Exiting lockdown will not be easy - leader comment

It is natural demands are growing for details of when the lockdown nightmare will be over.
Police patrol an empty Buchanan Street. Picture: John DevlinPolice patrol an empty Buchanan Street. Picture: John Devlin
Police patrol an empty Buchanan Street. Picture: John Devlin

The longer we have to endure these unprecedented measures, the louder the calls will become.

The novelty factor for those who have been able to work at home has most certainly worn off, while anyone who is juggling work demands with childcare and home schooling responsibilities will certainly be feeling the strain.

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Many will no doubt have lapped up headlines over the weekend which suggested some schools and businesses will be able to open in mid-May.

The Government, however, has poured cold water on the suggestion. “No decision has been made,” said Westminster education secretary Gavin Williamson firmly.

Nicola Sturgeon will set out her framework for how Scotland will begin to ease the restrictions this week, but do not expect any firm dates for when life will return to normal.

The truth is we no not know, it has to be guided by the best scientific advice available. Both the UK and Scottish governments are well aware that lifting restrictions too early as a popular move to satisfy growing restlessness may only lead to prolonging this crisis.

We are right to ask questions, to demand answers over the level of preparedness at a UK level in particular, to continue the pressure over the appalling lack of PPE for NHS staff.

There will be wide-ranging inquiries to follow when this can all be examined in minute detail, decisions can be scrutinised.

But today, as we enter the fourth week of lockdown, we must all remain focused on our individual task.

To respect the restrictions, and comply with the instructions from Government.

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To look after our immediate family, particularly our older relatives who are facing isolation and may be unwilling to call for help.

And to be there for our children who have been plunged into a confusing situation, may be watching their parents becoming increasingly stressed, and whose worries over the virus may not be expressed but will be there all the same.

Yes, let us look towards a time when we can begin to get back to normal, but we must not forget the reason why we are all taking these extraordinary measures.

Staying at home is saving lives.