Covid: Boris Johnson, supermarkets, all of us, need to do our bit – Christine Grahame MSP

Covid, face coverings, social distancing, self-isolation, words forever ingrained in our memory of 2020.

By Christine Grahame
Thursday, 22nd October 2020, 4:45 pm
Will Boris Johnson do the right thing and support people made redundant through no fault of their own? (Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Will Boris Johnson do the right thing and support people made redundant through no fault of their own? (Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

No proper guising, bonfire night a no-go and Christmas perhaps on hold, Lothians in tighter restrictions.

I still have my family “bubble", thank goodness, and it’s a Godsend but it’s back, almost, to darkest March and if we don’t watch ourselves that’s exactly where we will be.

Despite what the First Minister has said, I see my regular supermarket, no names, no pack drill, but you know who you are, has not reinstated direction arrows on the floor, removed the one route to the checkouts and has no-one counting us in and out.

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We’re doing our bit and I hardly see a soul today without a face mask in the supermarkets even wearing it properly, over the nose as well as the mouth.

To supermarkets and a well-kent garden centre, which is also let’s say casual about social distancing, I say why not? Why not bring back those Covid security measures?

If it is to make it all feel more normal then that “normality” may come at a cost and that cost will be giving the virus just what it needs, opportunities to spread.

Like you, of course, I’m desperate to do ordinary things again, to see businesses have a chance to recover but if we all don’t play our part then this whole horrible experience will keep extending.

There are even folk who travelled to Carlisle to watch the Old Firm match in a pub. Not the least bit apologetic, they boasted that football was more important than Covid. I can’t put into print what I really think of them.

Perhaps they should go and join Trump who has a like mentality. At least the flu vaccine shenanigans brought a distraction.

Being as the French say "d’un certain age” (sans circumflex) and don’t the French have a better way of saying “getting on”, I was more than ready for my jag.

First attempt at the drive-through was a nightmare, cars bumper to bumper for miles. I gave up and, you know what, next day it was easy peasy. Arm out the window and bobs your uncle. Straight through in 15 minutes. If you haven’t bothered before, bother now especially as Covid is on the prowl.

Can’t get away from Covid, can we, and in fact the ending of the UK Job Retention Scheme or furlough, with its cheap and weak replacement, will be the final nail in the coffin for some businesses and throw many out of work.

The Scottish government has been giving financial assistance but that well is running dry. You see it can’t borrow, unlike Westminster.

The millions of pounds of support given comes out of a fixed budget, taken from all the other budgets, meaning less to spend on all our public services in the coming months and years.

But borrow the UK government can and must do, for to cut off that financial support to Scotland is callous in the extreme. Supporting working people who are made redundant through no fault of their own is the right thing to do. But when did Boris do the right thing? In the meantime, Manchester may yet declare independence before Scotland.

Christine Grahame is MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale

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