Just when you thought it was time to ease up on Covid

Monday November 29th 2021

Christine Grahame MSP in Parliament Main


Christine Grahame MSP writes her monthly column for Midlothian View

Just when you thought it was time to ease up on Covid, along comes a variant which we know is more transmissible but don’t yet know what damage it can do.

We are not thankfully back to square one but must redouble our attention to hand sanitizing, wiping down trolleys and of course wearing face coverings and wearing them properly. I say this because on my outings to some supermarkets and shops I see from some folk a casual approach towards keeping to these measures. I don’t believe for one moment all of them are “exempt”. It is such a selfish attitude and perhaps some is as a consequence of that great encyclopedia “The Internet” with postings that it is all a conspiracy, that face coverings are a waste of time, that it is all turning Scotland, the UK and the wider world into a police state.

What does it take to see that every nation on the planet has the same concerns and the same efforts to control the virus? What does it take for some folk to see the stress and strains on the health service? There are constituents with delayed operations because beds are taken up with Covid pattens. We have staff on their knees after nearly two years of this. Yet still I hear from Covid deniers, vaccine deniers.

The statistics disclose that the majority of those hospitalized through Covid are not vaccinated. Yes, you can still catch Covid but not as badly. Yes, you can transmit it but that is reduced. And we are yet to know fully the long-term health impact of Covid on an individual.

My goodness do I want a “normal” Christmas? Of course, I do. Do I want to be able to have open surgeries at Tesco? Of course, I do. Do I work half my time from my office at the top of the stairs? Yes. I haven’t seen some of my family in person for over a year – just like you. But I am sticking with the evidence of the clinicians. I am sticking with the government’s rules. I don’t want another lockdown at any time of the year, let alone Christmas, which would be just dreadful for us all and for businesses just getting to their feet again.

So, my message is simple: get vaccinated, get wearing face masks, get washing hands and wiping down those trolleys for goodness’ sake.

Well now that’s off my chest, I am pleased to say that the MoD has completed (and not before time) an about-turn on the proposed closure of Glencorse barracks. Not only was it a daft idea from the start having been there since 1803 and firmly rooted in the community, in mid-2000 £60 million was spent on modernizing it. Indeed, just recently with the fiasco of the US retreat from Afghanistan we saw the value of our troops in trying to restore order and their compassion in dealing with desperate people. I congratulate all who campaigned for its continuation.

Now let’s all campaign together to fight Covid and to ensure that less well-off nations have their fair share of vaccines. Omicron has reminded us that we truly are, world-wide, all in this together.

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