By Kenny MacAskill, East Lothian MP

AS EVER, good intentions can have unanticipated consequences. The lockdown’s the same and has seen my office and I involved in trying to resolve them. There’s been many issues and challenges, some of which have been resolved, others are under review and, sadly, some may be incapable of resolution.

In some cases, it’s exposed my previous shameful lack of awareness. They have, though, made me, and no doubt others, much more aware of issues that we’d never considered, which can only be a good thing.

The most distressing has been the plight of those seeking to maintain contact with terminally ill loved ones. It’s difficult for nursing staff to balance the need for protection from harm for all, with common humanity for the individuals concerned. Thankfully, compassion has been balanced along with the necessary care. Through the good efforts of all, precious time together is being made available.

Dentistry’s a growing problem for both patients and practitioners. Dental practices are closed as with a lot of other routine medical procedures.

Financial pressures are being felt by dentists and the need of patients for treatment is growing.

Pain relief or extraction can only go on for so long. Many will be anxiously awaiting news from the Chief Dental Officer.

Swimming pools are closed but there are a few who have been using them not for relaxation but as a vital way of being able to exercise and mitigate pain. Partially opening pools was sadly too problematic with staff’s welfare and other complexities, but thoughtful consideration was at least given to it.

Harder still’s the problem of face masks for those with hearing issues, who require to lip read. I can see the problem but not the solution. Hopefully, smarter minds than mine might.