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.”
The Rebel City podcast is one of my favourites. But I have now tried several times to listen to this episode, and each time I have had to stop listening quite early because of how the two male hosts kept interrupting their female guest, Jen Murray. They kept asking her questions, then talking over her as she began to answer.
If you listen to other episodes, it is clear that these are decent, compassionate men, and their willingness to discuss their own mental health and other vulnerabilities is admirable. But male conditioning is a horrible thing, causing harmful blind spots in all men. Such blind spots are likely incurable, so the best we can do is try to be aware of our impaired vision, and, when it is pointed out to us, listen.
Today, a walk downtown from Maryhill baffled but did not surprise me. 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.
The pedestrian corridor of Sauchiehall Street was reminiscent of holiday shopping: throngs of people walking close together, few wearing masks.
While I advise against following the leaflet’s advice to “search F******k,” and I find the “End Glasgow Life” slogan unfortunately ambivalent (it sounds like an honest Tory manifesto), I will be at this rally against closures of Glasgow’s libraries and other public venues. We will assemble at St Mungo’s at 12:30pm and head to the People’s Palace half an hour later.