With devastating familiarity, the shrill ring of the telephone brings news of tragedy and disbelief and a community is, once again, shaken to its very core.
Amid the horrific circumstances of violence and sudden death, neighbours and friends spring into action, finding ways to rally round and provide vital comfort for those left behind to grieve.
Helpless shock gives way to bustle and the organisation of practicalities, with the arrangement of funerals. Covid has made all this so much harder.
The people of Cork are no strangers to difficult times, and to rallying around to help those plunged into darkness. So when news began to break of an overnight tragedy in their midst, they no doubt felt completely helpless.
Instead of signalling the gathering of their community, they can now only stand back, powerless to assist in the ways that they would wish to. This latest blow to the community is the second in just a few short months.
In October, devastation came with a double suicide-murder that had been premeditated to "inflict as much suffering and heartbreak on a wife and mother deliberately left behind".
Anne O'Sullivan (60) saw her eldest son Mark (25) ambushed in his bedroom and shot by his father Tadg (59) and younger brother Diarmuid (23), at their farmhouse at Assolas, outside Kanturk.
After shooting Mark with seven bullets from their rifles, the pair walked with apparent calmness to a nearby field and took their own lives.
Mark had been a trainee solicitor and the murder followed by double suicide was sparked by the inheritance of a €2m farm.
At his funeral, Kanturk parish priest Canon Toby Bluitt said the entire community was left devastated by the scale of the heartbreaking tragedy.
"The shock, the numbness, the devastation, was impossible to imagine and the unfolding news of the loss of three lives was incomprehensible," he said.
Not withstanding Cork's status as the largest county in Ireland, it seems that it has been forced to endure a disproportionate number of tragic instances. How much hardship is a community expected to endure?
Tragedy struck the county numerous times before that. In 2013, farmer Martin McCarthy drowned himself after taking his three-year-old daughter, Clarissa, into the sea.
A major land and sea search was launched for the duo when a note addressed to Mr McCarthy's American-born wife, Rebecca (26), was discovered in the milking parlour of the family farm outside Ballydehob in west Cork on March 5 of that year.
Mr McCarthy changed his will just over a week before his death, deliberately excluding his California-born wife, who was 24 years his junior, from inheriting major assets and instead leaving them to family and friends.
In 2010, John Butler (43) took his own life by crashing his car into a ditch after earlier killing his two daughters, Zoe (6) and Ella (2) at the family home in Ballybraher, Ballycotton.
He had been suffering from mental illness and depression for some time.
On the morning of November 16, 2010, Butler was seen buying petrol for a five-gallon drum. One witness said he saw smoke in the car Butler was driving before it crashed into a ditch.
The bodies of the two girls were then discovered in the family home. Ella had been smothered while Zoe had died by strangulation.
Their mother, Una, later spoke of the difficulty of living with someone with mental illness and said partners and spouses should be involved in their treatment, with the first concern being the welfare of children.
The shock death of 11-year-old Robert Holohan came as a body blow in January 2005. The child was killed by his 21-year-old next-door neighbour Wayne O'Donoghue.
His disappearance led to one of the largest searches ever mounted for a missing person in Ireland.
Wayne O'Donoghue joined the search parties combing the local landscape.
Eight days later, Robert's body was found in a ditch near Inch strand, 12 miles from his home.
Within 24 hours of his funeral, O'Donoghue admitted his involvement in his death. He denied murder but admitted manslaughter.
Stretching further back, the notorious murder of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier in 1996 traumatised the community of west Cork after her badly beaten body was discovered at the gate of her holiday home in Drinane outside Schull two days before Christmas.
Ian Bailey has always denied any involvement in the killing and claimed that gardaí tried to frame him.
Today, once again, the people of Cork find themselves facing troubled times.
The most difficult times lie ahead and the comfort of tightly knit communities will struggle valiantly to make itself felt amid the lockdown which has made things even harder.