Comment: Crucial connections to lift spirits in uncertain times

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The full impact of life under lockdown is evident across Fife.

Streets are empty, shops closed, public transport usage has slumped, and, sadly, the number of cases of coronavirus continues to rise.

We have now witnessed the first deaths in the Kingdom, underlining the very real threat facing us all if we do not conform to the Government guidelines on staying at home and ensuring social distancing is the norm.

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It is impossible to say when we will return to life as we used to know it.

While it is heartening to hear Government officials say lockdown is working, we have only just begun a spring of isolation.

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It could be weeks, possibly months, before we can fully interact and the wheels of industry and commerce begin to turn once again.

But, while we are all in lockdown, there is so much to lift our spirits.

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The remarkable response of so many community groups to ensure the most vulnerable are not forgotten.

The commitment of many individuals to go the extra mile for others – putting their needs first.

In their own way they are lifesavers.

While our health service cares for those who are ill – rising to deal with a sitiuation no health expert could possibly have expected – the lifelines established across streets, among neighbours, and in communities, are worth their weight in gold.

Then there is the ingenuity of our talented creative Fifers who have gone online to deliver a host of virtual entertainment – much of it free of charge.

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We have discovered everything from concerts beamed from living rooms to free magic lessons – and all of it helps to make people feel included, not isolated, in these difficult, uncertain times. Those connections are hugely important, and will continue to be for some time to come.

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