The Covid19 pandemic is an international emergency and our patterns of behaviour require radical adjustment. On the worrying side for many of us, has been the evident attitude of some, mainly youthful groups, that the situation is more inconvenience than crisis. For their part, they have been regularly assured by government and medical sources that the worst they may expect from the virus is a mild and brief period of illness. The drunken louts who stood jeering in Temple Bar last weekend thought little of the medical personnel, battling to save lives less than a mile away.
In contrast, young, Glasgow Muslims were setting up a group to respond to the needs of the elderly, of all faiths, in their neighbourhoods. Quranic texts have long exhorted that the first to enter Paradise will be those who do charitable works. In my own area, Clackmannanshire, #clacks together- coranavirus sprang up quickly online, offering support to elderly residents and to all those who were in self-isolation. Their laudable efforts are replicated across Scotland and firth of its shores.
Political leaders are key figures in the implementation of measures to combat this horrific, health crisis. There is a general feeling that Boris Johnson lacks the moral authority to lead the response in Britain and the performance of Trump in the US has been alarming; many Americans believe that his initial mismanagement and ignorance of the pandemic fuelled its spread across all states. In blunt terms, his failure to recognise the gravity of the situation and his abysmal handling of it will cause hundreds, if not thousands of unnecessary deaths. People need clarity and neither leader has the style to deliver that; the lies of the Brexit Campaign and those throughout the Trump Presidency have left indelible marks. Nicola Sturgeon and Leo Varadkar, in contrast, have been singularly effective in inspiring belief and confidence in their respective jurisdictions.
The management of the Coylumbridge Hotel and Tim Martin of Wetherspoons are graduates of the Gerald Ratner Business School. This morning Martin was arguing on BBC R4 that the virus was not being spread in his pubs and the instant eviction of young European workers in Aviemore ,following their contacts being abruptly and summarily terminated, will earn its own place in history as a notorious text book PR disaster. I could go on about the Cheltenham Festival but I think we all recognise the combined obscenity of class and money, both Irish and English.
Fear is hard-wired into our DNA and we all feel it: my generation is probably concerned more for our children and grandchildren than for ourselves. We are seeking ways to reassure them that we can survive.
In hospitals, care homes and medical centres, there are individuals, doctors, nurses and assistants, over-riding deeply felt concerns for their own safety and being truly inspirational in their exceptional capacity for love and commitment.
I salute them.