Covid: Do you have 'blood on your hands'? – Scotsman comment

Anyone who went first-footing last night may wish to consider the words of Professor Hugh Montgomery.

People still need to wear face masks to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)
People still need to wear face masks to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)

People infected with Covid without displaying any symptoms who fail to follow the lockdown rules, he said, “have blood on their hands”.

“They are spreading this virus. Other people will spread it and people will die. They won't know they have killed people but they have,” he told the BBC.

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The clearly exasperated Professor Montgomery works in a London hospital, but his words apply equally in Scotland.

Yesterday, it was revealed that a total of 2,622 cases had been reported over the past 24 hours in Scotland, a record-high figure for the third day in a row.

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And while some people have put the rising number of cases down to the new strain of the virus, Professor Montgomery said this idea made him “actually very angry”.

“It is not the virus, it is people, people are not washing their hands, they are not wearing their masks,” he said. And the victims were not just the frail and elderly, he added. “The people we are getting are, like the first wave, my age really. I am 58 and I would say half the patients are younger than me.”

Writing in The Scotsman yesterday, Professor Harry Burns, former chief medical officer for Scotland, urged people to stick to the lockdown rules to help “hard-pressed NHS staff who are working round the clock to save lives” as he warned the strain could lead to post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health problems.

If too many people stop taking this deadly disease seriously, Scotland will pay a heavy price just as the end of the pandemic is in sight with vaccines being rolled out to the population.

Everyone is fed up with this. Few of us like wearing a mask, repeatedly washing your hands is a chore, and the economic problems caused by Covid and the lockdown will be with us for years to come.

But if we don’t want to have “blood on our hands”, we need to do to our duty – not to our country but to our fellow human beings – until the danger has passed.

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