Our common human vulnerability has a tendency to concentrate the mind.
And so it did during questions to the first minister.
The exchanges between Alex Salmond and Iain Gray sounded notably consensual. That is because they were exactly that.
The Labour leader rightly concluded that the customary political brawling would sound somewhat incongruous in the light of the heightened alert over swine flu.
So he approached the FM, offering to voice questions which would enable Mr Salmond to put up-to-date information in the public domain.
Reassurance and realism
The FM accepted the opportunity gratefully - noting repeatedly that Mr Gray's questions were "helpful". As, indeed, they were meant to be.
As has Nicola Sturgeon throughout, Mr Salmond generated the right blend of reassurance and realism.
He was able to break the happy news that the Askhams, the couple from Polmont who contracted the disease on honeymoon in Mexico, have been released from hospital.
However, he also stressed that Scotland had not by any means conquered the virus - but had rather "bought time" by swift and decisive action.
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