It's been three years since the World Health Organisation declared a COVID-19 pandemic and the Irish government took the unprecedented step of shutting down the country to control the spread.
In March 2020, no one was to know exactly how the pandemic would affect the country and how long it would be in lockdown.
To date in Ireland more than 8,700 people have died of the virus, while the global figure is over 6.8 million.
Although infection is still a risk, the country has largely returned to normal.
Now, the COVID-19 pandemic is over, according to Professor Luke O’Neill, who says we've finally entered an endemic phase.
Professor of Comparative Immunology at Trinity, Cliona O'Farrelly, told The Anton Savage Show that the reduction in the virus' risk is due to milder strains and vaccines.
"There are people still getting really sick and dying from it , but absolutely not at the huge numbers right at the beginning", she said.
"It's really a combination of the vaccines have been absolutely a game-changer and then omicron causing milder infection."
"An awful lot of people have also been infected, even on top of vaccine, unfortunately while it's achieved a huge amount, it doesn't seem to stop infection in everybody."
Three years on, experts have had time to reflect on what we should take from the pandemic.
According to Prof O'Farrelly, one of the big lessons is that good communication is key in combatting disinformation.
"How do we maintain public trust in the science and what can be done, what can be achieved", she said.
"I think we're still on the ground slopes of really understanding how to communicate around these huge public health issues."
She said, however, that the average level of understanding of complex science by the general public was "impressive".
"Journalists achieved an awful lot by engaging in really great discussions, I think, with the medics, with scientists, with virologists", she added.
Prof Farrelly says that another reason Ireland was able to make "good decisions" overall was that we were connected to other countries throughout the crisis.
"Nearly everyone in Ireland has relatives living in another country - in Europe, UK, Africa, China, Australia", she said.
"We talk an awful lot and so we were hearing an awful lot about what was happening in other countries."
"So I think overall we made good decisions partly because of that, because of the scientific literacy and the connectivity."
Main image shows Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar arriving on the roof of Trim Castle Hotel on the first day of the Fine Gael Think 2021. Picture by: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie