Heavy snow causes widespread disruption across Inverness, a welcome distraction from omicron hysteria

by Colin Campbell

HEAVY snow caused disruption across Inverness on Tuesday after an unusually mild start to the year. As we write, time will tell if the whiteout will be a one day winter wonderland or will drag on until mid February, as it did from the first days of January last year.

But the near blizzard like conditions in upper parts of Inverness won’t last for two years, that’s for certain.

And looking on the brighter side, at least it was some kind of welcome distraction from the virus. And it’s been a long time since anything like that happened.

In terms of media headlines, give me “Snow chaos strikes Scotland” rather than “Omicron fears sweep country”  any and every day of the week.

Heavy snow fell across Inverness yesterday.

But even allowing for the fact that this is inevitably a grim time of year, has Inverness city centre ever on January 4 looked bleaker?

There were few people around the grey, slushy, treacherous streets.

Many unwilling or having no good reason to venture out on such a filthy day.

Some wanting to avoid the risk of the new “tsunami” variant.

And the rest self isolating and locked up at home for 10 days.

Yesterday, amid the icy downtown wind and sleet, self isolation looked not such a bad prospect.

Hibernation looked an even better one.

As I don’t work anymore I’m fortunate that I can do what I like on a day like yesterday. I’ve done my 45 years of turning up on time, snow, hail or shine, to see what the unpredictable world of newspapers had in store.

At 9am yesterday I looked out the window, rolled over and went back to sleep. Is it any wonder so many people are reluctant to start going back to work as normal “because of covid”? Especially when on days like yesterday, particularly I’ve no doubt in the cushier parts of the public sector, they can look out the window at 8am, then roll over and do the same.

Or maybe that’s doing them a mean injustice for their utter dedication to making every minute count working from home. Let’s just say, rightly or wrongly, I have my doubts.

On Wednesday, whatever the weather, Nicola Sturgeon will give yet another covid update.

Will she cut the self isolation period from 10 days to seven, in line with England? Or citing the rapidly rising rate of virus infections, will she argue she’s been right all along. “I want to be straight with you and we can’t take the risk”.

After all, in the world of Sturgeon and the SNP,  it’s only right and proper that English workers should have to take the risk, and through their efforts pay for those north of the border not to have to do so. And that Sturgeon and Co should have the right at any time to look at the cost to business, jobs, and services and demand that Westminster should pay for it.

“More, more, more”.

If the UK Government pays for their “less risk to Scots” demands the Scottish Government are the “cautious saviours of lives”.

If they refuse it’s another example of the callous attitude shown to Scots by the “evil Tories”.

Blustering Ian Blackford will have the script written already.

I hope Westminster continue to refuse to pay for Sturgeon’s industry and services wrecking grandstanding. Don’t give them a farthing, and let them bear the consequences and the backlash, for once.

I don’t normally wish harm on anyone. But as she’s chauffeured about in her top of the range limo, couldn’t Sturgeon slip on a patch of ice when descending and sprain her larynx or something.

And spare us for a few days her limelight grabbing “updates”.

In the cosseted world of “The Mother of the Nation” that’s probably too much to hope for.

Meanwhile, in the snowbound and icy real world of Inverness on January 4, I can report that the buses, at least as I saw it, were commendably running on time. Credit where it’s most definitely due.

Given the huge difficulties with staff absences caused to public services everywhere by Sturgeon and her 10 day self isolation stubbornness, that wasn’t just a triumph of timetabling efficiency, it was a winter miracle.

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