Having been locked down now for two months, I’m just wondering how long it will be before any sort of rugby, indeed any sort of living, resumes in Scotland.

When you reach the veteran stage in life, you get to thinking about things that you never contemplate when you are a callow youth. You know, those boring matters like mortality, making a will, what sort of funeral you want, all that stuff. You don’t like it, but you have to do it. And it’s nae fun, except when you are choosing the music for your funeral and deciding on the best stories you want told about you – never leave it to the eulogist, trust me.

I am always envious of the young, but never more so than just now in the midst of this disastrous pandemic. It comes down to a simple fact – losing six months or more of our life is a damn sight more of a consequence to those of us in our sixties than it is for those in their teens and twenties. We know we are already on a limited timescale, so I bitterly resent the loss of possibilities and opportunities – our two foreign holidays planned and already cancelled, for example – that coronavirus has wrought.

On the other hand, I can see the real problems that young peopIe are facing, and they are partly physical and mostly psychological. I haven’t actually played a game of rugby for more than 20 years but I still miss it. Watching and writing about the sport is no substitute for actually playing. So I can only guess at the sheer frustration which our young players across the land must be suffering at the moment. Keeping physically fit shouldn’t be a problem for a twenty-something man or woman, even in lockdown, but staying match fit when you are not playing any matches is self-evidently impossible – that’s why when rugby does resume it should be in a phased and controlled manner as suggested by the PRO14 administrators so that no great physical risks are taken by players.

Psychologically, this lockdown is, if anything, more damaging. How do you keep mentally alert when as a player, you are not having the daily coaching sessions and learning about the game? I know some of the top coaches and players are keeping in touch online and that has been very helpful, but nothing can compensate for the reality of a week’s preparation for, say, a Pro14 or Super6 encounter. That’s what coaches and players are really missing – the teamwork preparation that makes all the difference in a match.

For instance, how do you practise scrummaging when social distancing says you can’t pack down even against a scrum machine? I could just about see how the fancy dans in the backs could run about a training field and stay two metres apart, but how do forwards rehearse a rolling maul? And how do you improve your rucking game when there’s only one of you?

It’s the same for professionals and amateurs, for men and women, boys and girls. Preserving the ‘team’ mentality at this time must be very difficult, and that goes for everyone actively involved in rugby. I don’t know how you recreate team mentality via a computer, but I suspect that is the element of rugby which most young players will miss.

What I am really sorry about is the chance to monitor the progress of young players, especially those who have a shout at making the national side.

I have actually been pleasantly surprised at the young talent which has been produced in Scotland in recent years, and this week’s signing of three Scotland-qualified youngsters by Edinburgh Rugby is a very good indication that the future could be bright for Scottish rugby at international level. The oldest of the trio is stand-off Nathan Chamberlain who is just 20 – not putting the pundit’s curse on him, but better judges than me say he is set for a big career at the top level.

These three youngsters and indeed every young player in Scotland must be given the very best advice on how to cope with the situation we are facing. I think it incumbent on the SRU to get the best psychologists available to issue guidance on how to go forward when the whole country is standing still. After all, if the SRU can get top chef Tom Kitchin to give us all recipes – I am thoroughly enjoying them on the SRU website – then surely a potpourri of psychology could also help.

Above all, everyone involved in Scottish rugby must ensure that we do not end up with a lost generation of players who, for whatever reason, do not go through with their ambitions as a result of the pandemic. That really would be a dreadful price to pay for this blasted disease.