At random with Martin Laing 19.03.20

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Don’t panic

I visited a couple of Oban supermarkets at the weekend and was dismayed to see people had obviously been panic buying on the back of the coronavirus situation.

There were manifest shortages of some items, including loo rolls and handwashing lotion and pasta – but strangely not pasta sauces.

While people need to take care and be prepared, supermarkets have said there is plenty to go around if people act responsibly and do not buy up more than they need. As a precaution, it is expected that people will perhaps add an extra packet of toilet paper or add a few more tins to their trollies, but to find whole aisles of toilet paper and pasta empty is staggering.

An expert on the radio last week explained that the vast majority of people who become infected will feel little other than a few cold symptoms. Of the one in five people for whom it is worse, the vast majority of them will recover fully. The mortality rate is in low single figures of per cent.

Of course, I’m desperately sorry for the families and friends of people who have died from coronavirus, but, please, let’s not panic about this.

Winter damage

Aye, it’s nearing spring but the winter has taken a savage toll on some roads in the area.

The stretch of road between Tyndrum and Crianlarich has become a nightmare and BEAR Scotland needs to carry out repairs urgently before there is a serious accident.

In Oban, some parts of the routes around the retail park, notably Lochavullin Road, are in a real mess with horrific potholes. That is also the case at the traffic lights near Aldi and the high school.

I’m told that the road to Kilchrenan is in a dreadful state but that Argyll and Bute Council has said it is a ‘low priority’ to one resident who complained.

Winter always takes its toll but the council needs to be quicker to carry out repairs. And the folk at Kilchrenan pay their council tax too.

What do you think?

Write to me at mlaing@obantimes.co.uk or The Oban Times, Crannog Lane, Oban, PA34 4HB, or call 01631 568021.