For Michael Murphy and Donegal, the weekend was to be about an Ulster championship opener against Tyrone.

Yes, a standout encounter that many hoped would enliven the early days of summer fare. Instead, all GAA venues are empty as we continue to grapple with Covid-19. 

The obvious go-to question for sportspeople in these times is to ask how they are coping?

Many of the responses are similar, but Murphy compartmentalised his experiences in three stages. 

Speaking on The Sunday Game, the 2012 All-Ireland winner said: "Firstly there was an element of freshness about it in that you could spend time at home. You got to do jobs that you would not be able to do before because the time spent as an inter-county football.

"The middle three or four weeks was difficult. You have so much structures as an inter-county player and you only realise that when you come out of it. You train these certain days at these certain times.

"In rural Ireland it's massive that we get our pitches open; it's the hub of everything that goes on in communities around Ireland"

"All of a sudden that is taking away from you and you then have to try and fend for yourself - train by yourself and use what's around you at home to make that happen.

"You then realise the support you do get as a footballer

"Then you set a new routine, a new structure around yourself and you just get stuck into it. However, the difficult part for us players, the management and supporters is that we all want a definitive date to come back and to play football and watch the games.

"That is not possible at the moment. We are just going to have to try and live with this virus for a little while longer. Hopefully, slowly and gradually we can get club pitches back open again. 

"In rural Ireland it's massive that we get our pitches open; it's the hub of everything that goes on in communities around Ireland."   

Also on the programme was Tomás Ó Sé, who praised the approach taken by the GAA with regard to a resumption of activities.

"I'd love to see the pitches back open but we'll go back when we are told by the health authorities," he explained.

"I thought John Horan spoke very well last week. It's very hard to commit to anything when there is social distancing.

"If you open up the pitches it has to be manned properly. There is a danger that it could explode into something that is not really safe. I'm in charge of a minor team in Cork. You are trying to keep them fresh by coming up with new ideas, but then are these Zoom meetings too intense if you don't know when you'll be back?

"I think the GAA have given themselves time and have covered themselves well. If they can start before October they will."