If there’s one institution in our country that everyone has a huge attachment to, and experience of, is our wonderful National Health Service.

Everything in life is about people, and if we didn’t know before Covid how much of a debt of gratitude we owe the people who work in our NHS, we certainly know it now.

From the cleaners to the consultants, every member of staff in our NHS did their bit to ensure the rest of us were kept safe and they deserve every bit of gratitude they receive from the rest of us – and that includes doing our bit to keep ourselves safe.

And because everything in life is about people, we really do need to look carefully at what we have been doing, and are doing now, to keep ourselves and others safe. The weather may be warm and sunny in the west of Scotland right now, but we would be foolish to forget that autumn is not so very far away.

And with case numbers rising, not just locally but across the whole country, and a vaccine that, though highly effective, can never work for every single member of our population, we need to give some careful thought to what to do in preparation for what is going to be a tough winter.

We need to keep our eye on the prize of keeping ourselves and our loved ones, and in particular older and more vulnerable members of our families, safe – not just for them, and not just for ourselves, but for all those working so hard in our NHS.

Before she returned to school a few weeks ago, my 17-year-old daughter was delighted to join many young people receiving their first vaccine dose at The Hub community centre in Clydebank, and she is now looking forward to getting her second dose a few weeks from now.

Another piece of good news this week was that our young people will be offered a flu vaccination in schools this year. The scientific evidence is that there was almost no flu last year, as we all stayed apart from others, and that means the expectation now is of a major outbreak this winter.

With that in mind we all need to get back on track by ensuring high levels of hygiene – washing our hands, keeping a safe distance from others, and sanitising as often as we can.

The First Minister has announced record-breaking investment of billions of pounds to help our NHS recover from Covid. She has done her bit, and now we need to do ours to keep ourselves, our families, our friends and everyone we meet, at the shops and in our cafes and pubs, safe from the threat of a virus that, in spite of everything that we, our NHS staff, our politicians and our scientific experts are doing, has not gone away.

You know what to do!