Northern Ireland has recorded its fourth consecutive day without a Covid-19 death.
The figures should be treated with caution but it is still a positive milestone in what has been an overwhelmingly bleak period in which more than 700 people have lost their lives to the virus and countless more are suffering from the impact of the lockdown.
When Covid-19 first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of last year, few people in Northern Ireland gave it a second thought. Like Ebola and SARS before it, Covid-19 seemed like an exotic anomaly that would never reach our shores.
But as it began hurtling towards Europe and its devastating effects were seen in the likes of Italy and Spain, suddenly reality set in that Northern Ireland would not escape the virus.
Emergency planning was already under way with experts working hard to establish the likely effects of Covid-19. However, as a novel coronavirus, knowledge of the virus was limited and projections relating to infection levels and the potential death toll could only be based on the experience of other countries already impacted.
Nevertheless, as a vital part of pandemic planning, a team of scientists, doctors and mathematicians were tasked with the important piece of work to allow officials to best prepare for the arrival of the virus here.
At the same time, a public awareness campaign was launched to encourage people to take precautions that would reduce the transmission rate of Covid-19.
As part of this, the Health Minister seemed to rely on predicted fatalities to illustrate how important it was that the public strictly adhere to everything that was being asked of them, no matter how extreme the guidelines appeared to be.
In March, he said: "If we fail as a community to take the necessary action to slow down the transmission of the virus, up to 80% of the Northern Ireland population could be infected during this pandemic.
"If all the public health advice is ignored, in a worst-case nightmare scenario and with a fatality rate of 1%, then that could mean up to 14,000 to 15,000 lives lost."
He described a surge of "biblical proportions", while some of the most senior doctors in Northern Ireland said it was likely that access to critical care would be rationed.
The British Medical Association even drew up ethical guidelines for doctors which warned that, in the event that hospitals became overwhelmed, frontline workers in the pandemic response would receive priority treatment.
By this stage, the virus was spreading out of control and we were told the only way to get a grip of it was by implementing a series of drastic interventions.
Schools were closed with parents asked to take on the role of teacher at home, businesses pulled down their shutters and people were told to stay indoors.
The lockdown has, of course, had disastrous consequences for the economy, for mental health, for hospital waiting lists and for families who have been torn apart for the last 12 weeks.
In a particularly cruel twist, people across Northern Ireland have been separated from their loved ones in their final hours, saying goodbye through iPads and over the telephone, with only a handful of people allowed to attend funerals. And yet, with the potential for 15,000 deaths without such drastic measures, all the sacrifices were easier to accept.
Certainly, throughout the pandemic, the message from the Department of Health has remained the same.
Covid-19 is highly infectious, it is deadly - particularly to older people with pre-existing health conditions, and social distancing is necessary to save lives, if not our own then the lives of those more susceptible to the virus.
Now we are moving beyond the first surge and attentions are turning to lifting the lockdown in a way that will suppress the virus and prevent a second peak.
However, as a semblance of normal life resumes and more people are coming into contact with one another, it is absolutely crucial that complacency doesn't set in.
Now is perhaps one of the most dangerous moments in the pandemic to date as a second peak, particularly during the winter months, would be catastrophic.
But the battle has been dealt a huge blow with the revelation that Robin Swann chose not to make public the best-case scenario death toll of 250.
It has also transpired that he did not reveal that experts had said the predicted loss of 15,000 lives was not realistic. The timing could not have been worse.
In response, the Department of Health has said publishing the best and worst cases - both deemed unrealistic - would have sent out mixed messages at a crucial time.
And can Mr Swann really be criticised for his decision, particularly if it saved lives?
The real issue here is the danger this revelation poses to the future pandemic response as the minister, who until this point has been lauded for his honesty, is now faced with the possibility that the public may not believe him in the months ahead.