Sturgeon reveals she has been 'overwhelmed' at times by 'magnitude' of coronavirus crisis

22 April 2020, 20:55

Nicola Sturgeon said she had at times been 'overwhelmed' by the scale of the covid-19 crisis
Nicola Sturgeon said she had at times been 'overwhelmed' by the scale of the covid-19 crisis. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

Nicola Sturgeon has told for the first time of the impact of the coronavirus crisis on her own state of mind, saying even she has been “overwhelmed” at times by the magnitude of the fight ahead.

Speaking to Des Clarke and Jennifer Reoch on Heart Scotland Drive, Scotland’s first minister said she has shed tears privately to avoid having a “meltdown” before pulling herself together to get on with her job.

She said: “there are moments when, over the last few weeks, when I’ve got home at night and just felt a little bit overwhelmed by the magnitude of it, and I’ve shed a few tears over the course of the last few weeks.

"But it’s really important – nobody wants me to be having a meltdown if I can avoid it - so I try to have these moments, not let them last too long, and pull myself together to get on with it.

“There are aspects of this that are not normal, that are much bigger than anything I’ve dealt with before, so remembering that I have to take time just to deal with that. I try to talk to my mum and my sister every day.

Sturgeon also said that she found it hard to see a return to normal life in Scotland within six months to a year’s time.

“It’s hard to be absolutely definitive about this right now,” she said.

“Tomorrow we’ll set out some of the principals that are guiding our decision-making.

“So firstly, before we can start to ease anything right now we need much more evidence that this virus is under control, but it’s never going to be eradicated, so the danger is as we start to ease things, it runs out of control again, so it’s always going to be a careful balance.

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

“And as we ease things, let people go out a bit more, maybe let some businesses start to open up again, we’re going to have to continue to do things like keep a safe social distance.

“So for example – and don’t read into this that these are firm decisions - but if a business can open up again, it may only be if they can still manage to keep their workforce two metres apart. “Even schools, we talk about schools being closed and then open again, it might not be that binary.

“We might have kids going back to school for certain days a week, we may have to have, you know, children in a classroom so that we can have social distancing.

“These are all the things that we have to think through. We may still ask people to not mix as much with other households as they will have done previously.

“Big events I don’t think are going to be possible for quite some time to come. “

She also delivered a message of hope to the people of Scotland, saying: “from the bottom of my heart, thank you and we will get through this. We’ll get through this together, we will get through this with as much collective endeavour as possible, there’ll be some tough times ahead we might never go back to exactly how life was before, but we will get through it and in perhaps some ways we’ll get through it and be better as individuals and as a society than we were before so stick with it and know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. “