During a ‘unimaginably demanding’ 2020, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon thanked Scots for their sacrifice.
“extraordinary dedication”extraordinary dedication”show kindness, compassion and love to one another.”show each other kindness, compassion and love.
“year of recovery”year of recovery.
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Speaking of the joy many will feel as the year comes to a close, she said, “2020 has been unimaginably difficult; thousands of loved ones have been lost, our society has been turned upside down, our economy has suffered a serious hit, many have lost their jobs, families have had to cancel vacations, and Christmas plans have had to be cancelled, of course.”
We had to give up so many of the things in life that we enjoy most, human fellowship, loved ones’ embraces, the warmth and pleasure that we derive from being together and spending time together.
“I can’t thank you all enough for the sacrifices you have made and the patience you have shown during these last difficult months.”
Ms. Sturgeon thanked those who volunteered for vaccine trials and the Scots who, during the pandemic, sponsored charities, corporations and people in their society, adding, “These were all bright spots in dark times. They reminded us again what really matters in life – kindness, compassion, solidarity and love.”
Calling on people to “persevere and stick together,” she added, “As we look ahead to 2021, there is much to look forward to, despite all the difficulties ahead.”
Tens of thousands of people in Scotland are now vaccinated against Covid for the first time.
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And in the coming weeks and months, that number will rise.
The extension of free nursery care, the launch of the Scottish Child Benefit to combat child poverty and the latest Scottish Investment Bank’s first full year can all be seen in 2021.
“We should and must concentrate on making Scotland a fairer and greener nation as we recover from this pandemic.
And, of course, the eyes of the world will be on Glasgow by the end of the year and the COP 26 climate summit, a meeting that has the potential to put the world on the road to a more prosperous future.
“So even as we reflect on this darkest of years, we can see light in the future.”
Alister Jack, the Scottish Minister, also thanked frontline workers who replied with “collective resilience, compassion and generosity.” to the pandemic.
Mr. Jack said in his New Year’s letter, “I want to offer my deepest condolences to all those who have lost their loved ones to this cruel virus.”
“We must not lose sight of the individual lives behind the statistics and we must continue to work together to ensure we defeat this virus for good.”
He claimed in a more diplomatic message that the ‘great deal’ signed with the EU would open up new global markets for Scottish companies and warned against another referendum on independence.
If the UK pulls together, he said, 2021 will place us squarely on the path to recovery.
In a year of opportunity, the last thing we need is for Scotland to be entangled in demands for another unwelcome, divisive referendum on independence. Now is not the time for that.
Instead, in the interests of all, the people of Scotland want the UK government and the devolved governments to work together. We call on the Scottish Government to collaborate with us to concentrate on job support and accelerate the economic recovery of Scotland.
“As we begin this new chapter, my firm hope is that across the UK we seize the many opportunities that lie ahead. I believe our future is bright.”