Scotland went into the current level of restrictions with an infection rate marginally below that of England, this week, we are marginally higher. Millions of individual actions go into these figures but evidence for the effectiveness of closing outdoor events does not exist. They remained open in England but shut in Scotland.
Scottish Rugby have a home game against England at Murryfield scheduled for 6 February, a game they threatened to take to Newcastle, if current restrictions were not lifted. Newcastle United host 50,000 spectators each home game without troubling their infection rates. On socioeconomic terms, football and rugby are miles apart.
Our governments in Edinburgh and London only care about one when their flag of choice can be waved to a patriotic anthem. Scotland moving a rugby game to England, or vice versa, would be anathema – the opposite of a patriotic opportunity. Whatever steps necessary to keep the Scotland-England rugby game at Murrayfield will be taken.
Today, the First Minister has little choice but to relent and open what is scientifically believed to be the safest way to meet and interact with other people – outdoor events. I fear some random limit below Celtic Park capacity, and of a temporary nature that expires before 6 February, but hopefully 60,000 of us will be able to gather on Monday to see our new Japanese recruits play for Celtic for the first time.
We are far from through with this scourge and need to follow scientific advice (if not government words and actions). Limit indoor interactions, keep windows open and all spaces ventilated, meet outdoors whenever possible, follow clear scientific advice and roll up your sleeve. And are you really too special to wear a mask?