Well, here we are in Scotland one year on, and still living the pandemic life.
This time last year I was grappling with a week’s holiday from work, stuck in the house as a result of the restrictions and reflecting on a cancelled trip to Tunisia.
At the end of March 2021 much has changed, but I have another week’s holiday from work and unable to do much. It is a criminal offence to leave the house unless it is for one of the specified essential reasons.
I had my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in February, and I have certainly noticed a big change to my level of concern about being infected since then. I still stick to all the rules. Apart from any other consideration (like not being stupid or selfish) it is only 85% effective and that does not take account of exotic mutations of the virus.
We are led to expect a significant easing of restrictions between now and the end of April. Fingers crossed. I know businesses need some lead in time for re-opening, but the danger is the average Covidiot perceives the danger as being gone, and starts to exhibit even greater levels of Covidiocy. It is just as infectious as the virus.
I was able to escape my solitary house arrest briefly this week. Because I live alone I am allowed to form an extended family, and in my case it is with my adult son. He can visit my home, and vice versa. Visiting him in Edinburgh is an essential reason to leave home and to travel.
So, off I went on the train. I left my car in a park and ride which holds 200 cars, and is full by 9am in normal times. I counted 9 cars at lunchtime. Inverkeithing station was deserted. Edinburgh was like a ghost town. Haymarket station was deserted when I headed home.
My time off has given me the chance to reminisce over some past March adventures. In 2017 it was a short break on Eigg, one of the Small Isles and part of the Inner Hebrides. Wonderful.
In March 2013 and 2016 I was in Ingolstadt.
ⓒ iain taylor, 2021