Our columnist looks ahead to Scotland's move beyond Level 0 protection measures this coming Monday...

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Back in the day we might have been confused, but not entirely at sea.

Back in the day, stuff was simpler: stay home, save lives, protect the NHS.

Most of us did. We stayed put and deployed industrial levels of disinfectant. We washed our hands like there was no tomorrow – only too true for many thousands of Covid victims. We shopped online and got our Higher Zoom.

The first lockdown had the novelty of the unfamiliar, though not for those who still had to go to work to keep all our shows on the road, or tend to the sick while clad in the most stifling of protective clothing (when available).

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But as weeks became months, and months well over a year, we looked to governments to offer clear cut advice. Yet this became complex when bits of the country were assessed as higher or lower risk according to infection rates.

I defy anyone – without checking the website – to recite how many people in what kind of spaces were allowed at which level.

Meanwhile, we couldn’t make up our minds whether we wanted lots of tourists to help the economy or whether to fret that motor homes might be unwitting spreaders.

We were advised to holiday at home ourselves. However the UK government brought in a traffic light system which meant you could go off to safe country A one week, only to find it had morphed into danger zone B before you got your cozzie unpacked.

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For a while they also dallied with red, amber, green and amber plus. Amber plus? Puleeze.

So to the latest Scottish government pronouncement earlier this week; a serious loosening of the stays. Monday coming confirmed as the day we finally leave the levels behind, and most of the restrictions which have so changed our lives since early 2020.

Continued mandatory mask wearing, hybrid working, and improved ventilation seem only sensible given the speed with which the Delta variant can rip through communities.

Clearly, though, we’re in fairly uncharted waters from the 9th. What may keep the virus at bay is a combination of increased vaccination and common sense. Let’s hope there’s no shortage of either commodity.

READ MORE: Catch up with the latest news headlines from around Helensburgh and Lomond here