THE crisis brought on by the covid-19 pandemic has now reached a confusing stage for many.

That won’t have been helped by the prime minister’s baffling decision to ditch the simple, clear message to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.

Of course, those remain the cornerstones of the strategy in Scotland and staying home remains the most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from this lethal virus.

The pandemic, and resultant lockdown, has brought into sharp relief just how fragile some aspects of our society are.

The Scottish Parliament has continued to function with new measures to help MSPs contribute remotely.

I’ve been working with my Green colleagues to try and ensure that not only are people protected throughout the crisis, but that the society we build in the aftermath is better than the one we leave behind.

For the moment, we’re pushing the Scottish Government to urgently step up testing in a significant way. The health secretary and the first minister still haven’t committed to regular testing for frontline NHS staff, despite the proposal being backed by public health experts like Sir Harry Burns, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.

The evidence makes it clear that regular testing is essential both in protecting front line health staff and their patients, but also when it comes to controlling the spread of the virus as well.

It really is hard to understand why the Scottish Government haven’t made this a priority when so many leading experts tell us it is an essential part of our response.

It’s also been disappointing to see plans for Low Emission Zones postponed during the pandemic. It’s understandable that some things must be temporarily put to one side, but as we adjust to the new normal the world won’t stand still for us.

This is a disease that attacks the lungs, just like dirty air.

Reducing vehicle emissions was vital for public health before the pandemic took hold, but the current situation makes it more essential not less.

We’ve seen more and more people walking and cycling during the pandemic and I’ll be seeking to amend new emergency legislation to try and make that easier for everyone.

In a time of social distancing, it’s more important than ever to make sure people have the space they need on roads and pavements to move about safely.

Finally, the news that the National Trust for Scotland are seeking to lay off several hundred staff is deeply saddening.

The charity plays a vital role in protecting Scotland’s heritage as well as managing significant environmental and nature conservation sites including Dollar Glen, The Pineapple and Alloa Tower.

The Scottish Government needs to recognise that vital work and provide urgent targeted support to ensure the trust’s staff’s expertise and skill are not lost to us.