Colin Beattie looks back at 2020

Tuesday December 22nd 2020

Colin Beattie MSP
Colin Beattie MSP, Midlothian North & Musselburgh, writes his monthly column for Midlothian View

I think it is fair to say that 2020 has been a year like no other for all of us. I doubt there is anyone who hasn’t been affected by Coronavirus, and the turmoil, worry, sadness and isolation which it has brought. This year, we have lost almost 6,000 Scots to the virus and there will be many families heartbroken with the loss of loved ones this year – we should keep in mind all those who will be struggling through a first Christmas without someone special.

Whilst this year has undoubtedly presented the greatest challenges we have faced as a nation since World War 2, it has really proven what our country is made of and we have seen our communities come together in an extraordinary way. Amongst the loneliness and isolation, there have been neighbours making sure that no one was alone and checking in on those around them, and community councils and volunteers playing their part in helping strangers get access to essential items. During the uncertainty and fear, we have seen doctors, nurses, carers, hospital staff and many others risk their lives to save the lives of others. Though it may not seem like it, even those who have followed the rules and stayed at home this year are also heroes in their own quiet way, as they have prevented spread of the virus and in turn protected others.

When I think back to 2020, I hope to remember how it pulled our communities together, and how people prioritised putting others before themselves. We have seen some true acts of kindness and we all found ways to connect with one another, even though we couldn’t necessarily be together in person.

We have lots to look forward to in 2021 – the pleasure of meeting family and friends again, and getting back into routines such as attending sports clubs, music groups and other social networks. I’m optimistic that 2021 will provide us with the opportunity to get back to our normal lives, just with a bit more appreciation for that which we may have taken for granted in the past.

I understand the huge sacrifices that my constituents have made this year to save lives, and I would like to express my gratitude to all those who have worked so hard to stick to the rules. I know it’s not been easy, but I hope that people can see that this will have significantly slowed the spread of the virus and in turn saved others.

I hope that all my constituents have a wonderful festive period. I would like to wish you all Merry Christmas, and a peaceful New Year. Let’s all be hopeful that 2021 will provide us with a better year, and let’s have faith in the future in front of us.

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