Getting the balance right

What are the key issues we should bear in mind when working out the balance of measures that keep people safe, yet allow as much freedom as possible?

Why the contribution is important

The Scottish Government has committed to engaging with the public and is interested to hear your thoughts on this topic.

by ScottishGovernment on October 05, 2020 at 08:52AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.5
Based on: 63 votes


  • Posted by EllMcc October 05, 2020 at 16:20

    The Gov keeps threatening us, saying that if we don't stick to the rules we will have to go into lockdown.
    We're given no notice and the vast majority are sticking to the rules.

    We cannot totally suppress the virus, but the ScotGov is hell bent on doing that.
    We need to learn to live with it. So many of us are at breaking point and the gov doesn't seem to care about anything but numbers?
  • Posted by Cheryl October 05, 2020 at 16:36

    Work/life balance - yes workplaces need to open and the economy needs to perform but quality of life has to be considered as well.
    People cannot be expected to go to work but not see their family, children going to school but not seeing their grandparents. School staff being in work but not seeing their families, some school staff are grandparents who spend a full day with 30 children but cannot see their own grandchildren later that night or at the weekend.
  • Posted by Kevinm152 October 05, 2020 at 16:58

    The balance needs to be around being able to visit others, and keep the economy moving.

    Prioritising one over the other cannot happen, as it will lead to other social or economic impacts.

    The virus will not go away.

    The vast majority have learned to live with it, wear masks, take precautions.

    The biggest area of concern is hospitality as alcohol fuels stupidity. Pre booking with limited numbers should be the way ahead for the hospitality industry. No pre booking means no entry and you’ll cut out out ad hoc drinking sessions.

    Open up the venues, stadiums, open air places, let the economy move on. Restricted numbers and robust systems in place
  • Posted by Angelaahill October 05, 2020 at 17:10

    People's mental health needs to be at the forefront when making decisions around restrictions. As well as not allowing entire sectors to die.
  • Posted by Mandally10 October 05, 2020 at 17:24

    I agree that pre-booking and limited time in hospitality venues would be much more effective than curfews. Families need each other more than ever and should be allowed to meet with each other. Lots of people can’t see how they can meet in a pub or restaurant but not in the home and are therefore not sticking to the rules.
  • Posted by Donnamck October 05, 2020 at 17:34

    I think that its terrible that I can go to a pub, but not see my grandchildren. I would feel safer cleaning my own house for family visits, rather than sit in a restaurant hoping my table has been cleaned and my waitress is sticking by the rules. Outdoor visits are great, weather permitted......but its a long dark, cold winter in the NE Scotland. Also, the rate of infection in Moray & Aberdeenshire is considerably lower than in Glasgow but exactly the same rules?
  • Posted by Homeburd October 05, 2020 at 17:46

    From a personal perspective, I have sold my house since lockdown and as a direct result of the lockdown restrictions. As I watch the restrictions tightening again I’m praying that house moves will be allowed to continue as I, like many people, realised during lockdown that I need to be closer to family.
    The housing market is booming since lockdown and you should be mindful that a lot of those moving are doing so to be better able to cope with current restrictions (home working) and future lockdowns (perhaps moving closer to family to be within travel restrictions)
  • Posted by Trp October 05, 2020 at 17:53

    The overall health of people. I am still concerned that people with other conditions are not receiving the diagnosis and treatment they require.

    Prioritise family life and the vulnerable. None of us want our elderly relatives to catch covid but I think the judgement over whether to visit family could be left with individuals. We are unable to visit family members who have significant health problems and are isolated yet we are able to stay in a hotel where many other people are, you are trusting others to clean efficiently, people are drinking and so not taking so much care etc. A blanket ban on visiting people is really detrimental to some people.
  • Posted by Jbined October 05, 2020 at 17:53

    Local restrictions need to be based on set number of cases per 100,000. I’d certainly find it a lot clearer to understand why measures are to be put in place if it’s a set criteria.
  • Posted by Clogs1217 October 05, 2020 at 17:56

    When deciding on affective restrictions, bear in mind the long term and short term effects of these measures and whether these effects are reversible. For example, local lockdowns may cause small reversible inconvenience for those not able to go to the pub for a few weeks, but leave lasting heartache for those not able to visit loved ones with life limiting illness in hospitals, hospices or care homes. The consequences of this are inhumane and irreversible. It cannot be the case that those who are most vulnerable are those most affected or restricted by measures.
  • Posted by Willyjot October 05, 2020 at 17:58

    The balance is certainly hard to achieve. I am quite happy not to be in a pub/restaurant at all for the moment BUT I definitely want to in the future so they need to remain as viable businesses. I would prefer to see elderly parents (indoors as it's too cold now for outdoors) and would happily make some kind of trade off. How viable that is, I don't know.
  • Posted by Mic October 05, 2020 at 18:13

    Be like New Zealand. Tight restrictions on international travel, strong quarantine on those arriving in the country in 'quarantine hotels' this will help eliminate the virus and allow the country to operate as normal.
  • Posted by Leekyb83 October 05, 2020 at 18:17

    Balance is definitely needed. People need to see their family and friends - and not in a pub.
    The majority of us are being sensible, and sticking to the rules. Seems we are being punished for everyone else. Hit massive fines on everyone attending house parties. Let the rest of us get on with our lives sensibly and carefully.
    Same with the local lockdowns, don’t punish the whole country because the central belt infections are high. As someone said above, can’t we have a level per 100,000. The same as the quarantine cut off. A clearly visible line with clear consequences if the number is too high.
    I have never had any mental health issues and am an emotionally strong person, and this is getting to me. I worry for those with mental health concerns. Isolation is not good.
    People with other serious health concerns not getting their diagnoses and treatment due to covid getting priority. It’s just not fair.
    We definitely need a balance and it needs to be fair to the ones who are putting the effort in to be careful and considerate of others
  • Posted by Ursula October 05, 2020 at 18:24

    You need to strike a balance that allows us to visit with our families without being criminals.
    People should be allowed to visit with their families indoors. Have the same restrictions on numbers as before and the increased numbers outside where social distancing can be observed more easily. People should be allowed to see their dying and ill relatives in hospitals and care settings.
    Businesses should be allowed to open up with the enhanced hygiene/track and trace etc and should be inspected fortnightly. If they fail and inspection or have a confirmed case within their establishment they must close for two weeks for isolation of staff and thorough deep cleaning by a professional team.
    Children need to be kept in school as much as possible and groups/venues for those under 5s need to be restarted as well so that they and their parents don’t miss out on essential support and opportunities.
    Shielding for the extremely vulnerable should be brought back in with additional payments being available to those who are shielding/their household if that means they can’t work.
    We need to take seriously the mental health of the nation as that is having a much worse affect than the actual virus. We need to stop with all the doom and gloom and get on with learning to live with the virus as it will never be driven to zero.
  • Posted by Laura87 October 05, 2020 at 18:34

    Schools should be blended learning (except for key worker children), distanced, and masks worn. It's not insurmountable to create good online learning programmes. We already have it set up in the very remote communities.

    Bigger fines for not wearing masks or breaking restrictions, especially not isolating. I'm not saying that there are no genuinely exempt people, but there's no way that half the people on buses and trains with their masks around their necks or not wearing at all, are exempt. My 87 year old granny with end stage COPD wears a face covering!! Make exemption require a doctor note.

