three Alex Kane has discovered more family time is invaluable.
When lockdown began, I remember wondering how we'd fill our days once the novelty wore off. What would we do if we couldn't just pop into shops when we felt like it; or mix with people; or not hug and shake hands; or take the holiday we had planned and saved for; or have a date night involving a meal and a movie; or attend a social function or sports event; or run out of box-sets and the dozens of programmes we had saved and never got round to watch?
Crucially, I wondered what would happen to families who found themselves stuck in a house with each other for weeks, maybe even months, on end.
For me, lockdown was a life-changing revelation. I have three children - Megan (21), Lilah (10) and Indy (3) - whom I love very much, but I soon discovered that I didn't actually know the older two as well as I thought I did.
That's because they have lives of their own; university, school, friends, clubs, birthday parties, viewing preferences and so on.
My main function often seemed to be to get them from A to B and back again.
But we have learned a lot about each other since March, because we have shared time and chores and pastimes. I have learned from them and they have learned from me.
And because we have far more shared meals than ever before, we have had far more expansive conversations.
Indy has also benefited enormously because he gets to see all of us all the time.
Modern technology is a wonderful thing, especially for keeping in contact with friends and family. Yet I quickly discovered that no amount of technology makes up for the absence of their physical presence.
I miss my broader family. I miss my friends. I'm sick of the unsightly angles and muffled sounds of Skype and Zoom. I want to be in the same room again.
That said, I don't miss the weekly shop and the regular astonishment at the cost and how so much junk ends in our trolley (and how much was thrown out a week later because it was impulse purchase).
Online shopping has made us more aware of what we're buying, and we're saving about £200 a month. I think that's something we'll continue to do.
Also, we do more cooking - especially cakes, smoothies, fresh vegetables and soups - which is far healthier than the processed stuff we would have piled into the trolley.
I think it's likely that we'll also organise more family events. We always talked about it, but rarely agreed on times. But the enforced separation has made us realise how important we are to each other and also how much the children - nine altogether - miss each other. I think our unofficial policy is now one of shared food and shared craic, with all screens and mobiles placed in a box at the front door.
I've no particular desire to jump on a plane or ferry for a family holiday. A day here and there - maybe a weekend or two - around Northern Ireland is fine. I don't need pictures of us standing in front of the Eiffel Tower or Monument Valley and worrying about timetables and tourist 'must-do' events. There's enough on our own doorstep, much of which we've never properly explored or appreciated.
Surprisingly, perhaps, fly-away holidays are probably cheaper, yet my experience is that if you've children in tow, you don't actually do all that much. Anyway, right now, I want to support the local economy.
I can understand why some people just want to get outside again and do anything that involves leaving lockdown behind. But much of what I've learned since March is what I want to keep as part of my life.
I wouldn't say it has made me a better person, as such, but it has taught me to appreciate what I always had but never really prioritised. I'm happier now.
Mum-of-two Heidi McAlpin says she hasn't spent much on herself during the past few months, but it's a different story for her teenage daughter, Scarlett.
My purchasing habits haven't changed much during lockdown. I've never been one of life's big spenders, so the lure of impulse online purchases has, thankfully, eluded me as I spent hours indoors clamped to the computer screen for work and entertainment.
When I do flash the cash, though, I tend to go big or stay home. And by that, I mean I'm happy to spend money on holidays and meals out rather than hairdos, make up and the latest fashions (as anyone who knows what I look like will testify).
For me life's all about experiences rather than objects. The same, however, cannot be said for my teenage daughter, Scarlett, who has singlehandedly revived the fortunes of the high street. Or, more specifically, Ikea.
It all began with her being cooped up in her bedroom for several weeks of schoolwork, playtime and downtime. And it seemed the never changing scene of piled up clothing and discarded toys inspired her to get tidying. Yes, you heard right. A teenage girl actually tidying her own room! We're talking full on Marie Kondo (that's a Japanese cleaning queen, for all you uninitiated types), as trousers and tops got rolled and stowed with all the detailed precision of a serial killer.
There's nothing sends a shiver up your spine more than opening a drawer and seeing row after row of colour-coordinated leggings and t-shirts staring back. Like that scene from Sleeping With The Enemy when Julia Roberts opens the larder to a display of food with all the labels facing forward.
This was all laudable stuff, but Scarlett had only just begun. After the clean-up came the desire to upgrade her wardrobe to a three-door affair complete with bespoke shelving and drawer system. "Just like Maria Kondo, mum".
So off we headed to join the ravenous hordes queuing at the newly opened Swedish mecca. Carefully drafted design in hand, we assumed the position at the computer terminal as a friendly assistant turned storage dreams into flatpack reality. "How much is all that, then?" I asked cheerily. After all, Ikea is renowned for its bargain prices. "£492. That's including the Komplement pull out trouser hangar and extra tall doors."
Once I had lifted myself from the floor, I crumpled in the face of minimalist living and stumped up the cash.
The next couple of days saw dad wrestling with baskets, knobs and two-metre-high doors to build the wardrobe of Scarlett's dreams. And, thankfully, her bedroom remains reassuringly clutter-free.
As someone who doesn't spend, it has been the biggest purchase of lockdown, but one which, hopefully, will provide years of floordrobe-free bliss.
Aside from the big lockdown wardrobe bonanza, we have treated ourselves to a couple of nights staycationing in Fermanagh and the Sperrins.
A subterranean trip to the Marble Arch Caves, eating out in freshly reopened cafes and restaurants (still can't get used to that) and overnights at Enniskillen's delightful Dromard House B&B and quirky Sperrin View glamping pods cost us around £350 for a family of four excluding petrol.
Now that, to me, is proper tidy.
And not much change with lockdown spending means a bit more change in my wee purse. Wardrobes notwithstanding.