As the vaccination programme continues to work at pace across the country, attention is turning to how to rebuild our economy after Covid.
The Chancellor is due to present the 2021 Budget on March 3, but there has already been an announcement of extra funding for the Scottish Government.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay said this week that an additional £1.1billion would be provided to Holyrood – bringing the total pandemic support via the Barnett formula in this tax year to £9.7billion.
This funding will be vital in supporting people, businesses, and public services over the months ahead.
And it is in addition to UK-wide programmes including the HMRC Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – which have paid out billions to cover the wages of furloughed staff or those that have been prevented from working.
We know from figures published in January that about 3,600 people in Banff and Buchan are still benefiting from the UK furlough scheme and that millions have been paid out to the self-employed.
It is further evidence of the unprecedented level of support provided by the UK Government to support Scotland through the pandemic.
It was also welcome to see the Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes announce another U-turn to extend business rates relief for the whole of the next financial year – rather than the three months that was originally planned.
The support will cover the retail, leisure, hospitality, and aviation sectors – and to the newspaper industry after the Scottish Conservatives gained cross-party support to do so.
It will provide some help to many employers that are struggling to stay afloat.
That will be vital over the coming months, with continued uncertainty on when different parts of the economy – and our day-to-day lives – will start up again.
In the meantime, I want to thank all those involved with the vaccination programme at Macduff.
I have not been vaccinated, but the reports I have heard is that all the staff and volunteers are doing a very good job.
For those that have had their first of two jabs, it is important to remember that the effect is not immediate.
Research so far has suggested that the vaccine can reduce risk of death and serious illness - after 2-3 weeks from vaccination.
So it is by no means permission to ignore the very important social distancing and hygiene guidelines.
We will all have to remember to stick to the rules for the time being, until we have reached more of the population through the vaccine programme.
Finally, readers may have seen a story in the press earlier this week about an application process for astronauts.
For the first time since 2008, the European Space Agency (ESA) is on the lookout for new astronauts, and UK citizens of any walk of life are invited to apply.
It involves an intensive period of training, including a three-week course in caving and a course in practical geology.
Successful candidates are likely to be part of the crew on the next missions to the Moon in the late 2020s and through the 2030s.
I would urge anyone locally who has dreamt of being an astronaut to consider it. There is no reason why one of these astronauts cannot be from Banff and Buchan.
For once, the sky is not the limit!