Another Christmas, another round of agonising decisions as folks try simultaneously to conform to the new guidelines and make the season as festive as possible for those closest to them.

Several of my friends had already cancelled our annual get together on the grounds that they don’t want to pose a risk accidentally to elderly and vulnerable relatives.

Everyone, everywhere, is trying to run a cost benefit analysis over long established plans.

It’s not easy, and neither is it for our political leaders as they try to protect an over-stretched NHS, yet give some residual hope to people weary of being endlessly vigilant.

You can well imagine the utter frustration of NHS frontline staff, as they listen to some members of parliament complain about putting on a mask being an infringement of personal liberty, having spent too many of their own waking, working hours cocooned in protective clothing.

READ MORE: Drop-in Covid vaccine clinics organised for Helensburgh venues this weekend

My bottom line here is that personal freedom does not run to risking someone’s else’s health or life.

It’s no big deal in the greater scheme of Covid things to pop a face covering on when you’re shopping or travelling. No great imposition to take a lateral flow test regularly to ensure you are not spreading the virus without knowing it.

It seems we are some weeks away from being sure that a booster or third jag will offer us full protection. And some weeks distant from knowing how severe this new variant is, apart from being worryingly transmissible.

READ MORE: Here's what Nicola Sturgeon said in unscheduled Covid announcement

Everyone is playing a very tricky guessing game just now, weighing the cost of further restrictions against the impact of these on people who may be mentally fragile after the curbs on social interaction over the last two years.

Which is presumably why the Scottish Government has set its face against early closure of schools, not wanting to impair education or stop children being able to play and learn with their pals.

These are not decisions you envy anyone having to make, especially since, whatever call they make, you can be certain sure somebody will insist they got it all wrong.

Though playing safe is always a better bet than being sorry.

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