  • Posted by GSS October 05, 2020 at 18:34

    Contact with family is essential. I agree with earlier post ", some school staff are grandparents who spend a full day with 30 children but cannot see their own grandchildren later that night or at the weekend."
    Not just for the grandparents but several people have told me that their young grandchildren are now afraid to hug family members after earlier lockdown.
    And people should not have to choose between family members - do I see my son's family or my daughters. Can't see both!
  • Posted by Missplus October 05, 2020 at 18:36

    Work/life balance needs to be carefully considered. I live alone and enjoy being back at work but the prospect of a lockdown again fills me with fear as the sense of loneliness and isolation was overwhelming.
    Please don’t remove the bubble option if stricter measures come in as it has allowed me to give my elderly father some regular human contact. He found being alone extremely difficult to deal with.
  • Posted by StewartGilmour October 05, 2020 at 18:46

    If you lock down again, you will kill this country, kill the economy, kill many people of other ailments, get people with issues to isolate, people need to make personal risk assessments, we have to live with this virus.
    Learn to do so.
    This is a disgrace what is going on, no real leadership
  • Posted by TSmith64 October 05, 2020 at 18:50

    We need to find a balance and sort out current contradictions. At the moment I can meet with friends in a cafe and sit opposite each other at a small table, yet those two friend cannot come in my house and sit in a separate sofa on the opposite side of my room. Our church is now open and we can have 25 people in a service but we can't hold our AGM where 8 people would sit around a table. It is contradicting and confusing. The majority of people are acting sensibly , so introduce larger fines and tougher police action for those that don't . Many people that live alone are already struggling and the continued rules stopping people from visiting peoples homes are seriously affecting peoples health. We cannot keep on lurching from no restriction to lockdown measures , the economy and businesses cannot cope with this , and there are huge implications for the future of the country , businesses and individuals. The time has come to allow people to take some responsibility for their own health , you make the decision on what you can do, what safety preacautions you take, or whether you stay at home. People are already ignoring the rules and more restrictions will see people doing this further
  • Posted by Redfox October 05, 2020 at 18:52

    Get everything back to normal and stop with the scare tactics, the threats for being naughty (hmmm) and the blaming of everyone except yourselves.
  • Posted by Kayrob October 05, 2020 at 19:09

    I think keeping our mental health at the forefront of any decision is key. I know that comes small forms but isolating everyone is the wrong way to do it. The national lockdown drummed that into us and the vast majority of us understand how dangerous this virus is. But we need a form of trust back. I need my family around and I should be able to trust who I want to trust and trust will be responsible in return. For example my husband came back from a work trip abroad, I self isolated from friends and family for two weeks without even a need to upon return... they understood. But we need the children in school, blended learning will not work and will only punish the kids who are kept in school. We need to go back to work, and we need to be able to see our family. The vunerable were vunerable before, and I know this is more deadly and more contagious but we can't hide forever.. the levels of suicide will soon over take any deaths from covid. Lets just live our lives...
  • Posted by StephIhoe October 05, 2020 at 19:32

    We need to learn to live with this. Open up the economy and let’s just get on with this now!
  • Posted by Sarahg90 October 05, 2020 at 19:34

    How can I go to a pub or dinner and be around 100's of people but theirs a far greater risk to my wedding being cancelled with 20 people in a few weeks time, where is the balance ??

    Weddings are few and far between at the moment making them even more important for hospitality.

    Funerals also shouldn't be touched. People are going through enough.

    Empower people with information and knowledge to make calculated risks of they want to.
  • Posted by Oorvvillie October 05, 2020 at 19:37

    Repeal the Covid legislation and instead publish guidelines to allow individuals to choose how they wish to proceed.

    The government focus should be on repairing our crumbling institutions and services so the nation can weather any storm.
  • Posted by LAS October 05, 2020 at 19:51

    At the beginning I felt the government did get the balance right but now 6 months later I feel that they have lost sight of what they are aiming to do. The virus never went away and it won’t go away for some time - no government can achieve that. We need to concentrate on other aspects of life or the damage done by lockdown will be far worse than the virus itself if it isn’t already.
  • Posted by getusoutofhere October 05, 2020 at 19:53

    The first lockdown brought us to our knees, the continued restrictions are kicking us while we are down. Lift restrictions and let us fix this mess whilst we protect our vulnerable like you didn’t
  • Posted by PaulA October 05, 2020 at 19:55

    We must be able to visit immediate family children and parents even if it is outdoors, with most families geographical distance between them due to work and further education. Parents should not have to choose between braking the law and seeing their children.
  • Posted by Avocado October 05, 2020 at 19:57

    No other country in Europe are keeping families apart like this. Families should be allowed to see each other and a lot of people will put this first. The threat of lockdowns is now more scary than the thought of COVID. I can see the despondent faces of everyone I walk past in the street now. The mention of booking a couple of hours in a bar was a good idea, instead of a curfew. This makes more sense to me. Could more than 2 households meet in hospitality settings? This might encourage people to go out instead of having house parties. Restaurants would particularly benefit from this as more people would choose to meet out. I agree that funerals should be allowed, it seems inhumane to not allow people to grieve. Hospital services and schools should of course be the priority. But families should be prioritised also. Possibly only allow limited household visits to family members only (or designated friends for those without family) and other people can meet out in hospitality settings?
  • Posted by Scottishkiwi October 05, 2020 at 20:10

    We need to stop focusing purely on COVID.. our eyes have been taken off the wider impact, ie, on the building medical treatment/diagnosis backlog (which scares me more!) and the economic impact of lockdowns / tight restrictions.

    We will never be like NZ, so we need to stop trying to be. We cannot eradicate the virus, so we need to find a way to live with it.

    I don’t know any older, or “vulnerable“, person who wants to live in this current state either.

    Most people are happy to adhere to sensible restrictions do guidance, however, there is only so long they will continue to do so if there is no evidence it is beneficial.... or that the Govt is also doing it’s part. Testing needs to be more accessible and timely. Having to sit for hours refreshing the Gov website until a test slot opens up, then travel to Edinburgh airport isn’t exactly accessible.

    Thanks for opening up this to the public.
  • Posted by jakkyb7 October 05, 2020 at 20:10

    We need to learn to live with this and be able to make our own risk assessments and decide who we see. The fear mongering by the SG needs to stop. We live under constant threat of tightening restrictions if we do not behave ourselves. It’s time you widened your ‘expert opinion’. The guidance in place for schools is over cautious- at no time throughout any of this has there been a significant outbreak in a school or transmission by pupils. Considering schools were open throughout for the children of key workers without incident should be proof enough. The measures that are currently imposed upon us are far deadlier than the actual virus. How many people are missing cancer diagnosis and/or treatment, dying of heart disease or committing suicide plus many other issues? The initial lockdown was sold to us to ‘flatten the curve’ and to ensure that the NHS was not overwhelmed - this happened months ago so why are we still in lockdown?
  • Posted by kaz618 October 05, 2020 at 20:13

    There has to be a work/life balance, we need to be able to visit and see our own families. We need to start learning to live life along side this virus as its not going anywhere soon and we can't live our lives in a lockdown forever.
  • Posted by Mrsb77 October 05, 2020 at 20:22

    6 people 3 househould rule is doable.. But a lot of homes are too small to allow 2m social distancing..
    Spell out the mitigations for families... It has been done for everything from hospitality through to construction..
    Give families a checklist so they know exactly what to do to keep their homes covid free
  • Posted by Sam424 October 05, 2020 at 20:37

    We started lockdown to stop the NHS from being overwhelmed and the difficult decisions being made about who could have the last hospital bed and who would need to just hope they recovered. It seems that we achieved this with a huge combined sacrifice and the majority of people complied with every rule despite livelihoods being potentially impacted.

