This week's Councillor Column is written by Iain Shonny Paterson, SNP councillor for the Lomond North area.

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We are in the grip of a pandemic that has forced upon us a new way of living that can be extremely challenging, especially for our children, our elderly population, and those that care for others, at home or otherwise.

In my home village and the surrounding area, we formed the Arrochar, Succoth and Tarbet Community Support Group to help alleviate much of the hardship caused by Covid-19.

We now have more than 20 volunteers helping others by delivering prescriptions and getting shopping supplies for those that have to self-isolate or for other reasons are unable to get out.

I must also highly commend the Arrochar Mountain Rescue Team, who are doing considerable work in delivering food parcels and school meals within our community.

READ MORE: Meet the first of your Helensburgh and Lomond 'Lockdown Heroes'

A tremendous community spirit has blossomed in my village and it would be fantastic to see it continue on the other side of this pandemic.

I hope it’s like a reset button being pushed, whereby people truly come to realise what is of genuine importance and who really matters in our lives.

And that leads me to discuss our communities’ carers – those individuals who serve so selflessly on the front line and who are quite literally putting their own health and lives at risk.

I have nothing but total admiration for these people, who have been undervalued for so long, and who do a job that so many of us could not do.

Governments and individuals alike now need to make sure that they are recognised and are rewarded for the service they provide.

READ MORE: Opinion: Our local businesses have been outstanding during pandemic

I would like to pass on my condolences to all who have lost loved ones due to Covid-19; some personal to me. It is truly awful that we have lost so many to this insidious virus.

Nothing will ever compensate for that loss, but we can perhaps take some comfort in our mutual grief, and in the unreserved passion, dedication and courage of our NHS staff, who themselves have suffered and been separated from their families due to the incredible work they do.

And on that last note, I must acknowledge one couple in my village who have given their self-catering cottage for as long as she needs it to an NHS worker who could not return to her family because of the nature of the nursing she does.

In conclusion, let me also praise Argyll and Bute Council staff: refuse collectors, administration, and all other key workers who have continued to serve throughout this difficult time.

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