Covid in Scotland: As Omicron threatens more restrictions, it feels like we have become more resilient – Laura Waddell

Another pandemic Christmas looms, and phones are all a-chime with the notifications of cancelled plans.

Empty streets in Glasgow during lockdown in January this year (Picutre: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Empty streets in Glasgow during lockdown in January this year (Picutre: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Meet-ups of more than three households, pencilled into diaries tentatively, have now been struck through with a firm line. Ah well. Maybe next year.

For some, any rewinding of Covid restrictions will come as a devastation. How it impacts individuals emotionally depends, of course, on what’s going on in their lives.

The ramifications of a locked-down life are more serious for some than others. It’s a tragic reality that there are patients who will succumb to the new variant having survived the virus thus far.

But in general, having gone through one Covid Christmas already, the public are now old hands at handling the disappointment that comes with scaling back events.

Some might even be relieved at getting out of Christmas parties once again – a lucky strike for introverts, misanthropes, and the lazy. In response to tighter measures announced on Tuesday, I sense more resignation than anything else.

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Everyone suspected it might go this way, but it helps that this pandemic year was, relatively speaking, more free and easy than 2020, when all of life was utterly upended and we had to quickly fall in line with a completely alien way of living.

By this point many have been lulled back to contentment by consumerism. Shops once again open, bars and restaurants doing brisk trade, fighting to survive. Out and about, if you put aside the necessity of mask-wearing, which by now we’re all used to, it’s almost possible to pretend everything is fine. It’s easier to accept there will be no Christmas party if it’s not so long since you last saw friends.

Most of 2021, restrictions-wise, has been better than the frightening tumbleweed days of spring 2020, when the very streets under our feet, on one exercise outing per day, felt like they were silent in dreadful anticipation.

This time, there isn’t the shock to the system of modern life being shuttered all at once. It makes a stumble backwards easier to accept. But perhaps, among all the things we’ve gained during these strange times, is an expanded capacity for adaptability, acceptance, patience and hope that all of this will one day be behind us if we grit our teeth and bear it for a little longer.

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