Covid rebels who think virus is a myth must do what they’re told – Helen Martin

Amid concern over rising coronavirus infections, everyone needs to do their bit to control its spread, writes Helen Martin.

By Helen Martin
Monday, 14th September 2020, 7:30 am
Campaigners gathered at Holyrood to protest against the imposition of lockdown restrictions (Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)

EVERYONE has known for some time that scientists predicted a second wave of coronavirus this winter. Yet many people behaved and planned their future in the belief that when the first lockdown was eased off, the worst was over. Now many still hold that view, and it’s understandable.

We’re going through a substantial increase in positive testing, but very few deaths so far. More young people are testing positive, but with no symptoms.

However, that could have been the situation back in March or even February, because there was no testing at all. When the virus began to spread to strike the vulnerable and cause many to go through intensive care treatment, it could have been circulating for some time. Is that happening again? We don’t know.

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Certainly, with Westminster limiting family and social gatherings to six and making that a law, when previously they were more casual in restrictions compared to Scotland, that seems a warning.

Yet here, as well as in England, some people are horrified by the potential of another full lockdown.

With businesses closed again, everything from bars and restaurants, venues, trades and retail, a double whammy might lead to collapse. Would more furloughs start again, or not?

Weddings and funerals could be limited, schools closed again, and with a winter repeat, even family Christmas get-togethers could be ruled out.

The economy would be battered again, and the plans under way for Edinburgh’s Underbelly Christmas could be tossed in the bin.

Of course, none of us want all that to happen. . . social life suspended, working and earning opportunities limited, and the toughest of all, another soar in the number of deaths. Along with Brexit, the economy could be worse than ever and recovery could take decades.

All that is depressing and gloomy. It’s not necessarily going to happen, but since we still don’t have an established vaccine or a cure, and even scientists can’t be certain of how the virus and Covid will develop, there is only one option.

We all have to follow the instructions. Linda Bauld, Edinburgh University’s professor of public health, has said there is some public unrest and declining commitment to follow the government’s guidance. She feels there should be more “consequences” for flouting the rules.

Phase 4 of easing the lockdown isn’t happening and new restrictions are coming now. But no government, especially Holyrood, wants another total lockdown. If we still have people (apart from those exempt with health problems) who refuse to wear face coverings and masks, who don’t use hand sanitisers, who have parties or vast gatherings, and ignore distancing, the risk is higher.

Right now, heading back to communal offices is not a positive move. Even construction, involving multiples working together outdoors as well as inside, could be a bit dodgy. It all depends on what Nicola Sturgeon and her health and scientific advisers tell us to do, which includes downloading the Protect Scotland tracing app on our smart phones or tablets.

Some people have an urge to defy the virus and the rules with an optimistic belief that they are immune and it will simply fade out. We all see them in supermarkets, on buses, in parks or beer gardens, or even in campaigning mobs outside Parliament.

But for anyone who hopes to keep their job, enjoy Christmas together, plan a wedding, remain virus free and protect anyone else, reach the point where Covid is passed or cured and have their city and country restored, defiance and rebellion won’t work. Even if some folk don’t vote SNP, hate Nicola Sturgeon, and think Covid is a myth, they just have to do as they are told.

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