    However, the rhetoric now seems to be about saving every single person from COVID (which if possible I think the whole country would do what ever they could) but it cannot come at the price of deaths elsewhere, it cannot come at the cost of people's whole lives being destroyed by loss of income, and then the knock on effects of debt, homelessness, poverty, poor mental health, education of our children and the effect on their futures. There has to be balance in what is being done. People HAVE to work (unless you plan to change the way our whole society works); people have to have access to health care that would usually be routine but is now not available (even when the numbers of patients in hospital was tiny!)
  • Posted by Charlotta October 05, 2020 at 20:42

    The obsession with Covid is out of proportion to the facts. Learn from countries like Sweden how you balance risks and look at public health in a wide and long term perspective.
  • Posted by alileslie October 05, 2020 at 20:44

    Full time schools and childcare need to be a priority.

    A better work/life balance for adults is also necessary. We need to be with friends and family. Metal health is vitally important and should drive decisions.
  • Posted by ammys83 October 05, 2020 at 20:54

    Balance is definitely crucial but so is considering EVERY scientific opinion. We have to look at this from ALL sides and not just one. The human body was built with an immune system so we should let it do the job it was designed to do. In the midst of all these lockdowns and restrictions the impact on mental health and well-being is devastating. We are trying to save lives by living half lives. The number of people missing out on treatments and appointments is tragic. The government cannot let one virus sideline every other disease/condition.
    This entire year has nearly passed and my mother cannot visit her elderly father in England, my only grandparent left and I cannot see him and he cannot meet my children. How is this right? Millions of families have been kept apart & in the meantime we are missing precious moments with our loved ones and sadly some may even pass during this time without being given the opportunity of a final meeting. We cannot live our lives in fear, that is no life at all.
    A vaccine for something that is not fully understood is dangerous and potentially lethal. Vaccines take years of trials and testing before being classed as safe. We have to return to normality before life as we knew it crumbles. It’s not about putting wealth before health, it’s about putting sanity, togetherness and family at the forefront. We cannot be dictated to, that is not a free Scotland. Yes it may be a risk but one worth taking.
  • Posted by Ftay20 October 05, 2020 at 20:54

    This is a coronovirus which we will have to live with as we do with the common cold, influenza, sars1. Encouraging people to create a better immune system would more beneficial. Balance is need people cannot see their families when they need them most and to support their families. Our economy is a disgrace due to this situation. Your basis on scientific information from where? Not from the research over the last 40 + years. The measure put in place are disapportionate. Changing the basic rights of people are having a detrimental effect on mental health and the non treatment t of patients through the NHS is costing more lives
  • Posted by Myboybob1998 October 05, 2020 at 20:57

    The older population appreciate the actions being taken to protect them ,but they cannot be isolated by not being allowed visitors sometimes that's the only human contact they have if disabled and the older population are the ones mostly sticking to the guidelines ,everything is being geared towards the mental health of the younger generation but pensioners are suffering from this maybe more so either at home or in care homes ,they are in the twilight years and do not want to spend the rest of their lives alone and lonely,
    Please give them more consideration when considering further lockdowns human contact is essential and families are surely not going to deliberately put their relatives at undue risk.
  • Posted by Lornab13 October 05, 2020 at 21:16

    Please stop threatening your people. This plan to continually unsettle people into fight or flight mode is extremely bad for mental heath. It’s not enough to throw out a few canned responses about people’s mental health when you are trying to terrorise the population
  • Posted by Kerrie79 October 05, 2020 at 21:27

    There needs to be a balance, families need to be allowed to be together, maybe giving better advice of what we can do when we are in each other’s company to reduce the risk of virus.
    Also lift the restrictions for children, my daughter is at school all day with her friends but isn’t allowed to play with them inside afterwards. Her birthday is start of November and she wants a sleepover with her friends who are in her bubble at school.
  • Posted by Mitzy1987 October 05, 2020 at 21:48

    I do feel you cannot disproportionately penalise people who live in the central belt and in particularly the big cities. They would spend even more time in a form of lockdown just because they live in a more heavily populated area. The fiasco of the University’s is unbelievable. Why are we so surprised by this it was entirely avoidable. We certainly need a work life balance. We need to see our families. Most of all if we are to wear masks then for the love of god get people to wear them properly, not with noses hanging out or instead of a scarf around their neck!
  • Posted by katacan October 05, 2020 at 22:08

    As a small business owner, please bear in mind the impact the constant drip-feeding of ‘threats’ of further restrictions has on business and consumer confidence.

    Every briefing, interview and article that mentions possible ‘circuit breakers’, further restrictions, etc, undermine an already battered economy, making trading harder and business planning almost impossible.

  • Posted by Seven19 October 05, 2020 at 22:24

    Balance needs to be resumed. Balanced risk taking, balanced understanding of Covid strategy on physical and mental health. Balanced discussion on who is at risk versus who is less at risk. Support and protect rather than track, trace and fine. If we continue as we are what is the impact on the NHS? Reports of having to work at 150% for 6 months just to return to pre/Covid wait times? We need to look at the bigger picture.
  • Posted by montyred October 05, 2020 at 22:27

    The virus is not going to go away , and meanwhile many people are really suffering , not from Covid, but because of Covid. The worst situation is in care homes, where private care homes do as they like. Some of the most expensive ones are not allowing indoor visiting, no matter what the government guidelines say. People with dementia are deteriorating and their families suffering because of the withdrawal of basic human rights. We need laws to make indoor visits compulsory.
    Across society people are suffering in different ways, emotionally and economically. It can’t go on like this. We have to accept that we can’t destroy the virus, and many people do not have time on their side for one reason or another, so we can’t go on threatening more restrictions. There are too many as it is.
  • Posted by Carolscat October 05, 2020 at 22:36

    Overall public health needs to lead the way now.
  • Posted by ScottishLass October 05, 2020 at 22:50

    There is no quick fix and the virus is not going away anytime soon. However we need people in work to pay tax and keep the country going.

    If fit and healthy people are happy to go to work and go out and spend money in economy - why should they not be allowed? We cant stay locked up and going round in circles. Many places have not yet even had the chance to open - we cant lockdown again.

    Weaker, old, frail or even scared people have every right to stay in and be cautious. However life needs to go on
  • Posted by ScottishLass October 05, 2020 at 23:10

    Unfortunatly more people died in our area today from car crashes than from covid.
    You are not counting this statistics, nor are you removing cars for peoples safety.

    There is risk involved in everything we do and although its sad and unfortunate - people die every day from one thing or another.
    Please start counting suicide rates and deaths from cancer.

    Also, please count flu cases and people hospitalised with flu this year ... with that in mind we have a so-called flu vaccine
  • Posted by Jason2488 October 05, 2020 at 23:25

    As many previous comments have said - common sense towards families and relationships which have to prosper. With sensible limits applied.

    Also more information about how best to protect ourselves (Windows Open etc?)

    No matter how often the first minister pleading with certain people they will ignore her.

    So set a fair and open set of rules. 10 key points or so.

    If you breach them you feel the full force of the law and imprisonment. Someone walking around murdering people would rightly deserve jail time.

    Why can you walk round and spread a virus which is a known killer and not face the full force of the law ?

