Keeping Faith With Our Humanity

blue flower Bell

photo credit: Bell

“Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.” Thomas Keneally, Schindler’s List

One of the things we will not be doing in The Orkney News is publishing daily numbers of how many people in Scotland or indeed locally  are testing positive for Covid-19. It is not helpful and for some people it can raise their anxiety levels. If you want to check them for yourself here are the links:

What is more concerning is the appearance of misinformation posted across social media and in some news sites. Some of this may be deliberate with people taking advantage to stir up fear and anxiety. In other cases it stems from ignorance.

Scotland has a devolved administration. There are posts on social media sites – including ones to offer help and advice to people in Scotland – which relate to other parts of the UK, not necessarily Scotland. This is not helpful.

In The Orkney News we endeavour to continue to be a trusted source of information with helpful links. (Use our search engine to find our posts on Covid19, coronavirus)

The UK Parliament passed its Coronavirus Act which you can read about here: Sweeping New Government Powers – The Coronavirus Act

The Scottish Parliament too has passed The Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill.

Both pieces of legislation went through very quickly which just goes to show how quickly governments and parliaments can react when they need to.

You can find the SPICe briefing on it here: Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill SPICe

The emergency legislation in Scotland includes, as did the UK one, substantial new powers over citizens rights – but there are also protections in it. For example:

  • Protecting people renting their homes in the private and social sector from eviction with an extension to the ‘notice to leave’.
  • A 6 month ‘breathing space’ for debtors
  • Ability of licensing authorities to extend the deadlines for licence applications that allow the sale and supply of alcohol, and taxi and private hire.
  • Extension of planning permission application
  • Extension of BIDs (Business Improvement Districts) which were up for renewal

The Coronavirus (Scotland Bill) also includes a ‘sunset clause’ . This means it is time limited with possible dates being   31 March 2021 or 30 September 2021. It may, however, (let’s hope) end before that time.

Most citizens are being responsible – limiting shopping to once a week or online deliveries, socially distancing themselves from friends and family and heeding the advice from NHS Scotland and Police Scotland.

There are also many wonderful examples of volunteers helping those who are finding this a really difficult time to get shopping or even have a hot meal.

I have zero tolerance for the behaviours of the  heir to the throne or Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer who themselves ignore the very limitations they are urging the rest of us to adhere to.

And anyone who pleeps about not being able to drive from their home to a park or the beach, or any other beauty spot I would remind them of 13 year old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab. He died of Covid 19, in hospital. His parents and siblings unable to be with him or attend his funeral. When a commentator on a TV news report says ‘these people would have died anyway’, it is impossible to understand how a reporter can be so callous.

Young Ismail had no underlying health conditions – he was 13 and should have had a whole life ahead of him.

Protecting ourselves and others is extremely hard but please let us remember our humanity. Follow the advice – wash your hands, take a wee walk every day and essential travel only.

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Stay at Home Brodgar Covid 19 by Stewart Bremenr

Art work by Stewart Bremner

Reporter: Fiona Grahame




2 replies »

  1. What a good idea, not publishing numbers. I wish other news providers would follow your lead!

  2. Sadly even after 20+ years, there are still people (Little Englanders) and organizations in England who still don’t realize that Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland have Devolved Governments.

Leave a Reply