Football is the furthest thing from Connor Scully’s mind just now.
Scully is one of the key workers keeping hospitals and schools functioning during the coronavirus pandemic. His job, plus the health of his loved ones, take priority.
The Cove Rangers midfielder works as a mobile engineer for Robertson Facilities Management. If there are maintenance issues at those establishments on the frontline of the crisis, Scully and his colleagues in the north-east need to be on hand.
He does not seek any extra praise for merely doing what he is paid to do. There is an element of fear, inevitably, because of the invisible nature of the virus, but he knows he is doing what he needs to do.
“If anything breaks down we’ve still got to be there,” said Scully. “If something breaks in a doctor’s surgery or a hospital, we have to be on hand to fix it. It’s hard going out in the morning sometimes.
“It’s the unknown. This virus is invisible. You’re going into these places masked up, gloves on and washing your hands all the time. It’s quite scary. You try as much as possible not to touch anything. But this is what we get paid to do.
“I’ve not really been thinking about it (football). I’m more concerned about my health and everyone else’s just now. I miss the lads but the main thing is about keeping safe.”
Scully has a young family at home in Aberdeen so his concerns are understandable. Social distancing is – or should be – paramount in everyone’s minds at this time, when minimising the spread of the virus is pivotal.
“We’re not allowed to work in twos any more because of social distancing,” added Scully. “We’ve been given a load of PPE (personal protection equipment) and soap in our vans. Schools are shut just now so there’s a lot of things work has adjusted to.
“Work have been fantastic. They give us daily updates, conference calls every second day keeping updated. We’re classed as essential workers just now; we’re going into schools where kids of NHS workers are still going. You need that clarity.
“It’s good to have that when people are going through some very difficult things with their work. I’m feeling lucky.”
Football seems like long way off just now. It has been postponed at all levels in Scotland until April 30, which in reality is just a holding date for when things can be reviewed again. No-one expects to be playing again at the start of May.
Contact remains with his Cove team-mates during these strange and unimaginable times. The players feel a responsibility to look out for one another’s mental health, which can be negatively affected by prolonged periods of isolation.
“Everyone is going to have a different aspect of it. Some people are OK at work and some aren’t,” said Scully. “Some have got company at home and some haven’t. You’ve got to try, as a group, to keep each other occupied and laughing, which is the best thing to do in a situation like this.
“You go home, turn on the news and it’s all you see. I’ve still got my routine but some people might have a problem keeping themselves occupied. If you’re by yourself in the house, that can take a hit your mental health.”