  • Posted by Chegs October 06, 2020 at 00:25

    There needs to be more of a balance. When lockdown was first imposed, it was with the clear idea of protecting the NHS from being overwhelmed and was an appropriate approach. The NHS was not overwhelmed, the newly built hospital at the SECC never used. Now 7 months on, thousands are losing their jobs, many more may well be dying of non-covid related illnesses, having not been able to secure medical help in time- many more are likely to lose their lives due to unmanageable NHS waiting lists. Young people have had their career prospects dashed because of the exam fiasco and many young professionals will not be getting to start their careers in offices as the offices are still closed. Mental health issues will be a scar for a generation. Families have been separated - people in care homes have been deprived of the love and care of their families for more than 7 months. Perhaps one of the most disturbing aspects of all of this, is that all of this has been simply imposed- no debate / no discussion / no mandate. The Scottish Government states that the Scottish people should be able to make their own decisions - but has denied us that basic right. What is going to happen if a vaccine is never produced? It is very clear that the virus is not going to be eliminated- so we need to be able to find a way of dealing with it. Most of us are capable of assessing the degree of risk with which we are comfortable - it is time we are allowed to do so.
  • Posted by EastNeukgirl October 06, 2020 at 01:44

    Please stop government ministers and advisors talking about possible new restrictions several days ahead of any announcement. ( ie ‘circuit breaker.‘) Our country’s mental health cannot take the constant negativity and blame which comes from the governments, every day and certainly cannot take the anxiety which such discussions produce.
    It seems to have become a crime to catch an infectious disease. This approach must surely deter people from seeking help if they are unwell.
    Please allow us to visit our relatives’s nearly winter. My profoundly disabled daughter cannot sit outside in her wheelchair in order to see her grandparents. Ironically, we could meet them at a pub ,in which setting my daughter would be much more exposed to health risks(she puts everything in her mouth.)She has autism and needs her familiar routine.
    Please discuss and consider the harms being caused by lockdown type restrictions . Everyone is scared .People are reluctant to seek medical advice in general. People are losing their livelihoods at a frightening rate.My disabled daughter’s world has shrunk. None of her activities has restarted. Most elderly people that I know are keeping themselves extra safe while doing the things that they wish to do.
    Fear damages people and everyone that I know is anxious and fearful .We are going into the darkness of winter. We need to be able to see our relatives and friends, indoors. There is already huge mental health collateral damage and this will increase drastically if we are not allowed human contact.
  • Posted by Seriouslystrong October 06, 2020 at 03:41

    For sure excess alcohol is out. Any behaviour standards disappear. But dont blanket all places the same. Most restaurants I've been to have good practices. Closing all leads to more uncontrolled socialising. Football stadium...lower league can have one fan every 4 metres..there is no plan published by govt. Showing what we do if no vaccine next year or year after. Life will be riskier we have to accept that...lockdown and restrictions for 2,3 or 4 years is no life and will lead to bigger problems than covid
  • Posted by alanmacrae41 October 06, 2020 at 05:58

    People are SAFE! Living involves risk - government resources should be focussed on protecting those that are genuinely vulnerable to this virus and everyone else should make their own decisions. If they want to lock themselves away, fine. You will not eradicate it! Plus more are dying from flu currently and that is WITH a vaccine! It sickens me to see the FM on daily giving her condolences to the two (or so) families that have lost someone to Covid while the dozens that have been lost to cancer, heart disease etc etc go unnoticed and uncared about! My local GP Surgery is like FT Knox. People have stopped going. My friends have businesses that are on the cusp of going under. Depression and other mental illnesses are rising dramatically. Death rates are rising from almost every other cause. You must see the big picture and start presenting ALL the facts to the people to bring their fear levels down. How about listing ALL top causes of death and numbers at your press conferences rather than just what suits your narrative. Also, start listening to someone other than that dentist guy.
  • Posted by LeiaAvra October 06, 2020 at 07:52

    The impact on the economy, civil rights, mental health, addictions, domestic abuse and the NHS was becoming disproportionate to the infection risk.
    Consider this
  • Posted by Silversparkles84 October 06, 2020 at 08:46

    For me personally I just want to to be able to keep my wee small independent business open to allow me to earn a living, to not impose another 5 mile rule as this would have a devastating effect on being able to visit my grandma who lives alone, be able to fly out to see my parents who live abroad without the fear of having to quarantine for 2 weeks when I get back as I can't afford to keep my business closed for a month, be able to do my food shopping ( I live alone) without having to queue for hours before hand and getting in to realise the shelves have been stripped bare and be able to have a mate over for dinner in my own home without the fear of being clyped on.
  • Posted by IrvingBulloch October 06, 2020 at 08:53

    What even decisions the Scottish Goverment take to improve Virus control, they must ensure a high level of compliance with the rules to make this effective.
    I have a concern regarding non compliance by the Criminal element of our country , do drug pushers stay at home and not go out pushing their illegal trade.
    I think we should have a greater degree of reporting detail on who is infected ,by location, ,ethenticity , furlough, working, education, retired.
  • Posted by Libdah October 06, 2020 at 08:56

    Covid is just one of many diseases that can kill or maim people - mainly the older generation and those with underlying health issues.
    A balance has to be struck whereby the vulnerable can continue to be protected but the rest of society need to get on with life, accepting that the virus will always be with us. Just as colds and flu are ever present.
    Our economy and way of life is being destroyed by Governments who are taking heavy handed measures.
  • Posted by ldms October 06, 2020 at 09:07

    I agree wholeheartedly with these comments. There is no real balance at present and the current threat of a "circuit-breaker" would be a further loss of our rights and freedoms. The government risks destroying support and confidence from the people who have been working so hard to keep things going throughout this awful time. Punish the rule breakers severely but don't punish the majority who are law-abiding and decent. Lockdown areas of concern hard if you feel that is necessary, but leave the rest of us alone. We care deeply about the elderly and vulnerable in society, but they are suffering terribly from a lack of human contact. Meanwhile, the lives of the young and the livelihoods of the workers who pay for all our public bodies are being carelessly tossed aside and the fabric of our society is crumbling. We desperately need balance but ScotGov is not giving this, only threats.
  • Posted by FRWood October 06, 2020 at 09:34

    The daily focus on numbers of cases, hospitalisations and deaths has caused high anxiety for many and leads to a sense of doom and despair. We need an approach which gives us hope, tells us the truth about what we must expect to see but encourages a sense of efficacy and the ability, by following sensible virus suppression tools like physical distancing, hand and cough hygiene and mask wearing, to get through this while continuing to keep open our economy, education and social structures. We are being cowed into a fearful life which will continue to wreak havoc with people's mental and physical health. And shutting down costs lives. Unemployment, poor health and poor housing affect many of our most economically disadvantaged citizens who suffer most from continued measures which focus only on the virus. The indirect harms are massive and we all need a functioning health service for all conditions, a sense of purpose and ability to earn our living or be supported if we can't. I think we must learn to live with the virus and continue to hope for scientific advances including vaccination which will assist us in that process, but we cannot go on like this with a constant focus on numbers and stop-start restrictions. People need to be able to plan a little for their futures without the constant threat of overnight changes which simply delay the process of learning to live with what has become endemic.
  • Posted by JoMacD October 06, 2020 at 09:51

    As a family all that is important for us is to be able to continue to work safely, for our children to be at school or nursery and to be able to see our closest family. These things have been our focus since restrictions lifted. We are not in pubs, restaurants, visiting anyone else socially. I believe we are similar to a majority.

    Yet there is a minority who are not being as mindful, and who I believe will not comply with any further restrictions. Which raises the question why restrict things further and penalise a majority who are already being sensible.

    Cases in our area are very low, I don’t think a blanket approach is helpful now.

    Continue to expand testing capacity and contact tracing capacity nationally while focusing on trying to reduce transmission in areas with higher infection ratings.
  • Posted by Linzpinz October 06, 2020 at 09:58

    The virus is not going to go away, and like the flu, can't 'be defeated'.
    I agree with most of the excellent comments above.
    There seems to be little consideration of what happens if a vaccination doesn't materialise next March. We cannot sustain this for longer and expect our hospitality, aviation, and arts industries to still exist.
    Livelihoods are being lost. This is tragic and worse than the effects of the virus.

