Covid: Why Nicola Sturgeon is right to be anxious – Scotsman comment

As the global number of coronavirus cases continues to grow, Scotland must realise the threat has not yet passed.
Nicola Sturgeon has warned a second coronavirus lockdown is possible (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/PA WireNicola Sturgeon has warned a second coronavirus lockdown is possible (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/PA Wire
Nicola Sturgeon has warned a second coronavirus lockdown is possible (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/PA Wire

Given Scotland’s children are back in schools and shops have re-opened, it may feel to some like Scotland has won the war against Covid-19 with little more than the mopping up of the last viral insurgents left to do.

Nicola Sturgeon spoke of how she had studied the coronavirus statistics every day since 1 March, experiencing “some really dark moments” along the way but, more recently, experiencing a period of “greater hope and optimism”.

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However, yesterday that mood changed once again as she said she felt it was “important to say to you that I feel a greater sense of anxiety today than I have done at any time probably for the last couple of months”, adding that Scotland was in a “fragile position”.

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Nicola Sturgeon warns Scotland could face a potential second lockdown in winter

Some may dismiss anything the First Minister says but there are concrete reasons why everyone needs to pay attention to what she is saying.

In countries all over the world – including ones praised for their response to the pandemic – Covid cases have started rising once more and politicians are having to face up to a horrendous decision: if a second wave hits, should the country go into lockdown again, despite what we know about the effects on the economy and health, or just let the disease kill thousands more people and also cause significant economic damage. For her part, Sturgeon warned a second lockdown was possible, adding that it would be “very hard” to continue to open up the country if people keep breaking the guidelines.

According to figures from Johns Hopkins University, more than 846,000 people have now died from Covid worldwide, more than 25 million people have been infected and the number of cases is still rising – rapidly in some countries. So a sudden resurgence in Scotland would not be a surprise.

The lockdown has been hard on many people and, as a nation, we are weary of it. The desire to blow off steam is understandable, but we need to face up to the fact that the danger is still present. And the best way to deal with it is to stick to social distancing, wash hands, wear face masks, avoid crowded places, and self-isolate and arrange a test if you have symptoms. If the vast majority of people do this and the authorities quickly clamp down on any localised flare-ups, then Scotland has a chance to avoid having to decide whether to return to lockdown or, almost unthinkably, let the virus run its course.

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