Coronavirus has meant this year’s Holyrood election campaign has been like no other – with the pandemic ensuring Nicola Sturgeon has been busy with two jobs for the duration.
As SNP leader, Ms Sturgeon has travelled the country in support of her party’s candidates and speaking – in a socially distanced way – to voters.
But as First Minister she has also been the person responsible for the Scottish Government’s ongoing efforts to tackle coronavirus.
“That is very different because there is one piece of essential business which can’t just stop, which is the response to Covid.
“So every day just now I am not just on the campaign trail, I am having to concentrate and focus on Covid data, and the decisions the Government is having to take and making sure I continue to oversee the Government response to Covid.”
She said Covid-19 makes it more difficult to “really engage properly with people, to press the flesh and chap doors and do all the things I really enjoy doing”.
She recalled being out in her Glasgow Southside constituency early in the campaign, before politicians were allowed to speak to voters on the doorstep.
The SNP leader said: “I was in my own constituency doing a bit of leafletting in the middle of the day, and it struck me that in a normal campaign I would have been out at that time of the day chapping doors, and nobody would have been in, because everybody would have been at work.
When she has been out and about on the campaign trail, she has been careful to keep her distance as much as possible from voters who want to speak to her.
Ms Sturgeon said: “It feels different and I wish, really wish, we could be campaigning in the normal way, but it is what it is and we have to find different ways of engaging.”