By the time this article is published we will have experienced an Easter weekend like no other, at a time when our lives have changed in ways we could have never imagined.
The vast majority of people in West Dunbartonshire have been doing the responsible thing by following the guidance on social distancing, and I appreciate how difficult it’s been staying apart from family and loved ones. But it’s the right thing to do to reduce the spread of this deadly disease.
As I write this, 566 people in Scotland have been confirmed as having lost their lives to Covid-19. Across the UK, more than 10,000 people have died having tested positive for the disease.
The impact of the Coronavirus has been devastating. Behind each of those numbers is a human being – someone who was loved and leaves behind grieving family and friends. Our heartfelt condolences go out to each and every one of them.
In Dumbarton our communities have been grieving for those taken too soon, including Catherine Sweeney who sadly passed away on Sunday 4th April. Catherine was a beloved mother, sister and auntie who dedicated her life as a carer to helping West Dunbartonshire’s most vulnerable.
It’s clear from the tributes paid to Catherine that she touched the lives of many people in our communities, and her passing reminds us of the important contribution made by our dedicated care workers every day.
Across the country, care workers, nurses, doctors, paramedics, porters, cleaners are all working tirelessly on the frontline to keep us safe and we owe each of them a huge debt of gratitude.
The world is facing an unprecedented time of crisis. For most of us this is the biggest challenge of our lifetimes and it’s inspiring to see so many people in our communities playing their part and looking out for others.
From checking in with elderly neighbours and reaching out to those in need, these small acts of kindness are making a big difference. Local volunteers at charities such as ‘Food for Thought’ are dedicating their time to deliver essential medicines and food aid to vulnerable residents across Clydebank, Dumbarton and the Vale.
As we enter the 4th week of lockdown I understand many people are finding things tough, but it’s important to know that you are not alone – help is available if you need it. I’m grateful to everyone in West Dunbartonshire for playing their part in helping us get through this crisis.
All of us need to continue doing the right thing by following the guidance to stay at home except for essential purposes. By doing that we will help slow the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.
This article was written for publication in the Dumbarton Reporter.