By Kenny MacAskill, East Lothian MP

MINDS are turning to life post-coronavirus, though it’ll still be a while before lockdown is even partially lifted. But some of the enforced changes have suited some.

I’ve a few friends nearing retirement age and, enjoying the change in pace of life, have decided to retire early. It doesn’t suit everyone and it’s not available for many but, for those to whom it does apply, I say good luck.

But there are other aspects that apply to us all. The Irish President, Michael D Higgins, made a remarkable speech about how both a better country and a fairer world need to come from this. Those sentiments and that ambition must apply here, as well as across the Irish Sea.

When this is over, it’s about rewarding fairly those who have, not just throughout this crisis but always, worked hard in difficult circumstances.

It’s decent pay and conditions, as much as applause, that NHS staff, carers and council workers deserve. Despite the rhetoric about all of us being in this together, the poor have been suffering the most and that too must change.

As well as in our economy and society though, the change must also be in our natural environment. The return of wildlife has been joyful and the improvement in air quality a revelation.

The latter’s something we’ve often taken for granted but for those with a lung or heart problem it’s a daily concern.

The images of pollution fading across countries is astonishing but the freshness we’re feeling in our lungs is something we need to retain.

We can’t simply go back to life the way it was. When the coronavirus crisis is over, the climate change crisis will remain.

We need to cherish the improvements that have come about, but remember the huge challenges that still exist, in ensuring our planet’s habitable for future generations.

It won’t be either easy or simple but the sacrifices made by so many and the limited pleasures we’ve had as a result of it, must be a spur to deliver that better country and fairer world.