IMAGES of deserted city centres were an eerie feature of the first lockdown. They brought to mind that odd sensation of standing in an empty house as you prepare to leave and move into a new home.

You see things in a way you haven’t before. The scuffs on the walls are more noticeable but so too is the space. It’s the same place, viewed differently. I was in Glasgow with my daughter at the weekend. Despite the bad weather, the centre of town was bustling with life again. It was a cheering sight. We had grown used to the new normal but I think most of us are glad to have the old one back.

As well as the intrepid drinkers braving the rain for a spot of alfresco boozing, campaigners and protesters are now back out on the streets too.

At the top of Buchanan Street, we saw Yes campaigners gathered at a stall. Further down, an anti-choice tent was emblazoned with images of foetuses at different stages of growth. A man handing out leaflets against abortion rights was pointedly ignored by a woman he tried to give one to.

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In George Square, and much to the delight of my seven-year-old, there were scores of people – adults and children – dressed as characters from Harry Potter. We weren’t sure why they were there and would have stayed to find out, had it not been for the voice of an anti-vaxxer with a loudhailer ringing around the square.

He sounded like the Twitter feed of every Covid denier.

In the section of the speech we heard, he focused mainly on children and all the terrible ills he said would befall them if they were vaccinated against Covid-19.

From today, Scotland will move “beyond Level 0”.

Leaving aside the oddness of the way the system has been numbered, this is good news. Save for some mitigation measures that remain in place, the vaccination programme has offered us a route back to relative normality.

I received my second jag last week. I experienced none of the hangover-like symptoms I had after the first.

Vaccines are what we wished for during the darkest days of lockdown. Now vaccines are here – free and easily accessible – it’s easy to forget that not everybody feels grateful for them.

Leslie Lawrenson, a 58-year-old man from Dorset, died with Covid in early July after refusing the vaccine.

Before his death, he made a video in which he said he was glad he had caught the virus, because he would rather have the antibodies than take the vaccine.

“Anyone who knows my opinion, has followed my comments on my Facebook page knows how I feel about the jab,” he said.

In the two-minute video, Mr Lawrenson initially compares having Covid to having a cold, but admits: “When I stand up, I feel like I am going to fall over. I can’t remember if I’ve ever had that with a cold before.’’

The next day, he gives his followers an update on how he is feeling, saying that the previous night had been “pretty dreadful” and that his symptoms had “massively ramped up’”.

If you know before watching the video that Mr Lawrenson didn’t survive, it makes his words even more heartbreaking to listen to. He tells of spending six hours in the foetal position trying to block out the pain he felt “in every part of my body”.

Despite this, Mr Lawrenson still concludes that he wouldn’t benefit from being vaccinated against Covid.

“These are the things we have to suffer,” he says. “It’s part of living. You have to trust your immune system. And if the alternative is that we live in fear, that we create a bogeyman out of something

that hopefully I’m showing isn’t anything to be afraid of for 99.9% of us. We’ve got to deal with that and we’ve got to make the government aware that that is how we feel.’’

Some of the responses to the video since Mr Lawrenson died have been ugly and insensitive. There have been countless jibes about “natural selection” and undisguised glee that somebody who refused a vaccine died with the virus.

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Comments like these are as cruel as they are unproductive. Mr Lawrenson was a Cambridge graduate. Telling him he was stupid would not have changed his mind on vaccines. And it won’t change the minds of anybody else who thinks as he did.

Can any of us think of a time when being insulted or abused on social media has made us change our own minds?

The power of that video is that it doesn’t need commentary.

It doesn’t need a “told you so!” from those of us who believe wholeheartedly in the vaccination programme.

Tackling vaccine misinformation is a job for government, the media, and all of us. Doing so will require a lot more than derision aimed at those who have been taken in by it.