WE’RE living through a transformative event. I’ve always most enjoyed the role of being a politician and being out and about, but the latter is impossible for now.

I’m trying to view the time I can’t be out and about as enforced catch-up time. I’m struck that the coronavirus pandemic will change a lot of the way we do things.

Even during self-isolation, I’m spending less and less time on Twitter as it has been overrun by bad actors. However, one tweet really jumped out and has stuck with me this week.

“New rule: If someone is essential enough to keep going to work during a pandemic, pay them a living wage.”

I hope when we’re through this there will be an appetite for real reform because somehow, somewhere, we’ve lost our way and lost sight of what matters.

READ MORE: Number of Covid-19 deaths in Scotland rises to 60

Right now, the workers most relevant to my life are my postie, transport workers, supermarket workers, food pickers, bin men, the folks keeping the electricity, gas, water and WiFi flowing and running and, of course, NHS workers. It turns out our day-to-day life doesn’t rely on bankers or lawyers.

We’ve seen an impact on rents, too, as tens of thousands of Airbnb owners put their flats on the regular renting market with huge drops in rental costs in a number of places, albeit I’d guess they are not getting much business right now.

This crystallises an argument I’ve been making for years, even if it is not my remit – a house or flat, surely, has to be for providing safe and secure housing to someone, not a weekend let. When Airbnb started it was the “spare room app” where you could rent a room, now it is often entire flats. For transparency, I own a flat and rent it out, but it is a long-term let providing housing for someone.

The impact of short-term lets on some places has been ruinous and a number of Scotland’s councils have – successfully – pushed for more powers to regulate them. This is an argument we urgently need to come back to once this is over. Surely we should be taxing income from short-term lets to a point where they don’t make economic sense any more?

READ MORE: Change is coming after this crisis ... will Scotland adapt?

And while we’re at it, let’s have a proper discussion about second homes. I’m privileged to represent a big chunk of rural Scotland and, as part of a housing crisis with a chronic lack of affordable homes, we have a lot of second homes that sit empty much of the time. Surely we should have a tougher council tax to discourage people?

We’re also seeing a massive shift in how the world of work – and in particular retail – does business. Many folks did not use online or click-and-collect services, now they are and are clamouring for more capacity. The supermarkets will surely put more resources into this and less into having physical shelf space.

The massive increase in remote working will have consequences, too. If we are now finding out people can work from home, will we not look that bit harder at why we all traipse into town and city centres to sit in the same room to do a job that could often be done without leaving your house.

If the technology exists to allow remote working, surely many of us will be more likely in future to spend some of the week working from home, and flexible working will become that much more commonplace.

But we’re not there yet. We have a long few weeks and months ahead of us yet, and team-work will matter more than ever. We had an SNP Stirling elected member Zoom meeting on Monday morning and it was great to talk with MSP Bruce Crawford and the SNP councillors.

We’re the administration along with Labour at the council in Stirling, and I’m glad to say the council and parliamentary office are working hand in glove to share information, avoid duplicating effort and to signpost people to where help is, as well as to anticipate problems people are going to experience as this goes on.

I’m proud, too, to be part of the SNP team nationwide, with our outstanding Health Secretary Jeane Freeman and inspirational First Minister Nicola Sturgeon working flat out to deal with the crisis. “Events dear boy, events” has never been a truer phrase for politics, but I’m proud that the SNP – be it in council chambers or the parliaments of relevance to Scotland – has risen to the challenge. We’re not through it yet, but we’ll get there.

And you can do your part. Reach out to a neighbour, especially someone who might need a hand or a kind word. The Scottish Government has established www.readyscotland.org where you can register as a volunteer in your community.

Obviously the advice remains to stay at home, but looking after those who need it in an organised way is a great way to help out and share the load. I’ve signed up and will be out and about helping soon. What better way to prove that, despite the Tory dogma, in Scotland there is such a thing as society.

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