Face coverings and life in Phase 3

Monday August 3rd 2020

Christine Grahame


Christine Grahame MSP writes her monthly column for Midlothian View

We are now quite well into Phase 3 as we come out of Lockdown. I have to say in my experience now out and about a bit, that compliance with face coverings is certainly in the high nineties. However, it is easy to forget hand hygiene and I am as guilty as the next. I found myself the other day forgetting to wipe down the shopping trolley and on another occasion forgetting to use the handsanitiser which some (but not all) shops provide. Fortunately, I carry handsanitiser with me and was able to use it as soon as I realised my mistake.

It is also too easy (though I am strict about this) to forget the two metre rule. I watched workmen today being up close and personal with each other, albeit they were in the open air but these individual and unauthorised relaxing of the rules should give us an amber if not red-light warning.

I am now reminding myself that face coverings are only a small part of it. While I am on home-made face coverings, I now possess six, all but one gifted to me by relatives and friends. It’s becoming a bit of a style accessory and personal statement. I have one with lots of cats on it. I have seen grinning skeletons, football teams and of course tartan and saltires. Children (who like dressing up anyway) seem extra keen to wear them, even when not required. But it’s the washing of them at 60 degrees which is tedious but necessary and there are always a few dangling about the house in the process of drying.

While we enjoy some freedoms however, I never forget the businesses still stuck in lockdown: gyms and swimming pools for example. And I do know it’s frustrating for these to remain closed but take swimming pools as an example, that warm moist air is an ideal breeding ground for the virus which doesn’t need much encouragement from us to go forth and multiply.

Then there is also the topical issue of holidays abroad and the fact that at any moment you might find yourself required to quarantine on return but the First Minister has said time and time again that any country might find itself on the banned list as the R value rises there.

She has stressed that a Staycation is an excellent option and indeed visiting your own locale might be refreshing, supporting local businesses, exploring walks and cycle routes, and knowing that quarantining is a distant problem. Think of all the places near your home you have never visited and why not give them a go? You might be surprised at what you have missed and is right under your nose.

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