Greenock Telegraph 8th May 2020

Before the Covid-19 crisis has even started to draw to a close there are those that want to start an inquiry into how we got it wrong. I understand that reaction. I have been critical of a number of actions and lack of actions by the UK Government and there will be a time for that debate.

Much has been said about the higher death rate in Inverclyde. It is almost three times the national average and I believe there are reasons, that existed long before the current health crisis, that have driven up our unacceptable death rate. These reasons need addressed but they have needed addressed for some time and they won’t be fixed before the end of his crisis. Now is not the time to look over our shoulders to see where we came from. The obstacles are in front of us. And even if we are critical of the course of action that got us here, we can’t ignore the fact that we still have responsibilities as individuals to act in a manner that can reduce the spread of infection and therefore reduce the burden on the frontline workers and ultimately reduce the deaths. Increasingly, I am contacted with accounts of people gathering in groups and not observing social distancing. In relation to the population of Inverclyde it is very small numbers that are letting us down, but it always is. Anti-social behaviour is always confined to a small number of ignorant selfish people and it’s never acceptable, but now, in the current health crisis, it could prove to be deadly. It may be hard to visualise that, but this virus is transmitted through our community from person to person. And that may be via surfaces as well as being airborne. Isolation and distancing remove the chance of it travelling. 2020 may yet prove to be the year of perfect hindsight but in the here and now we need to face up to the practical aspects of how we can all help.

Please stay safe and stay healthy.