A year of reflection from council leader
I was reminded this week that it’s almost 12 months since my first statement on the Covid-19 pandemic.
In March 2020, I made the following comment: “I am full of admiration for the ongoing response work being carried out by our staff and those in other agencies, including – but not limited to – Public Health, the Department of Work and Pensions and Hebridean Housing Partnership.
“This is likely to be the most challenging set of circumstances that most of us have ever faced in our lives.
"However, by working together and following advice, particularly to stay at home unless absolutely essential, I am confident that we are well prepared and that we will come through this stronger as a community.
“No one is complacent, as no one knows to what extent we will be affected, but all our work last week, this week and next week is about effective preparation.
"My main message, to each and every one of you, is that you look after yourselves and look after each other.”
I think it would be appropriate for us all to take a moment to remember people in the Western Isles, and further afield, who have been impacted in the past year.
We should also be thankful that we have maintained a very low infection rate and we are all pleased too that test and protect measures have worked effectively.
We all continue to be very grateful to everyone who has been working with great dedication for over a year now in order to cope with this pandemic.
We are fortunate now to be in a position where the vaccine programme is protecting older members of our community and is being rolled out at pace among other age groups. Well done to all involved in the efficient and effective delivery of the programme.
Thank you once again to the people of the Western Isles who are doing the right thing, working and waiting patiently at home for restrictions to lift.
We really do appreciate your ongoing efforts and following the guidance which no doubt will help bring this unprecedented experience to a conclusion, and then we can all look forward to better times ahead.