Greenock Telegraph 4th June 2021

Following the announcements by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Inverclyde will be looking forward to a further loosening of the restrictions that we have lived under for over fifteen months as we move to level 1 on Saturday the 5th June. The major differences between Levels 2 and 1 are within the hospitality, leisure and entertainment sectors. They have suffered more than most during the pandemic and it’s gratifying to see them take this next step to full recovery.

This good news is as always tempered with caution. We are not back to normal and despite the fact it has been said a thousand times, we need to proceed with caution. As a mark of respect for the 215 people who died in Inverclyde and their friends and families, we can’t just pretend this never happened and we must do what it takes to ensure we don’t experience another wave of Covid. Why am I so cautious? Because there have been people throughout the period of the pandemic that think rules apply to other people. And there are unfortunately too many people that live their lives with no regard for others. Cocooned in their selfish ‘planet me’ convinced that they can do what they want, when they want and there will be no consequences. This attitude caused problems as we went into lockdowns and it will cause problems as we emerge. Are they the same people that throw the detritus of fast-food takeaways out their car windows, or the people that leave their empty bottles and rubbish strewn across the local beaches? It’s hard to tell but the attitude is the same. That which says, ‘I can make a mess and somebody else will tidy it up after me’.

There are signs that during lockdown we have developed a growing respect for our environment, more people are appreciating what we have on our doorstep but with that comes the responsibility of looking after it. I hope that the personal responsibility that the vast majority of people have shown during Covid translates into our attitude towards our own communities and environment and that together we can protect them and nurture them for ourselves and future generations to come.