After a hiatus from appearing in public together, Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill were back on the podium together again this week.
Unfortunately, it was to deliver the fairly bleak news that some parts of Northern Ireland are to be subjected to additional restrictions in a bid to bring Covid-19 to heel.
Experts have consistently warned that the coming out of lockdown would be the most dangerous and tricky stage of the pandemic - but was it inevitable that such tough measures would have to be imposed once again?
The first case of the virus in Northern Ireland was confirmed by the Public Health Agency at the end of February.
A number of measures were put in place but the number of cases continued to rise regardless.
As Covid-19 was a new virus, Northern Ireland had neither the technical know-how nor the physical capacity to carry out a comprehensive testing programme. At the same time, aware of the potential damage to the economy and pushback from the public, health officials were reticent to impose a full lockdown until absolutely necessary.
By the time schools were closed and the shutters came down on businesses in March, Northern Ireland had recorded its first Covid-19 death and more than 100 new cases were being confirmed every day. Covid-19 had Northern Ireland firmly in its grip.
Officials struggled to bring the situation under control - huge efforts were made to increase testing capacity, while the health service was completely restructured to prepare it for the projected 15,000 Covid-19 fatalities and, in the main, the public responded well to restrictions put in place.
But despite claims from officials to the contrary, care homes did not receive adequate support at an early enough stage to prevent Covid-19 claiming hundreds of lives. At the latest count, 432 of the 877 Covid-19 deaths recorded by the NI Statistics and Research Agency by September 4 were care home residents. At the peak, 72 homes were dealing with an active outbreak.
Gradually, the numbers of care home residents and staff being diagnosed with Covid-19 began to fall. This was replicated in the community, and slowly the number of deaths and people needing intensive care treatment also started to drop. It was at this time that attention began to turn to moving beyond lockdown.
Experts have consistently warned that this would be extremely challenging, and that the number of cases would rise as people were allowed to move around more freely.
Measures such as face coverings were put in place to try and mitigate against this, but the increase in figures are clearly a cause for concern.
At the start of July, Northern Ireland was recording only a handful of new cases each day but instead of pushing to zero cases, the easing in restrictions continued. Fatigue and complacency have also set in - the public are fed up with the effects of Covid-19 on their lives and a growing number of people are sceptical over the level of danger posed by the virus.
There is a school of thought that younger people should be allowed to get on with their lives as they are at less risk from the virus. However, it is clear it is starting to pervade older age groups - 37% of the total number of confirmed cases over the last seven days were in people 40 years of age and over.
Without drastic action, it's only a matter of time before that translates into more lives lost.
Lindy McDowell Premium
Well, that took a while. Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill has belatedly conceded "regret" this week over how her attendance at the Bobby Storey funeral fiasco undermined public trust in the Assembly's Covid rules.