The pair have been together since their schooldays, with Greenock-raised Macfarlane becoming a qualified nurse in the past year. As the 22-year-old left-back isolates at home during the nationwide lockdown he has been humbled by the willingness of his girlfriend and her fellow NHS workers to put personal safety aside to deal with an unprecedented crisis, which has placed a huge strain on health services and those within them.
“To be with someone who works in the NHS puts everything else into perspective,” said the Scotland international, who has joined with his Celtic team-mates in supporting the NHS #StayHomeSaveLives through a social media campaign with a video message for fans. “The work they’re doing is incredible and we all have so much admiration and respect for the way they go about it. She’s been really busy. She works different shifts, they’re all 12-hour shifts, and she’ll normally do around four each week. It’s been tough for her and I couldn’t be more proud of her. It’s a really difficult time for all the NHS and we’re all extremely grateful for everything they do.”
Taylor recognises the best way to honour the sacrifices of NHS and careworkers is to “follow the advice and stay safe at the moment”. And though that means there is every posibility football might not be played again in Scotland for five months, the loss of the game is to be borne with understanding, even if deeply felt, and can create a societal unity.
“We’re all missing the football - the players, the staff and the fans - but just now it’s so vital that we do all stay home,” said Taylor. “It’ll help saves lives, get us back to normality as quick as possible and have us all back at Celtic Park putting on performances and winning games. This situation can help bring us all together if we work together and look out for each other. It’s a unique situation in that we’re all pushing in the one direction. That’s something we can take solace from, the amount of good you see people doing on social media and in the news. There’s a lot of good out there and seeing that helps keep everyone’s spirits up.”
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