Greetings from Covid Town… it seems I am living in the epicentre of a coronavirus outbreak here in sunny Stonehaven.
With rising dismay, I watched business after shop after tourist attraction announce they were shutting their doors following either positive tests or simply as a precaution.
They were doing the right thing, no matter how painful for the business involved.
Is there fear and loathing of Covid on the streets of Stonehaven?
After all, looking after the wellbeing and safety of your staff and customers must always come ahead of any other consideration. But my heart goes out to those who have lost days’ worth of business, just at a time when things looked like they were getting back on an even keel.
Individual business are taking action
I fervently hope once the closed places reopen, people will flood back to support them, recognising the sacrifice they have made to keep us safe.
And how have things been on the ground in my wee town? Is there fear and loathing of Covid on the streets of Stonehaven? Eh, not really. Folk have just been getting on with their lives, while feeling heartily sorry for the folks affected and hoping no one gets too sick.
It seems to me what happened in Stonehaven set a template of how the future for everyone in the country might look. Instead of state-sanctioned national or regional lockdowns, individual businesses take action themselves to protect people.
As restrictions ease and people mingle more, it is inevitable that Covid cases will rise.
They are now at a point that in the past a lockdown would be following swiftly. Only this time it isn’t. Nor should it.
As long as the vaccine wall holds and hospital admissions don’t go skyrocketing and the death rate soaring, then we do need just to get on with things.
That is, after all, the point of a vaccination programme.
On the brink of the ‘living with Covid’ phase
It’s not just down to businesses, though. Individuals need to be responsible, too. If you’ve not been vaccinated, why not? Get yourself along to a drop-in clinic, there are plenty of them.
If you’re due your second shot, then don’t delay. Go and do it.
Even if the restrictions change, I will continue to be cautious. I’m not ready to hang up my mask anytime soon
Even once you are double vaxxed, you still need to be sensible. After my second jag, I had a brief feeling of invincibility. That waned along with the dawning realisation that I could still contract Covid and still spread it.
Which is why I wear a face covering, wash my hands regularly, sanitise them even more often, and socially distance. Even if the restrictions change, so it becomes a choice rather than an edict, I will continue to be cautious. I’m not ready to hang up my mask anytime soon.
We are on the brink of the “living with Covid” phase of this pandemic, when the state stops telling us what to do and individuals make their own decisions. Make them wise ones.
Scott Begbie is entertainment editor for The Press & Journal and Evening Express