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WHEN the coronavirus pandemic cancelled Abby MacTaggart’s trip to EuroDisney for her thirteenth birthday, she was determined to spread some birthday joy with her family instead.

Before strict social distancing rules came into force, Abby and her mother Joanne visted her grandmother, great-grandmother and her aunty to share some birthday cake and greet them with a safe elbow-bump.

The days when a mere elbow-bump was allowed seem far away now, and mum Joanne thinks the trip on Wednesday, March 18 was the last time Abby saw her grandmother and great-grandmother.

The two were self-isolating at the time, being 64 and 84, respectively and Joanne is glad Abby got to see them before more extreme social distancing rules were introduced.

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Aunt Suzanne, who works in a local pharmacy also got an elbow-bump from the 13-year-old.

The pair made the journey from their home in Barrachnie to Garrowhill then Mount Vernon to see Abby’s older relatives, by way of the pharmacy in Barrachnie.

Joanne said even though it felt strange at the time, she and her daughter wish they could see their extended family.

“I don’t think we’ve seen them since, just because of how quickly things changed.

“It felt kind of unusual but now it would be quite nice to be able to go over and do a wee elbow bump."

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The family’s journey came after the coronavirus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation but before the government introduced strict rules prohibiting non-essential travel and measures to close businesses such as pubs, clubs and restaurants.

Prior to this, the government’s advice had been for people to avoid shaking hands with one another to curb the spread of the virus.

This was later revised in favour of limiting any unnecessary contact with others and to maintain a distance of two metres from others when out and about and in shops.