Battling a killer virus that recognises neither orange nor green. It's the best hope in a political lifetime of uniting the DUP and Sinn Fein in common purpose.
There is no lockdown love-in at Stormont, but, whisper it softly, Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill are working well together on tackling Covid-19 after a very rocky start. Although how long that lasts is another matter.
They've joked that they are spending so much time together they could form their own social bubble when new guidelines for indoor meetings are introduced.
They are certainly putting in the hours. After others have long gone home and Parliament Buildings are locked up, O'Neill and Foster will often still be in their respective party offices late into the night.
Both regularly leave by the tradesman's exit - known in Stormont as 'the slope' - at the back of the building.
Last Friday the DUP issued its proposals to fast-track Northern Ireland out of lockdown. To the surprise of some, it was not a solo run. This week Sinn Fein gave the green light for small shops to reopen on Friday.
That was a significant step for the party. The DUP is instinctively supportive of the business community, but throughout this pandemic the Shinners have adopted an ultra-cautious approach that puts public health and workers' safety first and foremost. Stormont sources say that the party's junior minister in the Executive Office Declan Kearney took considerable convincing before signing up to easing restrictions.
If the Executive has got it wrong and there is a significant rise in infections following the relaxation, Sinn Fein will pay a heavier price among its grassroots than its partner in government will with its base.
The Foster-O'Neill relationship is nowhere near as natural and warm as that enjoyed by Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness. This is a much more businesslike relationship. But there is a determination on both sides not to let potential problems fester.
"If there's an issue on a Saturday night, it won't be left until Monday morning to sort it out," said a source. "It will be a case of working through difficulties as soon as they arise and finding solutions."
The First and Deputy First Ministers text each other and hold video calls via social media. Some have suggested that the two women are making progress now because social distancing has cleared away their male contingents, but that's not the case.
The importance of DUP adviser Dr Philip Weir and his Sinn Fein counterpart in the Executive Office Stephen McGlade can't be over-estimated. "They're linchpins," said an insider. "They're always with Arlene and Michelle. They've a good relationship with each other and with those around them. They're calm and measured."
The contrasting response of London and Dublin in the early days of the pandemic caused friction at Stormont. Sinn Fein spoke out against what it saw as the slavish following of a flawed Westminster strategy that risked lives.
While critics accused the party of cheap political pointscoring - resulting in O'Neill's poll ratings being lower than Foster's - the Shinners' actions were genuine on this one. The disastrous handling of the pandemic by Boris Johnson, and the Dominic Cummings fiasco, means that even the DUP no longer looks to London first. The determination of Wales and Scotland to chart their own separate courses has also made it politically easier for unionists here to do the same.
Stormont's decision to ease lockdown so swiftly after Dublin did is a de facto recognition that an all-island approach is essential, although unionists regularly and rightly point out how Northern Ireland benefits from the UK's generous furlough scheme.
At the daily Stormont Press briefings the First and Deputy First Ministers complement each other. Foster is the more articulate, O'Neill is the more empathetic.
Behind-the-scenes efforts mean DUP-Sinn Fein rows at the Executive table have been avoided, but significant divisions still exist on a range of issues.
Shamefully, there has been no headway on reaching a compromise that would see Troubles victims secure a pension.
Brexit tensions remain too, with Sinn Fein supporting a time extension and the DUP against one. SDLP minister Nichola Mallon forced a vote, which was tied, on the issue at the Executive last week. It will return to the agenda next week, and the result could be different if the Ulster Unionists change their mind.
Yet the biggest Brexit battles are in the rearview mirror. It's Northern Ireland centenary celebrations next year, which could pose the biggest challenge to the DUP-Sinn Fein relationship.
In her phone conversation with the Queen last Wednesday O'Neill said her party's approach to the anniversary "will be to promote reconciliation".
But a week earlier Chris Hazzard MP referred to the "anniversary of the creation of the rotten orange state". Despite improved personal and political relations at Stormont, the huge ideological divisions between the DUP and Sinn Fein remain simmering underneath.