This week's Councillor Column is written by Graham Hardie, Liberal Democrat councillor for Helensburgh Central.

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We are living in adverse times, with the future uncertain, and our everyday lives hang under the stormy clouds of Covid-19.

Yet some commentators, including the spiritual healer Gurpreet K. Gill, argue that it is a time to remember what is truly important; an opportunity to move away from our hectic lives and embrace the value of family, friends and loved ones.

The virus has also had an environmental impact, with less traffic on the roads and less pollution from the industrial machinery of capitalism and consequently air quality is on the rise in cities around the world.

READ MORE: Opinion: Every day is like Sunday under lockdown

Communities are coming together to form a unique bond to help the needy and the vulnerable. More than 21,000 volunteers joined the Scotland Cares campaign when it first launched to assist those struggling within our communities.

Locally a group called Helping Helensburgh has been set up to help residents in self-isolation. Shops are also assisting in the campaign organising the delivery of grocery parcels.

The local food bank has seen a surge in demand but this is being met with generous donations from within our communities.

Never has there been a time in my generation when the need to galvanise all our strength and resources to defeat the onerous and deadly threat before us been so vital.

And further evidence of the determination to defeat the pandemic can be illustrated by the fact that 20,000 former NHS staff have returned to work to join in the fight against Covid-19.

READ MORE: Pandemic shows us we need NHS far more than we need Trident

Also to be applauded are the workers in our local care homes, my wife included, who make a Herculean effort everyday to provide the care and support for the most vulnerable in our society.

With adversity comes challenge so that is why it is so important that we work together as a community and all play our roles in defeating the virus whether it be adhering to government guidelines or getting medication for your elderly neighbour.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s leading infectious diseases official, warned recently that the world may never “go back to normal” because the viral threat will linger.

Yet I’m an optimist and, as the Queen said in her recent speech to the nation, this is a time also for prayer and meditation.

I am sure human endeavour and spirit will prevail. The streets and shops will be bustling, schools opening, offices busy, libraries lending, airports functioning and pubs and clubs full once again.

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