    We cannot continue to yo-yo between lockdowns and lockdown release. We just need to get on with our lives, obey the maskwearing, distancing and hand washing rules. Enforce harsher penalties for non adherencee of face masks in public places.

    We should be treated like adults, educated as to the risks so that we can protect ourselves and those around us.
  • Posted by rmk October 06, 2020 at 10:18

    Allowing people to visit their family should be prioritised over having pubs and restaurants open.

    The latter might be good for the economy, but family life is more important. Any visitors we have (even family) we've been following much stricter cleaning regimes, and ensuring an appropriate distance is maintained wherever possible.

    It is nonsensical that pubs and restaurants, especially those with forced air recirculation, have been shown in numerous case studies globally from China, to the USA, Norway, and Spain to name a few are often locations where so-called 'super-spreaders' cause mass infection and yet they remain encouraged over social visits.

    I am NOT suggesting we allow house parties of 15 people, but there's a big difference between that and meeting your parents for a cup of tea in their own home, not surrounded by many others, the legislation has ceased to be proportionate.

    If the government have overwhelming evidence that small gatherings of 4-5 people indoors are the primary cause of spread just now, share that with the public, and share it with the world so it can be reviewed and discussion can be had why we're seeing different patterns than everywhere else with peer-reviewed studies.

    Likewise, questions should be asked about full-time return to schools and universities. We're still encouraged to work from home wherever possible, so learning from home should be encouraged as well, perhaps make schools part time so only half the student population is present at any one time (e.g. year groups 1,3,5 for half the week and 2,4,6 for the other, which will also reduce co-mingling between year groups)

    We have to view this with an approach of risk assessment and mitigation, not a view to eliminate risk which is not possible in any situation. The number of total deaths (not just COVID) in the last few months has actually reduced from the year on year because people aren't going out at all, but we can't remain wrapped in cotton wool for ever.

    By all means maintain restrictions on large gatherings, mass events etc, but unless NHS Scotland is overwhelmed, which it isn't, allow people some sense of normality, allow them to focus on their mental health and their family, without worrying about breaking the law by having a cup of tea with an older parent.
  • Posted by Blewis48 October 06, 2020 at 11:07

    Getting the balance right is tricky, I do not feel we have it just now.

    We need to learn to live with this virus and shutting things down, restricting people meeting families in their own homes is not the answer.

    A simple look on social media and news you see doctor devastated that patients are coming to them to late for people with cancer like symptom, heart disease, etc. Mental health is plummeting and all we hear about is COVID. Feel we need to accept that people will catch it and protect those we can but by locking things down I fear our “cure” will cause a more dramatic rise in deaths through cancer, suicides and other health conditions.

    We can’t copy countries like NZ who managed to pretty much eliminate it through strict restrictions but that include strict travel restrictions into NZ which their geography allows, we can’t do that.

    I’m glad I don’t need to make these decisions but hope they can have a wider and longer term view of what’s happening rather than focusing on the here and now.
  • Posted by Puffin1730 October 06, 2020 at 11:17

    There needs to be a balance between limiting the spread of the infection and allowing life to happen. It's not an easy one to find. However I think the current government trajectory is too focused on limiting the spread of the infection. Catastrophic damage to people's mental health, sectors of the economy and to community is being done. In the long run this, I think, will turn out to be far worse. We cannot eliminate this virus this winter. We need to find ways to live with it. Please don't let us have another lockdown. Please keep schools and unis open. Allow the hospitality industry to continue. Let families visit each other. Education, jobs and relationships are not optional extras. They are the very essence of life.
  • Posted by JaneMurray October 06, 2020 at 11:51

    Education and keeping schools open as normal should be the governments first priority. Our young people are our future. We need a more balanced approach so that all our people's overall health and wellbeing is protected. I think the government has become too focused on Covid-19 test results and there needs to be more balance.
  • Posted by Cookie2 October 06, 2020 at 12:25

    When this all started I felt the focus and balance was right. It was difficult for everyone, but an understandable response to an unprecedented situation. However, at that time there was a real hope that the situation would be relatively short term.
    Now, more than six months in, it is clear that we need to plan for a much longer term which has to mean a different approach entirely. Decide what our values are and focus on these.
    I personally think we need a totally new look at the approach we take - more and more lockdowns with so much uncertainty for everyone is just not good enough. So many people are being broken emotionally at the moment and that cannot be allowed to go on.
    I believe that we need to feel that we are empowered to do what is important to us and be supported to mitigate the risks for ourselves. Government dictates, that don't make sense to us, are not helping anyone and only encouraging people to ignore them. The different limitations for hospitality v family at home being the biggest contradiction in my book - especially when alcohol is involved. I agree that there is an issue with house parties or big groups in small homes but I have a large house with plenty space and 3 toilets so why can I not even allow my sister to come in for a cup of tea? Is there really scientific evidence that it is this level of contact that is spreading the disease? I find that very hard to believe. Perhaps a simple flow chart to help households make decisions about what is a reasonable risk and what is not could be published and shared with all to encourage sensible decision making.
    My 93 year old mother, with dementia, is in a lovely care home which allows as much visiting as the government guidance allows, but it is not enough. I am watching her wither in front of my eyes through lack of stimulation and family contact. The lack of real family contact is criminal and has taken all her quality of life away. I used to spend a lot of time with my mum, doing things like knitting, playing the piano and looking at photographs with her on most days. That was when she was at her happiest. Now I can't even look at a photo album with her as she is too far away to see.
    She is miserable most of the time despite the best efforts of lovely carers. We chose mums care home because of the clear message that we would be partners in mums care and were welcome at any time. This is no longer permitted regardless of the actual risk we present. Residents in care homes are individuals with their own needs. Risk / Benefit analysis should be undertaken for each resident to ensure that the best possible arrangement can be made for safe contact with family members or close friends taking account of the emotional impact of isolation. The lifestyle of the relatives would be one of the factors that could be considered. Many care home relatives are older and take a lot of care about who they make contact with but no one seems to take any account of that. I am no more risk to my mum than some of her carers. I am actually luckier than others that I can visit my mum indoors albeit for only 30 minutes a week. Some relatives do not get any indoor visits at all. This is wholly unacceptable and government must urgently ensure that this care home lottery is stopped and the needs of both residents and relatives are taken into consideration, through legislation if necessary.
  • Posted by Pippa202 October 06, 2020 at 12:37

    Definitely need to make holistic decisions. Take into account wider health, mental health and social impacts. Learn to live with the virus. And do more to allow young people freedom and opportunities.
  • Posted by Bigshire October 06, 2020 at 15:35

    Getting the balance right means government getting the message correctly out to the public. Currently, people in the north of England can't visit in each other's homes, but they can go to a pub (where, presumable, more than 6 people in 2 households will be present). They can also travel anywhere in the UK they want... but if the area needs to have such strict restrictions, the message the government is giving the populous is a mixed message of utter confusion and ludicrous ambiguity.
    If I am in an area that has a high rate of infection requiring no visiting in homes, then ALL social gatherings should be limited or prohibited. If I live in an area with strict restrictions, traveling outside my affected area is counter to keeping the virus contained by its very nature...
    We missed the epidemiological ball on this one. A full year of strict isolation and it would have been over. The economy would have taken a huge hit, but Government programs would have kept everyone eating and a roof overhead. We are too far into this to use this scenario at all without completely collapsing the entire UK. Getting the balance right now means making restrictions that make sense, don't contradict the goal, and allow the economy to recover or, at the very least, stay in business until we can beat this virus. Mostly it means giving clear, easily understood instructions from the government that actually make sense for local outbreaks not to spread further and relying on the public to be SUPER responsible (with consequences of decent severity to deter aberrant behavior) until sufficient medical advances have been made.
  • Posted by EMA191 October 06, 2020 at 16:38

