I expect any day now to see a coronavirus graph showing that the fewer days to Christmas, the higher the level of public recklessness.
It seems too many fools have decided the rush to spend, eat and drink in the run-up to the December 25 negates the need to cover their faces, keep their distance and protect everybody from Covid-19.
This was best summed up in a single train journey from Stonehaven to Aberdeen at the weekend.
The first clue things were getting lax came with the queue of people waiting in the stairs up to the platform to stay out of the rain.
Sardines was a popular party game at Christmas parties. Looks like it’s making a comeback with rail passengers.
Personally, I preferred to stand outside in the howling storm than breathe in air that had been in a dozen or so sets of lungs before mine.
Even outside, though, people were crushing into a shelter marked “out of use”.
And things went from bad to stupendously worse once we got on the train. We had gone to the front carriage because it looked nice and quiet.
It would have been, had it not been for a rabble spread across two tables, shouting and yelling at each other,
Not a mask among them, of course, because that would have cramped their style when it came to drinking their bottles of MadDog 20/20.
It was when they started strutting up and down the aisle, still shouting to each other, that we decided to move carriage rather than run the risk of becoming coronavirus victims courtesy of a chav outing from Dundee (you could tell by the accents).
Normally, I’m a live and let live cove, but that behaviour warranted alerting the guard. It wasn’t just annoying, it was dangerous.
The nice chap calmly told us our friends next door had been clocked by CCTV and would be met by the police in Aberdeen.
And so they were… with the train doors closed until the cops had got on.
We walked past on the platform and looked in the carriage to see the now chastened group sitting quietly as they were spoken to.
Next thing they were being escorted off the train and on to the southbound platform, one assumes to be put on the next train back whence they came. And quite right too.
They hadn’t so much ignored the rules but smashed through them. No face coverings on public transport? Strike one. Drinking on a train where alcohol is barred? Strike two. Travelling out of a level 3 area? Strike three… you’re outta there.
Apart from anything else, this bunch of Muppets were stupidity squared. They didn’t have the cunning to be quiet about what they were up to…
And let’s be frank about what they were doing… putting the health of people in Aberdeen at risk just because they wanted a Christmas day trip.
No one likes the current restrictions, but they are there for a reason.
For pity’s sake use common sense and stay safe, Christmas or not.
Struggling addicts are worth a bit of kindness
We’ve all done it… seen someone stotting down the road and muttered to ourselves “just a junkie”.
But it isn’t, is it? It’s a person. It’s someone’s son or daughter, mother or father, sister or brother.
Someone who needs helped, not ignored, who needs an outstretched hand of tolerance, not shunned.
No one chooses to become a drug addict. It is something that could happen to anyone. It could be someone we loved.
So when the head of Scotland’s drug deaths taskforce says society is guilty of ignoring and neglecting addicts, we all need to listen.
Professor Catriona Matheson was appointed in the wake of Scotland’s dire number of drug misuse deaths, the highest in Europe. That shames us all.
We should be demanding action, not resting until this hideous death toll is stopped.
And the first step to that, as Prof Matheson says, is showing more compassion.
People are losing loved ones to this scourge and we, as a society, cannot just look away and dismiss it as nothing to do with us.
Instead, we should be looking at every option, including legalising drugs to keep them as safe and regulated as possible, and out of the hands of criminals.
Let’s keep people alive, let’s reduce the risks to drug users, let’s stop the stigma.
See the person, not the problem.
Brexit has become Britain’s shame
So we’ve gone from an oven-ready Brexit deal to deploying gunboats to protect “our” fishing waters.
What more evidence do you need that Boris Johnson and his grizzly gang are out of control?
How can we have shifted from being part of a trade alliance with modern, forward-looking nations to this jingoistic sabre-rattling?
Is this, seriously, what the people who voted to leave Europe wanted?
No matter what happens in the Brexit talks, the United Kingdom is a busted flush on the world stage. Prepared to break international law, prepared to jeopardise peace.
Shameful and unacceptable.