- Kenny MacAskill
Vaccination rollout has rightly prioritised the elderly. Age and underlying health conditions were the key risk factors for mortality.
Health and social carers have also been addressed but minds are also correctly turning to other vulnerable groups, whether retail workers, teachers or police. It’s not just for them but for the piece of mind of their families when they go to work.
However, more generally there has to be recognition of the needs of young people. For sure they’re less likely to contract it and mortality figures for them are low. But the risk of long term ill-health remains and more importantly quality of life has been sorely affected.
It has for us all but they’re at such a critical stage in their life that it matters even more. Being a child of the 60s I recall what may be viewed as halcyon days though for sure not all were. There were still troubles but nothing like this and its time that we focussed on the rights of the young.
Years ago on a family holiday in Croatia I recall listening to a young woman in a café telling us how her education had been disrupted for years by war and siege. I never thought it could happen here but it has. It’s why getting young people back to school’s essential. It has to be phased as the risk to them, staff and indeed all of us, is too great to do otherwise. But getting them back as soon as possible’s still vital.
But development for youngsters isn’t just educational but social. Interacting with friends, exploring and socialising are equally necessary. Yet from playgroups to meeting pals, never mind a future life partner they’ve been constrained. They need to get their lives back, so maybe its time they were prioritised.
Kenny MacAskill is the Scottish National Party MP for East Lothian