    We have found our mental and physical health improved greatly when gyms and sports were allowed to return. Given we are coming into winter, having areas for exercise in bad weather should be kept open. This would help people’s mental health and wellbeing. It also allows for some socialising without having to pay for regular meals/coffees which might not be affordable for some.
  • Posted by CC2187 October 06, 2020 at 16:39

    We need to allow people to visit their elderly relatives in care homes. Also, threatening to shut everything down then back tracking needs to stop, it is psychological torture. We can not go back to March.
  • Posted by Kainsoch October 06, 2020 at 18:32

    I agree with many of the comments above and it would be useful to have a function to agree with other people's comments. Personally as a single person being able to go for a glass of wine in a pub, has helped my isolation considerably but I can't visit my parents indoors, even though I've been careful in my potential contacts before I visit? More restrictions will impact significantly on the economy. I know Scottish Gov can't do border controls but I think more emphasis should be on quarantining going forward if we want to open up tourism going forward. I also think that countries outwith Europe who have had success in limiting infection should be put forward as examples of how to manage Covid. And we will never eliminate if we don't support self isolation with a financial and social package. Just not possible otherwise.
  • Posted by DRWilson October 06, 2020 at 19:45

    The current restrictions are very unfair and in many cases lack humanity. Recent experiences at 2 family funerals where, despite, 50 people being allowed to attend a normal Sunday Mass only 20 were allowed to attend the funerals. Not 20 family groups but 20 in total. This is not rational nor necessary where both churches have regular capacity of a few hundred. I won’ t go into other specific details but restrictions about carrying or lowering a family member’s coffin is really tough and again does not seem to protect anyone.
    The current rules about not being able to take any one in a car is farcical. Due to circumstances we have a family member who sometimes resides elsewhere and the current rules means I am unable to pick him up in the family car. I could get myself a taxi badge and pick him up but not in my own car. Farcical and hugely difficult for our family.
    These are 2 examples where their restrictions are in humane. This can be applied to care home visiting and hospital visiting. One family member was unable to have any visitors which was hugely distressing to him. This was on the basis he was not in end of life care. He spent 4 full days without a visitor having been used to daily family visits. The family were called in to visit on the fifth day, the day he sadly died.
    I strongly maintain that, while clearly the implications of Covid have to be considered, public policy needs to better take account and respond to the huge social, economic and education implications arising. The balance is completely skewed at this time. Both UK and Scottish Government’s need to better balance their decision making otherwise the social and economic issues will be devastating.
    I am now unclear what the aims and objectives are, such as , protecting the NHS which no longer appears to be an issue.
    Clearer objectives supported by clear and concise reasoning is required as the data or science based evidence seems to shift to suit whatever narrative applies at any one time with the current focus on cases as opposed to hospitalisation or deaths.
  • Posted by Catpurr October 06, 2020 at 21:05

    Be honest with the Scottish People. This virus is not going away anytime soon. If by some miracle a vaccine is found, then it will take months/years to get everyone vaccinated.

    Constant restrictions and possible lockdowns are not a way to live long term. We need to learn to live with this virus. The lockdown in the spring was the right thing to do, but the time should have been used to come up with a long term plan - as it was very obvious that the virus wasn't going anywhere.

    The balance should be up to that individual person as we are all different - something which is important to me - might not be important to someone else. Give us the facts and let us decide how we live in the current world. Keep face masks and social distancing. Continue to track and trace, but let people decide if they sit in a pub with a couple of friends or decide to visit their parents inside.

    It's got to be down to personal choice now.
  • Posted by AnaMaria October 06, 2020 at 21:29

    I feel it is essential that we approach this as a ‘society’. The idea of ‘protecting the vulnerable and letting everyone else get on with it’ does not sit well with me. Also having to restrict sections of the economy, affecting livelihoods, has an enormous impact on individual lives.
    We have to share the burden of restrictions fairly across society. Otherwise we are telling our grandparents and vulnerable friends that our needs and wants trump their quality of life. Our grandparents fought for our futures and our parents were evacuated during the war to give us the life we have. Our vulnerable friends and family already carry a burden. It is our turn to take the burden. As a society we cannot keep ‘bailing out’ businesses because we want more freedoms than make sense during a pandemic.
    For me this means everyone following the health advice to the letter and driving the levels of infection back down. We all have to share the responsibility of additional impact on the economy if we are not willing to play our individual part in the solution. I felt we were very close to phase four, and in particular giving more access to family with people in Care Homes, however, that all disappeared with the significant outbreaks. We can do this!
  • Posted by alanmacrae41 October 06, 2020 at 21:44

    The Scottish Government must understand what is happening in the hospitality industry.
    If you have social distancing measures in place then the industry does not make any money.
    If you restrict opening times the industry will no longer make any money.
    If you have no music it ruins the atmosphere and makes venues miserable and undesirable and people stop going. Slowly but they really will stop going. Going out is becoming a depressing business.
    If this goes on much longer people will get out of the habit of going out and will not restart.

    At the moment a lot of the industry is hanging on by their fingertips but soon it will go off the cliff and the result will be catastrophic! For hundreds of thousands of Scots. Listen to those in the industry we know precisely what will happen. When it comes to public health you say you listen to the experts, do the same concerning the hospitality industry. Please.
  • Posted by PoppyG October 06, 2020 at 22:25

    Countries which have managed to open up their society and containe outbreaks have rapid access to mass testing including asymptomatic people, efficient contact tracing systems and stringent border controls. I think Scotland has some way to go to improve on those as winter approaches
  • Posted by PoppyG October 06, 2020 at 22:32

    The quarantine situation is a bit a a shambles. There needs to be tighter measures to ensure quarantine happens for international travel. There is no incentive for people to follow the quarantine rules.
  • Posted by slimbofat October 07, 2020 at 11:53

    The key to achieving balance is fairness, transparency and information.

    We currently have a situation where the lockdown restrictions are not fairly applied. Sectors of the economy are closed for no apparent reason and socialising is only allowed near a card reader. The restrictions should be fairer on younger generations who are being hit as hard by the lockdowns as older generations are hit by Covid.

    With proper testing information (showing where outbreaks are mostly likely to occur, where rates are highest etc.) citizens can make more informed decisions on their everyday activities. Each person has a unique risk profile/tolerance and until we have clear information and data available, risk assessment will be made based on the profile of the lowest risk tolerance (i.e. walking at the pace of the slowest).
  • Posted by ek1 October 07, 2020 at 12:31

    You will never please everyone! As our knowledge/understanding increases of the virus, it may be we have to amend some ways we used before. I'm disappointed people are politicising the work being done. Yes, people are wearing masks but, like teaching people how to wash their hands we need to teach people how to wear masks. Getting these basics instilled in the population will help, but people also need to show patience - we're in this for the long haul.
  • Posted by Robert866 October 07, 2020 at 17:26

    Most of the comments on this topic make more sense than the path chosen by the government. Meeting family members indoors is essential to our well bein, especially now we are approaching winter. Close pubs for the duration if really necessary to allow meeting with one's family which is a basic human right.
  • Posted by sarahwatt October 07, 2020 at 23:46

    We need to drop the "elimination" goal. This virus is endemic.

