Readers Letters: Government should give us (other) facts on Covid

When I watch the evening news, I am struck by the daily rolling out of figures of how many have been diagnosed as having Covid, how many have died of it and the running total of deaths across the UK. These figures are completely meaningless.

Do we need to know more about Covid deaths?
Do we need to know more about Covid deaths?

The Government – if it is Westminster who are compiling figures – must tell us how many people over, say, 80 have died; how many over 60 or 70; how many are in care homes, or hospitals; how many have had underlying health issues; where in the UK they are; how many have died of Covid and how many with Covid, which is completely different, of course.

Only then can we decide who this disease is hitting; whether it be the young and healthy, the older and healthy, as well as how many victims are institutionalised, or from particular racial groups.

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For example, a recent article in the British Medical Journal showed that of the doctors who have died of Covid since it first reared its ugly head, only two were of British descent. The others were all of Indian/Pakistani, or African origin. That is a concern for all who are also from those racial groups.

Being locked down and denied access to shops and pubs is no solution, as these businesses have taken inordinate care to keep their clientele safe. Such measures are more of an indication of panic than of any kind of rational thought.

Stopping people from crossing the border with England is merely another example of clueless flailing about by a confused Holyrood government.

Dave Anderson, Broomhill Road, Aberdeen

Pass the port

With regard to the miles-long tailbacks of lorries at Dover and the prospect of this disruption continuing after Brexit, why don't traders on both sides of the continent make arrangements to dock at different ports, such as Hull or Rosyth?

It's a simple idea and might take time to set up but not only would it avoid clogging up the roads in Kent, it would bring jobs and prosperity to other ports around the UK.

Lovina Roe, Glasgow Road, Perth

Trade off

The Channel crossing fiasco is surely the final proof of the original folly of the UK putting most of its trading eggs in the EU basket – a folly forced upon us by our own governments quite without getting our permission.

It is absurd that national hardship pivots upon so narrow a point as the Dover link; and especially a link with France, which has always been an unreliable ally when not an actual enemy.

The sooner we replace EU trade with world trade the better.

Tim Flinn, Garvald, East Lothian

Give thanks

If we find some food absent from our shelves over the next few weeks, and feel like moaning at having to use electronics to contact relatives, perhaps it would be beneficial to recall the life of our parents and grandparents!

There was no great choice of trimmings with the chicken or capon (no turkey). No Skype or Zoom, instead a trip to find a phone box or a very expensive overseas call via an operator. No jumping into the car to travel. There were no TV programmes to entertain as there was no television. Many people in Scotland were working, waiting for a short New Year break – Christmas Day was not a public holiday here until 1958.

James Watson, Randolph Crescent, Dunbar, East Lothian

Future forward

Alex Orr indulges his nationalist weakness for looking backwards with customary zeal (Letters, 22 December), seeking some kind of misty heather-clad reassurance from symbolic events of long ago. This recollection of forgotten anniversaries does nothing to improve Scotland’s absence of economic strategy in a world that is moving relentlessly and unemotionally forward.

Malcolm Parkin, Gamekeepers Road, Kinnesswood, Kinross

Bit of a put down

I must thank The Scotsman for protecting my sensibilities by explaining that a long-finned pilot whale was put to sleep (your report, 22 December), rather than using the more adult and frightening term, “euthanised”. This word is derived from the ancient Greek for “good death”, and means “the intentional and painless killing of an animal in order to end suffering”.

Child bereavement charities discourage the use of softer expressions such as “gone to sleep” or “passed on” to describe dying, as they can cause confusion in young children when they are confronted by grief.

The expression “put down” may now be anachronistic, perhaps even insensitive to some, but I would still prefer that or ‘euthanised’ to the maudlin metaphor, ‘put to sleep’.

David Muir, Findhorn Place, Edinburgh

Hit and myth

Alastair Stewart (Perspective, December 22), tells us that "the myth that Churchill hated Scotland is universal”. Really? I am pretty well plugged in to life, and this is the first time I have heard of that one.

William Ballantine, Dean Road, Bo'ness, West Lothian

EU kidding?

Nicola Sturgeon said on Monday that it would be "unconscionable" to compound the coronovirus crisis by leaving the EU market regulations on December 31 – as planned and agreed by both sides. Yet this is the same politician who wants to press ahead with a second attempt to separate Scotland from the world's fifth largest economy while coronovirus is still rampant and while the devastating recession caused by the pandemic is set to last for years.

If leaving the EU's regulations on Hogmanay is unconscionable then having a second divisive referendum creating huge uncertainty in the Scottish economy and fomenting discord from Lerwick to Gretna would be economically and socially disastrous.

William Loneskie, Justice Park, Oxton, Lauder

Snow job

Last week snow, sleet and ice hit parts of the north east US. Some areas experienced 40 inches of snow and Binghamton, New York, saw 20.5 inches of snow in six hours. So much for the climate zealots' strident and repeated prophecies over the years that "snow will soon be a thing of the past".

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

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