The community of Inverclyde is going through a difficult and demanding period. This is our biggest peace time challenge. It may seem unreal, there are no obvious signs of the threat but the infections continue and the deaths too. We are not alone in this. COVID-19 is causing disruption all over the world. And across the globe communities are coming together to fight it. The action we take will determine the number of people that contract the virus and consequently the number of people who die. The advice from Government and council is based on the most up to date available. It will change as time goes by. That is why it is important to keep checking the appropriate websites, watch the news and be prepared to adapt. Every individual has a duty of responsibility to the community and each individual must be prepared to accept that and act upon it. This will mean changing our working habits, travel plans, social life and family life. The vast majority of people in Inverclyde understand that and are acting accordingly but, as always, there are a few selfish people who think they know better. It is up to the authorities to take the necessary action and up to Government to give them those powers. They think they know better or that it is a problem for other people to handle. It isn’t and I am not being overly dramatic when I say people will die because of their action. In times like these, people will look to the authorities for guidance and help. In the UK we have stumbled into this crisis and mistakes have been made but we are slowly getting it right. The pressure on the emergency services is extreme and as always the men and woman of our emergency services will rise to that challenge. We owe them a great debt. We always do. COVID-19 is affecting all our lives and we need to accept that. As businesses and organisations adapt so must we. It is a time to be more tolerant of others, many people will be scared of the isolation, worried for their or loved ones health or just more tired than usual. If we all get the basics right we can slow the spread, flatten the curve of infections and come out of this stronger and wiser as a community. This is not like any crisis we have experienced before. The solution may literally be in our own hands. So please wash them and observe the advice around social distancing. By acting responsibly you will save lives and help bring this crisis to an end.