Opinion: Time for everyone across Falkirk district to back those who have supported us in lockdown

There will be a general sigh of relief across the district and the country on Monday when we take a huge step forward in the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 6:40 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 6:50 pm

For almost four months non-essential shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs, gyms and other cultural and leisure facilities have been closed in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19.

But April 26 marks another milestone as we can once again travel outwith our council areas, even over the border if desired, and there is some semblance of normality.

There have been lots of comments that this second lockdown has been so much tougher than the first in March 2020 with the winter weather keeping us indoors and making it particularly difficult to keep in touch with friends and families, albeit socially distanced.

Falkirk Steeple

I’ll vouch that playing with a two-year-old in the garden while a cold wind blows was certainly bittersweet: so happy to be able to see him but struggling with the cold.

As the retail sector prepares to open up – many staff already back in preparation for what will no doubt be an onslaught of customers from April 26 – it’s worth remembering the importance of supporting all our local independent shops and businesses.

They have had it particularly difficult with weeks and months of uncertainty over reopening dates.

However, they’ve also been ingenuous in ways that they’ve come up with to keep customers supplied, whether it be doorstep deliveries of clothes, cocktails or meals to cook at home.

This is the time that they really need us all to recognise the important part they play in our local economy and to give them our support.

I cannot talk about shops without mentioning the untimely death of Falkirk M&S employee John McAleer.

He was known to so many people through his kind words and gestures.

For much of the last year, and in all weathers, he has been on the door of the Central Retail Park food store directing people in and out as numbers allowed. He managed to make queueing in all weathers bearable by his cheery demeanour and always taking time to talk to people.

A true gentleman, thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues. RIP John.

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