Last week, one in 40 people in Scotland had Covid. This week, one in 30 have it. When the Scottish government decided to surrender to the virus by lifting mask requirements (though, bizarrely, still asking people to continue to wear them), we were assured that for fully-vaccinated people there was little to fear. But the following excerpt from an email is typical of what I hear from those infected:
“Having spent the 2+ years of the pandemic NOT catching Covid, I finally tested positive at the beginning of this week. Wouldn't you just know! They say that the effects are now quite mild if you've had the vaccines. Don't believe them. I felt like death warmed up for several days, a combination of the worst cold you ever had and the worst flu.”
With so many people infected, there are few masks to be seen in Glasgow, even in crowded supermarkets. We are more welcoming of a debilitating, sometimes life-threatening, virus than the Home Office is of refugees.
May all who are sick, in body, mind or spirit, be well.
If a member of the Japanese royal family had died last year, would Nicola Sturgeon now travel to Tokyo for their memorial?
If not, then why did she postpone giving her Covid update today (another record-breaking day for hospitalisations in Scotland) to travel to London to appear, maskless, at a memorial for Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey?
A week into September, I wrote about the cognitive dissonance caused by the Scottish government’s washing its hands of any leadership role in the pandemic. I pointed out that branch meetings of the SNP (of which I am a member) were being held online, but that people were free to gather in clubs unmasked.
In the weeks since the Scottish government decided to pretend the pandemic is no longer happening, daily infections have been in the thousands, and, accordingly, there have been deaths from the plague.
The TRNSMT music festival went ahead, and it lived up to its name, causing 551 infections. As the Gaelic poet babs nicgriogair remarked, “It does what it says on the tin.”
Today, a walk downtown from Maryhill was baffling but not surprising. The outdoor seatings of restaurants and cafés along Great Western Road were packed; no masks, no social distancing, patrons and staff alike. Most people walking the pavement in groups behaved the same. There was a smattering of people wearing masks and dodging others to maintain a safe distance, but they were the minority.