Covid Scotland: There are bigger threats to our future than Omicron but SNP can't be trusted to deal with them – John McLellan

Through most of the pandemic, checking the latest data was an almost daily chore as I tried to make sense of what was unfolding, and I suspect I wasn’t alone.

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 12:30 pm
The protection afforded by Covid vaccines means the government should not focus on the economy, education and social issues (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Studying Public Health Scotland’s ever-changing patchwork quilt of the city as districts moved from deep purple through mauve to white had a macabre fascination in helping to weigh up whether it was safe to go outside.

Of course, we now know it was always safe to go outside, it was just badly ventilated interiors which were the big problem, but it was only after months of extreme lockdown that it became apparent.

I’ve given up looking in recent weeks as the omnipresence of Omicron makes it pointless, and indeed a glance yesterday shows the patchwork is now a deep purple blanket and the seven-day positive rate of 1500 per 100,000 is far, far beyond the heights of the first and second waves.

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But the intensive care and death rates are the opposite. The vaccines are doing their jobs, the levels of serious illness should be manageable and the indications from both London and South Africa is that Omicron does not pose anything like the same threat as its predecessor variants.

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The bigger threats to our futures are economic, educational, and social, and the Army can’t be called in to fix that.

But with falling educational achievement, a stagnating economy with ambitions to stutter, and widening social division manipulated for political advantage, the Scottish government’s record over the past 14 years suggests it can’t either.

John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston

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