    More resources should be put into finding innovative ways to offer protection to the most vulnerable until there are vaccines or treatments to prevent death; ways that don’t cause all the collateral harm we're seeing from heavy suppression strategies.

  • Posted by Daradara October 08, 2020 at 20:59

    Your policy throughout this whole crisis has been that only very timid signs of impending disaster are necessary to trigger restrictions, yet pages upon pages of evidence are needed to lift them. You easily find excuses to impose restrictions and easily find excuses to keep them on. Please shift to a mindset where you require more proof to impose what essentially amounts to pretty serious attacks against people's livelihoods, mental health and freedoms; and where you're readier to find evidence to lift these restrictions once they're imposed.
    When you imposed lockdown in March, I thought that, being as it was such an exceptional measure, it would be lifted as soon as evidence appeared that it was necessary (hint: that evidence _did_ appear as early as late March). Instead, you drifted into a mindset where lockdown was the default position and getting us out of lockdown required piles and piles of evidence. This is an approach that is completely at odds with democracy, with how Scotland has come to be what it is now and with human nature, and it needs to go as a matter of urgency.
  • Posted by Clark88 October 09, 2020 at 14:23

    What phrase have we heard time and time again?

    “When we locked ourselves down we also locked down the virus with us. Therefore when we emerge from lockdown we release the virus”, or words to those effect. This in itself says, no matter when or how you reimpose lockdown measures, you are delaying the inevitable. It stands to reason therefore that everyone will, at some point, test positive and/or succumb to this virus, whether they are restricted or not. I’d to like to see the humility and decency in our leaders to admit fault where it clearly lies and stop perpetuating the denial.

    Top priorities right now should include serious discussion about false positive rating that the test is known to yield. The polymerase chain reaction test is the sole factor in every decision we are seeing and yet, it is on this weak scientific basis that I have had the rug ripped from under me in terms of work, along with many, many others.

    It is on this weak scientific basis that a generation has seen their promising formative years met instead with uncertainty and mental health battles, which were already at alarming levels prior to the pandemic.

    It is on this weak scientific basis that people have experienced the inconceivable agony and torture which persuades them that taking their own lives is a better way out. Think about that.

    It is on this scientific basis that we have turned people against each other and categorised people seeking honest debate conspiracy theorists.

    It is on this weak scientific basis that cancer patients, let alone patients of other serious illnesses, are being neglected or perpetually kept waiting in the name of saving lives. We are told those with co-morbidities are at a much higher risk - this is surely giving greater likelihood to this actually happening.

    It is on this weak scientific basis that people have been prohibited from visiting their dying relatives, never again able to tell them what they so yearned to say.

    The list goes on and on.

    Let’s not keep adding to it.

    Address the serious issues and questions surrounding the test itself. Who is infectious, who isn’t, who has dead virus as opposed to live, what cycle threshold is too sensitive, what cycle threshold is realistic, etc. Then and only then can we respond proportionately.
  • Posted by Pipkins October 10, 2020 at 10:06

    The main issue the Scottish government needs to bear in mind is that we are in the middle of a deadly pandemic that has killed a disproportionately high number of people in the UK and that tens of thousands are still experiencing symptoms months, after initially being infected.

    We've tried 'opening up' the economy over the last few months and this has effectively thrown out a lot of the progress gained through the sacrifices made by the people in Scotland who followed lock down restrictions to the letter. The Scottish government have had excellent advice from Scientific advisers and need to follow that advice while understanding that we still know relatively little about this virus and therefore need to apply the precautionary principle while we learn more. We know that the virus is mainly spread through particles in the air and we have been getting more and more evidence that masks can protect both the people around us and the wearer. Yet we are so slow and so suspicious when it comes to putting measures in place that are commonplace in other parts of the world.

    It's understandable that people are losing patience with restrictions and want life to return to some kind of normality but the reality is that we have to deal with the situation we find ourselves in now which means living very restricted lives so as to protect people's lives and health. People whose jobs and liveliehoods have been severly affected by the restrictions need to be supported fully and this will have to involve putting maximum pressure on the UK government. The mental health of the nation also needs to be taken into account. But the bottom line is, we all need to be patient, we need to listen to the science, we need to take precautions seriosuly and we need to find new ways of working and living which will allow us protect lives above all else. If we had put safety measures in place more quickly and imposed stronger restrictions for longer, we would have been able to be living more normal lives by now and the economy would be in a better position.
  • Posted by APragmatist October 10, 2020 at 16:11

    Small social gatherings must be allowed to protect mental health. I work in NHS psychology services and its undeniable that people are experiencing worse mental health as a direct result of the government restrictions of gathering. I believe this cannot and should not continue and at next review Government should change course and allow rule of 6 to apply indoors again. Otherwise people will certainly start top make their own rules if they haven't already
  • Posted by Penfold October 11, 2020 at 03:29

    Everything that Pipkins said above please.
    There you go, that was an easy submission.
  • Posted by GC9090 October 11, 2020 at 13:12

    For me, all the efforts and finances should go into our vulnerable. Those under 45 for example and with no known health concerns could function as always. Strict support and increased ability to avoid interaction for the older generations and vulnerable.
  • Posted by Cevs1289 October 11, 2020 at 14:22

    As a family we just want to be able to have our children educated, go to work and see our families. We don’t go to pubs/restaurants, we’re more than happy using takeaway or delivery services.

    As a teacher I can’t work if my own children aren’t in school. I can’t help them (as primary children) engage with online learning while also teaching my own class. It’s the worst of all worlds.
  • Posted by PatC October 11, 2020 at 14:40

    The Scottish Government has been doing a great job with limited power and resources.

    We do need to accept that doing everything that we can to eliminate the virus is the correct way to go.

    We don't have any idea how many people have been affected because there was no testing in the early days and then we had a period where people were to self-isolate but not get tested. For those who recovered completely, we will never know.

    However, many of us have Long Covid which is very debilitating. I am getting great support from my GP but not all are so fortunate.

    Many "long haulers" are previously fit younger people. Some were marathon runners. Many struggle to walk a few hundred yards.

    The range of symptoms suffered is immense and varies from person to person.

    This represents a huge hit to the working age population which will impact greatly on the economy.
  • Posted by Fionacinnolly October 11, 2020 at 14:50

    Masks in offices.
    Environmental Health to publish all hospitality Covid incidents ( as in this restaurant has had 0 positive cases in 21 days.) which would give them a traffic light system.
    Keep hospitality open with normal opening hours and ‘ration’ number of visits/ drinks allowed in a set period of time. So for example by use of NI no.

  • Posted by Lunardirp October 11, 2020 at 16:11

    1. Get Test and Trace working properly. Test results within 24hrs - 100% of contacts with people with a positive test must be contacted. We were promised this......if it is not deliverable then we should be told.

    Have people drive around and find the contacts if they do not respond to telephone or email. The cost to the economy and everyone if we don't do this will completely outweigh the cost of recruiting these people.

    Employ more people who are not "Clinicians" in the Test and Trace to ensure the tracing is done quickly and then pass the "Call/Case" to a "Clinician" to advise.

    2. Check on those who are supposed to be self-isolating. They can not be allowed to leave their house/home. This is the crucial piece as it is obvious that people are not doing this. IF everyone with a positive test or their contacts self isolates the numbers do not continue to rise at the rate they are doing.

    I know this is a tricky area to get the balance right in terms of medical confidentiality, but the idea that we should just "Hope" that people are doing the right thing appears to be naive.

    If that works why do we have laws and rules at all. People should just do the right thing?

    The most important element of attempting to control the spread has to be people with a positive test and their contacts must self isolate.

