After a brief hiatus of hope over summer, Scotland is now in the grip of a Covid-19 second wave which is potentially worse than the first.
Climbing infection rates prompted Nicola Sturgeon to announce a circuit breaker lockdown that has now morphed into five tiers of depressingly draconian restrictions that will last for who knows how long.
Halloween has been cancelled, Bonfire Night has been cancelled and unless you are able to get excited about a “digital Christmas”, that now also looks doomed.
Rather than a circuit breaker, we have all been placed on a seemingly never-ending circuit of isolation from our friends, families, colleagues and loved ones.
It is a circuit that is going to cost tens of thousands of people their livelihoods as well as their social lives.
Meanwhile thousands will die of non-Covid related illnesses such as cancer and heart attacks because the NHS has been operating at a fraction of its full capacity for over seven months.
People now need a break rather than just a circuit.
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has called for special arrangements to be put in place for Christmas to allow some level of family gatherings.
This is surely a reasonable request but the Scottish Government response has the tone of a teacher scolding naughty children.
We have been told that the better behaved we are now, the more likely we will be allowed Santa.
But the truth is that the overwhelming majority of people have strained every sinew to follow the rules and save lives.
The real reason we are being forced to endure a second lockdown has everything to do with failure of Government and far less to do with the public refusing to comply.
Even the World Health Organisation has said that lockdowns are not a long-term solution and will overwhelmingly punish the poor.
An efficient testing and contact tracing regime is what is required but Governments at Holyrood and Westminster have failed to deliver one.
Rather than telling people off, Nicola Sturgeon needs to give us all hope and get her own house in order.