Covid-19: We can dare to hope the worst is behind us – leader comment

As the coronavirus lockdown is eased, we should be optimistic but prepared in case the virus flares up again.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Hope. After long weeks in which many of us have been virtually imprisoned in our own homes, it does finally seem like hope is returning.

As we have taken our first steps out of lockdown, the glorious weather has helped add to the feeling that life is slowly going to get better and return to something like normal – whether it is the old version or a new, improved one that many are now hoping for.

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The relaxation of the rules which came into effect yesterday saw emotional reunions of family members who had kept apart for the sake of themselves and their fellow citizens. Others must still wait to see their loved ones but, if things go well, their time will come too. And on the golf course, play once again commenced with, doubtless, many a wild shank after such a prolonged period of inactivity. It feels like we all really needed this.

The sensible majority who have abided by the extraordinarily draconian restrictions placed, for good reason, on their freedom – thereby reducing the rate of coronavirus infection and enabling Scotland to relax the rules – can congratulate themselves. Nicola Sturgeon was thoroughly justified in saying: “I have never been prouder of this country than I am right now.”

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But, as we all know, this may not yet be over and the virus could flare up again. If it does, we must be resolute and determined, and respond to any requests made of us by the Government. They may not have got everything right but they are doing their best in a difficult situation and it is extremely important that we continue to stick to the plan.

However, right now, there is nothing wrong in holding out hope that maybe, just maybe, we are through the worst and the deadly threat posed by this virus will now gradually reduce, so we are able to shift our focus from trying to save lives to restoring our economy to health.

That would be a fair reward because we have, as a nation, pulled together in a most impressive way. One of the themes of this bleak period has been the upwelling of genuine community spirit.

The crisis has helped us see what we can do when we work together towards a common goal. It is a shame it took a virus that has claimed the lives of 2,331 people in Scotland and hundreds of thousands in the world to realise this, but it should offer hope that we can overcome any remaining trials ahead.

As we tentatively emerge from lockdown, The Scotsman would like to send its best wishes to one and all.

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