FOR the last three years the only show in town was the constant wall-to-wall coverage of Brexit.

Remember the times, and it seems so long ago now, when we were all experts on the Irish backstop, or the Withdrawal Agreement.

But the discussions on Brexit have given way to column inches trying to comprehend the enormity of the response required.

You know it’s become the issue of the day when a couple of older citizens were at the counter of my local Leisure Centre (Glasgow Club, I assure you) discussing whether or not they should pay a visit to the steam room just in case they made themselves vulnerable to infection.

Yet, I could understand their uncertainty.

Any cursory examination of the media coverage only results in a fog of contradiction and the actions of a series of national governments has been so varied that it is difficult for the ordinary member of the public to fully grasp the scale of the crisis facing us.

The challenge for all of us is to comprehend the potential damage that the emerging crisis can have, not just on our personal health but on the ways in which we act in an open inclusive and tolerant society.

The scale of the challenge, constantly moving as updates are given daily, is monumental.

The root of the crisis in China has been handled by their authorities in a manner that is alien to our traditions, yet they claim to have faced up to the threat from the virus.

Our problem in the UK is the British attitude of not making a fuss and assuming that the problem will just go away. Combine it with our typically Glaswegian response of bravado as we assume the “Come Ahead coronavirus” attitude.

Neither of those responses are at all adequate.

We all require to change our behaviour, and to ignore those who have argued in recent years that we “don’t need to listen to experts”.

It is facts, not fear that will stop Covid-19. A period of silence on the part of people like Nigel Farage and even Donald Trump would be warmly welcomed.

The Emergency Committee of the City Council met last week and all services are aware of the need to monitor the situation. If matters do deteriorate, they are ready to respond in a dramatic and effective way.

But, Glasgow has already seen the impact of a decade of cuts. We’re asking staff on the frontline to step up to plate, once again, and to do more with less.

It’s time for Governments to step up to the plate and put resources in their hands. That’s how we beat this crisis.

The coronavirus is the most threatening of health risks in my lifetime.

As a city we all need to raise our game.

As Glaswegians we all need to look out for our most vulnerable citizens and as a nation we need to trust the scientists.

To do otherwise is to risk the darkness for all our souls.