SO the race to become the first place in Scotland to be put back into lockdown because of a rise in coronavirus cases has been won in emphatic style and with the winner being surprisingly large.

Well done to the good folk of Aberdeen, particularly the young, for clinching the prize and will now be known forever more as the stupidest place in the whole of Scotland.

In a country like ours, that is quite the accolade.

Judging by the shocking scenes outside city centre pubs at the weekend, the official Scottish Government guidelines about keeping safe in bars clearly got lost on the way up the A90 from St Andrews House.

Either that or they were taken along the city’s sparkling new bypass and are currently flapping about in a field near Huntly, unread and unnoticed by the majority of young Aberdonians.

Either way, it is little surprise that the majority of new cases are in the NHS Grampian area and Nicola Sturgeon really didn’t have much choice but to close all indoor venues and impose a travel ban.

The rules about what to do safely in pubs really aren’t rocket science. Sanitise hands on entry, sign the book with your name and number, sit at a table and order a drink and repeat. Simple.

What started as a small outbreak linked to the Hawthorn bar in the city centre quickly escalated to more than 20 other venues across the north-east, all of which had to quickly pull up the shutters.

Now, either one person was on the longest and most destructive pub crawl in history or many venues and customers were simply not following the rules. So now this.

I grew up in Aberdeen and have often fallen victim to being seduced by the city’s lively night-life. Perhaps uniquely amongst Scottish cities, it very much lends itself to a pub crawl and thousands partake in one every weekend. Sometimes even two.

But that was before the global pandemic struck and changed things completely.

A pandemic really isn’t the time to go cruising round bars with your mates looking for your next husband or wife, instead it is a time for baby steps into the new normal and above all else, abide by the rules on the grounds of public safety.

This applies to under-30s as much as everyone else and many really have to start acting responsibly, in Aberdeen and all across Scotland, otherwise we’ll all be sent back inside again.

Now that really is a sobering thought.