In normal times the streets of Derry would have been thronged with heavyweight world leaders, superstars from the entertainment industry and thousands of "ordinary" people wanting to pay homage to the extraordinary John Hume.
However, they were anything but normal times on Wednesday around St Eugene's Cathedral as the coronavirus robbed the city of the opportunity to give its global statesman, who died in a care home on Monday, the state-like funeral that he deserved.
And in stark contrast to the send-off that hundreds of republicans accorded former IRA man Bobby Storey in Belfast in June, the SDLP and Mr Hume's family tried to observe the pandemic rules to the letter.
That meant only 120 mourners gathered, albeit socially distanced with many wearing face coverings, for Mr Hume's Requiem Mass at the 147-year-old cathedral.
The congregation were mostly family and friends, but Irish President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Micheal Martin, and the First and Deputy First Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill were among the dignitaries, along with prominent members of the SDLP, who just seven months ago buried their former deputy leader Seamus Mallon in pre-coronavirus January.
They may not have arrived together as they did for Mr Mallon's service, but Mrs Foster and Mrs O'Neill both spoke of the importance of recognising the former MP and MEP for his "huge" contributions to political life and peace in Northern Ireland.
There were similar sentiments from other international figures, but instead of attending the service in person, they sent messages for Bishop of Derry Donal McKeown to read out.
A communique from the Vatican praised Mr Hume's "untiring efforts to promote dialogue reconciliation, and peace" and added: "His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the death of John Hume, and sends the assurance of his prayers to his family and to all who mourn his loss."
The Dalai Lama said of Mr Hume: "It was his leadership and his faith in the power of negotiations that enabled the 1998 Good Friday Agreement to be reached. His steady persistence set an example for all of us to follow.
"Although my fellow Nobel laureate is no longer with us, his message about peace and non-violence in the resolution of conflict, no matter how protracted or difficult it may seem to be, will long survive him. He lived a truly meaningful life."
Bill Clinton and U2's Bono also lauded the late politician. But away from the rock stars and the presidents, Wednesday was first and foremost a time for Mr Hume's family to grieve for a father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Sounding remarkably like his father, John Hume's son John junior also echoed a lot of his dad's beliefs about justice in Derry and across the world.
But he injected humour into his address, highlighting his father's insatiable love of chocolate, which he joked had kept the chocolate industry in "healthy profits for years".
He listed a number of confectionery bars that his father devoured, but added: "We often found it odd that a man with the intelligence to win a Nobel Peace Prize could seriously believe that Crunchies were less fattening because they were full of air."
More seriously, speaker after speaker talked of the importance of John Hume's role in ending violence and spoke of the significance of the role that his wife Pat played in cementing peace.
Father Paul Farren said Mr Hume had never lost faith in peace and added: "There are people alive today who would not be alive had it not been for John's vision and his work."
Despite the pleas from the family for mourners to stay away from the cathedral, small knots of people did stand outside the gates in the pouring rain.
One Derry exile travelled nearly 270 miles from his home in Listowel, Co Kerry, just to be there.
Creggan man John Wade, who was with the Irish Defence Forces for 22 years and did six tours of duty with the United Nations in Lebanon, cut a distinguished figure in his blue UN beret, veterans' green jacket, white gloves and medals.
He said: "I made the journey for Mr Hume because we were peacekeepers and he was a peacemaker."
No fewer than seven of Mr Hume's second cousins, who weren't able to get into the cathedral because of the Covid-19 restrictions, donned masks to assemble outside. Their grandmothers and Mr Hume's mother were sisters.
One of the group, Michael Doherty, is a grandson of Mr Hume's legendary aunt Bella, whom he took with him to Oslo when he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998.
He said: "John Hume really was a fighter for peace. He will be sorely missed by the whole city, by the entire island, and indeed by the world."
Another second cousin, John McFadden, said: "This city would have been a backwater if it hadn't been for John, who was a man who backed up his words with actions and kept his promises. On a personal level, he was always very, very close to his family, who meant a lot to him.
"Every time John brought a VIP to Derry like Teddy Kennedy and John Bruton he took them down to see my mother Rosaleen. In fact Bill Clinton was scheduled for a visit but they ran out of time."
His wife Stephanie said: "John was a towering figure across the globe and I know we, and indeed the city of Derry, are all very proud of him. It's just a pity that he's not getting the funeral that he merited."
Harry Nelis was there to thank the former SDLP leader for his work for peace, and on his own behalf. He said: "John Hume was the man who helped to get me a house 35 years ago when I needed to move to a quieter area of Derry.
"He went to school with my brother and he never changed a bit even though he started to move in very influential circles. As for the coronavirus, we're all keeping a distance from one another but we had to be here."
Manus Morrison said: "John was a one-off and we'll never see his like again. And as a Derry City supporter I can't thank him enough for what he did to save the club."
The PSNI maintained a low profile around the cathedral and the stewards were all volunteers who are more usually seen at Derry City games in The Brandywell.
Patsy Bradley said: "We are all very honoured to be here for John. He was as big a fan of the Candystripes as the rest of us. And people seem to forget that as well as coaxing Barcelona to come to Derry, he also used his magic to bring Real Madrid to The Brandywell too."
During the Mass the centre of Derry was even more eerily quiet than usual in lockdown. One shopkeeper said it was because most people had decided to remain at home to watch the live streaming of the funeral service.
At the Guildhall, however, there were long queues of people waiting for it to open so they could sign the books of condolence.
Nearby Paul Doherty, the son of Bloody Sunday victim Paddy Doherty, was conducting a tour for a group of visitors.
But he started off his commentary by saying what Mr Hume had achieved in Derry.
Back at St Eugene's, the people who were outside applauded as Mr Hume's simple wicker coffin was carried from the cathedral before its short journey to the nearby City Cemetery.
The emotional response was too much for Pat Hume, who wept in a funeral car behind the hearse as her daughters rolled down a window to mouth the words "thank-you" to the mourners.