Are we heading for a happy ending to the Covid-19 story?
A vaccine to combat the deadly virus has been developed with meteoric speed as we head for a brave new world.
It’s one where there will be no arrows on the floor, no hand sanitiser at every turn, no requirement to wear face coverings and – best of all – no “mask police” ready to wag a chastising finger.
Alas, I believe such thoughts are premature, although ground arrows in some premises, like supermarkets, were removed pretty quickly as common sense kicked in and the singing of “In and Out The Dusty Bluebells” ceased.
But how long might it take after the vaccine is distributed before we see real change?
With Halloween ditched and Christmas cancelled, and some experts telling us a return to normality in spring is too optimistic, poor cyclists may still be dodging those giant plant pots, not to say people, on Aberdeen’s Union Street by the time we’re scheduled for a couple of weeks on the Costas.
By then, however, small numbers of football fans could be allowed to watch their favoured team limp towards the end of the season, but without the luxury of the half-time catering and therefore the starvation of the local gull population.
Clubs could also downsize and play their games at a ground vacated by a lower league outfit forced to pack it in. Worst of all, though, there will be large swathes of people so used to almost a year of the various stages of lockdown we’ve experienced, who will be entrenched in their behaviour as they realise that their personal expenditure has dropped and they have more money in their pockets. What’s not to like about that?
As has already been mooted, court hearings and trials will be held in places like Cineworld, and perhaps even in empty office suites, as landlords seek novel ways to claw back lost revenue.
Cones rolled out in their millions to block off roads and used on streets for social distancing will be removed, posing a “what are we supposed to do with these?” question for the companies providing them.
The additional woodwork in the form of seating and temporary – how long is temporary? – bus stops on thoroughfares like Union Street will be dismantled and stored for use for next year’s local authority November the Fifth bonfires, while bus companies will settle for what they presently offer their users.
What, then, will be the “new normal”?
And will it be accepted as politicians and business leaders tell us:
“Just thank your lucky stars you didn’t catch Covid”.
Missionary and the woke folk
Can you believe it? The inclusion of the missionary Mary Slessor in a new exhibition in Aberdeen’s Provost Skene House “could be considered problematic” in the context of Black Lives Matter, according to a city council official.
Why? According to a freedom of information request, the official stated this remarkable and courageous woman, revered in Africa for saving children from starvation and ritual slaughter in Nigeria, “imposed her Christian views” on the local population.
Slessor, born in Gilcomstoun, Aberdeen, in 1848, moved with her family to Dundee and worked in the jute mills as a child while living in squalor.
She was a heroic figure, honoured in her adoptive city where a square has been named after her, while many of her belongings feature in the McManus Gallery.
Indeed, it was at school in Dundee that I learned the Mary Slessor story and thought of her as a fellow Dundonian.
She died of disease in Africa where she is proclaimed “The Mother of all the Peoples”.
She taught Africans that killing and mutilation were wrong and she did it through her Christian beliefs, a faith that has now been called into question.
Aberdeen, which should be proud of her, has been slow off the mark in recognising Mary Slessor’s achievements.
And, isn’t that ill-judged “problematic” comment offensive to Christians?
Star of sturgeon show is not Nicola
I have never been a fan of BBC Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon Show.
The script rarely changes and the same actors appear in every episode with none allowed to have more dialogue than the main character. I even grew tired of the signers for the deaf, although the woman with the short grey hair is riveting.
Best not tell the first minister, though, or she will be replaced.
I sympathise with residents of Angus, Fife and Perth and Kinross, however, now in level 3 and unable to welcome visitors to sample the delights of Brechin, Kirkcaldy and Auchterarder.