    As Margaret Ferrier has unfortunately demonstrated and surveys have suggested, this is not happening. Closing restaurants and pubs or anything else doesn't work without this.

    3. Set up an anonymous helpline to allow people to report anyone they know has either symptoms or a positive test or is a close contact. Investigate as many as possible offer the alternative of getting tested or self-isolating.

    4. Provide support for people to do the right thing and self-isolate. (I believe this is what the £500 payment is to do?) expand on this if necessary. (It will be a fraction of the cost to the country if we do not get this under control.)

    5. Raise the fines for people who have been told to self-isolate who leave their homes. This is an unwelcome step, but it is necessary. If we are willing to accept the need to restrict peoples freedom of movement generally, then not concentrating on the most crucial element is ridiculous.

    If test and trace work properly and people with a positive test, symptoms or a close contact self-isolate, the spread slows (Either this or there is something about this virus we have completely missed.)

    Then the whole target outbreaks strategy works and we can reopen everything bar large gatherings (Still socially distancing, masks, hygiene, test and self-isolate.)

    The problem is people are not Self-Isolating and by that I mean never leaving the house for anything other than by ambulance to hospital.
  • Posted by Whittijo October 11, 2020 at 17:02

    There needs to be a balance between risk to physical and mental health.

    What can we do safely?

    Can outdoor facilities be provided that will help us now, but which will last and be available for years to come? They need to be Scottish winter proof though - a big ask.
  • Posted by StevieTH0703 October 11, 2020 at 17:03

    The balance is not right now. We are going to have to live with COVID for a long time, we should put controls in place to mitigate the risk as much as possible without impacting on peoples quality of life negatively.
    Wear masks in public areas, continue the controls for entering and using businesses like shops & restaurants, allow sports to take place and protect the vulnerable through shielding or providing services that limit their exposure and let others people live their lives.
    The risk to population does not warrant such strict, intrusive controls, that are creating other long term negative impacts on society.
    The government is close to losing public support as it is and no one will follow any of the rules at this rate.
  • Posted by Mercs2011 October 11, 2020 at 17:09

    I think we need to start looking at long term ways for living with the virus as some people have said, rather than short term solutions, although I do understand the reasons that these short term measures are put in place.
    I would like to have a declared "friends and family bubble" of 5/6 people who we can see indoors in our own homes, for an extended period of time. I'd like to see something similar for children now that the colder weather is starting, so that their friends can have the option of visiting inside. If we want to change the group we could have access to a COVID test, then have a period of shielding before changing bubbles. Anyone outwith this bubble we could meet outdoors, masked up, or in hospitality with strictly enforced hygene measures in place.
    The idea of booking a set period of time in a bar or restaurant rather than having a curfew is a good one with restrictions on numbers in each establishment and perhaps using technology such as an app which has a maximum amount of bookings that you can make so that leaving times are staggered to minimise crowds leaving together. You can then provide contact tracing details before you go and show ID when you get there (like you would if you had booked seats on an aeroplane).
    You could have set consequences for anyone wilfully breaking the health and safety rules, either as households or businesses, not just fines but community work linked to the efforts to control or help those badly impacted by the COVID pandemic
    Public awareness: I'd also like to see more steps to be taken to reiterate to people why we need to work together and help each other in our communities, such as anecdotal stories from anyone suffering from long or short term COVID to show people again how easily it's spread, the real impact of the illness on the vulnerable, positive messages around protecting our loved ones and ways to show that this is not "just the flu." There could be lotos of positive stories using real people who have found ordinary ways, or used innovative ideas, to prevent the spread of the virus too.

  • Posted by JustAmy October 11, 2020 at 18:38

    I for one don’t want to see an entire sector, such as hospitality, fall into disrepair, but the first thing I require in this current situation is my family. If I could never go for dinner or have a pint at the pub then of course it would have an impact of my life socially, but continuously being stopped from seeing my elderly grandfather is having much more of an impact on my life. Put families first. Let us assess the risk for those we love ourselves.
  • Posted by Norrie October 11, 2020 at 19:09

    Power to deal with covid needs to be devolved to local authorities and health boards. They can work on their own emergency plans and introduce more flexibility. for example Covid free hospitals with neighbouring health boards if need be. First Ministers briefings should be replaced with more local authority updates, reducing a lot of fear people are felling. The SG should oversee how money and resources could be directed to the worst hit areas.
  • Posted by Sal1 October 11, 2020 at 19:49

    It feels an odd situation when you can go with a relative to a pub/ cafe etc with 1 metre distancing tables and full occupancy yet, can’t go inside a home where it is easy to maintain more than 2 metre distance, have access to separate hand washing facilities and exposure to only one other person.
  • Posted by Mtracey October 11, 2020 at 20:11

    I have chosen to stay at home since March and I have not been in anyone else’s house and I have not been in another house either. I have not been in a supermarket or a cafe/restaurant or pub. My social life as well as work has all been virtual. I have not seen any family members as they all live a good distance away. I have managed, it has not been easy but it is the only way I can make sure I am safe. I have not been to my holiday home as I know this beautiful area in the highlands has been inundated with tourists.

    My suggestion is to limit travel, everyone should stay within there own council or health board area with obvious exceptions. Stop tourists from overseas or other nations within the UK traveling here and spreading the virus. As the FM said, this virus won’t last forever but as long as people can freely travel to Scotland we will not be in a position to collectively suppress the virus. The economy will survive, issue bonds similar to war bonds and allow those who can afford to support the county do so and reap the rewards at a point in the future. Keep schools open for the benefit of our children and young people but put further and higher education to online learning to safeguard the health of all at these institutions and their families. Personally, my son goes to college one day a week and it feels like they last 7 months of staying at home has been wasted as we now need to accept this risk every week. Working from home should be the normal and while this isn’t always easy it can be done.

    Please keep the daily updates from the FM, they are invaluable for information regardless of the press asking sometimes stupid questions . I feel frustrated often listening to them and I can only imagine how the FM feels .

    Why the contribution is important

    My idea is important as lives matter and this should be priority over having holidays and socialising freely. I have no idea if I have an underlying health condition and I am not prepared to take the chance.
    by Mtracey on October 11, 2020 at 06:02PM
  • Posted by SAH123 October 11, 2020 at 20:31

    I have fully supported all the Scottish Government’s actions so far, until now. , I agree with closing licensed premises which seems the key thing to me. However, I am disturbed by the guideline limitation on leaving my health board area. I live in a small town with no cases (having checked the recent data) but my town is part of Lothian Health Board. Health Board areas are large and diverse. Using that delineation as a boundary to me is a very broad axe and, for the first time, I feel resentment - particularly about the travel restrictions. I have a deep rooted feeling that my civil liberties are being eroded and I am finding it all very uncomfortable.
    We will comply - until 25th. We have cancelled so much this year trying to abide by the spirit not just the letter of the rules - but I hope that the travel guideline is removed so the personal toll is lessened. I have compelling reasons to leave the area but feel I should choose not to - and I have had many sleepless nights wresting with my conscience.
  • Posted by Carronhall October 11, 2020 at 20:35

    Alcohol is one of the main problems. People take risks, even when only have had one or two drinks. Let hospitality open so pubs and restaurants can have an income serving food and non alcoholic drinks. Work closely with councils and police to shut down the places who breach the laws. Also ban alcohol sales in supermarkets so people don't just move the party to their homes. People in Scotland can learn that they can still have a good time with friends without getting drunk. Culture change is long overdue.
  • Posted by JennyNeil October 11, 2020 at 21:07

    Open businessess with less risk first not higher risk like pubs etc like you did first time round while punishing the rest who could open much more safely!
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