THIS week’s column – in common with the majority of newspaper content lately – is about the coronavirus.

I know well from my own inbox and my friends and family that a lot of people are really anxious and fearful. I am too, if it is any consolation.

There is part of me that is amazed that anyone would come to me for guidance on what to do in a pandemic, but hundreds are doing so. Politicians have a responsibility to be responsible. MSP Bruce Crawford and I, as the SNP’s Stirling team, have been strictly sharing only the best scientific guidance from the Scottish Government, which is itself drawing on the best practice worldwide.

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I’ve always been a fan of experts, and I’m not going to start second guessing them now. But I’m aware of what is out there on social media.

I have friends and family in various places around the world and different countries are making different decisions. In our interconnected world, the inevitable question “Why aren’t we doing that here?” has been a regular issue in my inbox.

The National:

The reason is simple, we’re making decisions for Scotland, and our closest geography is the UK and Ireland.

As the situation changes, so will the advice. But for the moment, wash your hands, self-isolate if you have any symptoms, stay away from vulnerable groups such as the elderly or those with underlying health conditions, and pay attention to the latest advice, because the situation will change.

I am writing this from London. I’m at my post, showing no symptoms, and have a job to do here. I have just called for the UK to step in and act as the “insurer of last resort” to help get Scots and Brits who are stuck overseas back home, but also to ensure we will not have a worse economic crisis than we might.

READ MORE: Tories slammed after short-changing Stirling deal

The Chancellor (above) was due to make a statement with an update on business support measures, but it is striking that his Budget, delivered just a week ago, is already looking really out of date.

The Scottish Government has already promised that any support announced will be immediately passed on, and we’ll hear more announcements as this situation progresses.

The support cannot be open-ended or unconditional, and there will doubtless be a few businesses that will try to take advantage, but these are extraordinary times and we will need an extraordinary response.

Locally, Bruce (below) and I have made some changes to the team, as have a number of other parliamentarians I know. All of our guys are now working remotely, and we have cancelled face-to-face meetings for the foreseeable future.

The National:

Otherwise we’re still – for the moment – functioning at full capacity, because people need us. That said, I’ve been struck by how many local organisations and individuals nationwide have been self-organising. People are working together like never before.

In Stirling we have the Food Train, a great organisation that delivers food to vulnerable folks – they need volunteers – we’re also seeing the search and rescue team getting more and more folks turning up willing to help pick up prescriptions or food for people who need to stay indoors for a while.

Community spirit is an amazing thing to see, and I’d urge everyone to see what we can do.

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The SNP are the biggest campaigning organisation in Scotland, we’re well organised and well able to work together to look after folks. We are putting ideas together to see how best we can all help each other.

And things are going to change, fast. I made the point in Westminster yesterday that this really is a time when we should eschew petty point-scoring, and I meant it.

This virus respects no border, political view, creed or colour, and we will need to unite to fight it. We must do what we can to minimise the harm and mitigate the damage to our society and economy.

I think we are about to experience a transformative moment. But I have faith in the people of Scotland, and I have faith we’ll come through it.