I haven’t been so disturbed by the First Minister’s words since she enthused about Hilary Clinton, back in 2016.
I think, today, she was preparing the ground for a decision to follow England into full lockdown only so that we get the furlough payments we might not get if we had to implement one later, when the 5 tier system just launched, maybe has not worked.
Maybe I’ve misread this and, if I’m wrong, I will accept that.
However, let’s be clear, there is no case for a full lockdown across Scotland.
The restrictions imposed on Glasgow, the two Lanarkshire and two Dunbartonshire areas, six weeks ago, are working. Infection levels there are way below those in the North of England and have been steadily falling for 8 or 9 days.
The 5 tier system is still tough on those same areas plus others in the Central Belt. There is no reason to doubt further reductions.
There is no good reason to impose a full lockdown on Level 1 and 2 areas and incur the damage to mental health and to businesses.
As Professor Bauld says, the tiered system is science-based, approved by Parliament and has been clearly communicated.
A full lockdown would be justifiably resented and perhaps trigger lower compliance.
Furlough payments are available in Scotland for Tier 3, as it is and there is little doubt that England will require them again beyond the 4 weeks of this lockdown.
Hospital admissions are climbing but far less steeply than in England and inevitably lag behind infection levels. No one seriously believes they will be swamped this time any more than the y were last time.
Mind you, another lockdown, just because England needs one, might do wonders for the Yes vote.