Covid vaccine: Scientists' extraordinary work is helping us get out of this crisis. Make sure to get your jab – Christine Grahame MSP

Beginning today, some Covid restrictions are being relaxed. Four people from two different households can meet outside and for 12 to 17-year-olds, the two-household limit won’t apply.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 7:00 am
Scientists managed to produce Covid vaccines much faster than many people expected (Picture: Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images)

Communal worship will be able to restart from Friday 26 March, in time for Passover, Easter, Ramadan and Vaisakhi with a capacity limit of 50 if social distancing is possible.

These are just a couple of examples in what is a cautious progress to some “normality”. Most of us, of course, have stuck by the tough measures so it made my blood boil when I saw the idiots carrying on, many fueled by booze, “celebrating” Rangers winning the Premiership.

Now I know many, many fans did the right thing and did not risk catching, then spreading the virus but too many did not.

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Just think what will happen if just a few of them take Covid home with their hangover? I have no printable words for their actions when I know through my casework of the many who have lost their businesses, some their homes or been confined indoors for a year.

One year, yes it’s one year tomorrow since that first confirmed Covid death in Scotland on March 14, 2020.

As of March 9, 2021, there had been 7,441 deaths in Scotland and 124,797 across the UK of people who had had a positive Covid test. Each one a life cut short, families, and friends grieving.

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They are not forgotten so the Scottish Parliament, as a mark of respect and reflection, will on March 23 pause at 12pm for a minute’s silence. Later there will be a statement by the First Minister who is also discussing with UK Covid Families for Justice how best the nation can mark this sad moment in our history, remembering all who have died or are suffering from long-Covid, and those who have served us all tirelessly for this long year.

For myself, I will dig out the wee diary I kept the first 12 weeks when I was confined to home (being of a certain age.) Those days, when you were scared to touch anything, when you put the deliveries in the sink and wiped them down with bleach and none of us knew about the importance of masks are fresh in the memory but the diary will bring that closer.

I remember the unexpected emotion hearing clapping from the surrounding tenements. Then I was not a dab hand at Teams or Zoom, which I am now and can Skype family at will. I resisted online banking but now do Bacs transfers and cash is almost a thing of the past. And yes, I am now familiar with Amazon.

I do have a “bubble” with my grandchildren and family, the only human beings I have had physical contact with (like many of you).

I don’t want to contemplate where we would be now without the vaccine. Yet isn’t it extraordinary that scientists, now rightly front stage, have delivered within a timescale way beyond our expectations?

As of March 9, 1,789,377 Scots had received their first vaccination, quite an extraordinary achievement by any measure. The pace will continue, dependent as always on supplies; there is no shortage of vaccinators. Make sure you take yours when offered.

Christine Grahame is SNP MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale

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