Readers' Letters: All I want for Christmas is... Covid?

As a microbiologist, I agree with Professor Linda Bauld’s assertion that it is a mistake to relax restrictions during the five-day Christmas period (December 13).

Following the celebrations of Thanksgiving, the United States has experienced a huge upsurge in the level of infections and concomitant deaths and there is every possibility that we could face a similar experience at Christmas.

Covid-19 i s now endemic in our country and will continue to be potentially lethal to the elderly and those with underlying health problems. The transmission of the virus is especially dangerous indoors where there is little air movement. In this environment, the virus can be easily dispersed from an infected person’s nose and mouth in the form of an aerosol of floating invisible and potentially lethal particles. Transmission can be reduced significantly by the adoption of the well-documented procedures of hand sanitation, the wearing of masks and social distancing, but these crude tools cannot eliminate risk of infection entirely. In most houses at Christmas, people are typically near each other, with the added risk factors of raised voices and the influence of alcohol contributing to the dangers of viral transmission.

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The virus is relentless and will undoubtedly thrive during this festive period. It is irresponsible of our governments to permit this relaxation of restrictions, especially when we are so close, time-wise, to those most susceptible to the lethal infection being vaccinated, which will provide the necessary level of protection and safety.

(Dr) Jim Hay, Glenview, Menstrie, Clackmannanshire

Passing torch

Scotland continues to be the drugs death capital of Europe (with massively higher rates than England and Wales), and related deaths soaring during the SNP's tenure in government. Yet when this was about to be debated in Holyrood on Tuesday, Nicola Sturgeon and her deputy promptly scarpered from the chamber, leaving Public Health Minister Joe Fitzpatrick to take the flack. If they'd been discussing Indyref2, would Sturgeon and John Swinney have stayed put? You bet.

Martin Redfern, Melrose, Roxburghshire

Not converted

It’s good that 370 religious leaders from around the world are calling for a ban on so-called “gay conversion therapy”. Conservative religious groups who support this ridiculous treatment fear their efforts to change people might be criminalised. Quite rightly so. This a step in the right direction but many religions, while stopping short of electric shocks, still prescribe lifelong celibacy for gay people and advocate a “love the sinner, hate the sin” dogma – virtually the same thing.

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society, Saughtonhall Drive, Edinburgh

Furrowed brow

Scotland on Sunday has constantly complained about the UK leaving the EU, yet prints an “investigation" into Tory politicians legally receiving subsidies from the EU in connection with farming/landowning businesses (December 13). What is the point of this article? Is it to infer that there is something underhand – a nod is as good as a wink and all that? You say there is no illegality and no obligation to declare it in parliamentary registers. The total amount is less than £3 million in four years.

A bit early for anti-Tory electioneering, isn’t it?

Ian Lewis, Mayfield Terrace, Edinburgh​​​​​​​

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