Lockdown: Caution is not the same as doing nothing - Readers' Letters

Your editorial today (16 February) urges caution and without doubt that is of the utmost importance regarding our release from the strictures of lockdown. Indeed every death is a catastrophe to those closest, friends, immediate family and colleagues.

We cannot live in lockdown forever, says reader David Millar
We cannot live in lockdown forever, says reader David Millar

However, other deaths, from untreated cancers, pneumonia, suicide and a myriad of other diseases also cause catastrophic grief to those associated with the victim.

The last paragraph of the editorial states: “The Scotsman longs for the day when we will no longer be reporting on the Scottish government’s bulletin every lunchtime, and when reports of dozens of deaths can never again be seen as ‘normal’. We will continue though until that number is zero.”

For this to be the target, we will never be out of lockdown, never have our freedom returned and we will live in a permanent state of penury.

Even Hancock just the other day said we will have to live with the virus “like the flu” in the future.

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Every year thousands die from the flu – we do not insist on a blanket vaccination, we accept that death is part of life, and therefore get on with living life.

To suggest that we must have zero deaths means no virus – an impossibility proved in New Zealand, where not a soul is allowed in or out of the country, and yet the “wall of steel” approach has failed, with three new cases identified.

Yet again, the “light at the end of the tunnel” is further away than we were led to believe. And for Scotland, that light is even further away, as Ms Sturgeon competes with all others to be even more “cautious” than anyone else, and for no other reason than that of grandstanding – why else would she, are Scottish government advisors really that much more informed than those of the UK government?

This micro management of our lives and freedoms suggests we are completely incapable of doing the right thing. The continual petrification of the population about what might happen next week, month or next year is of no consequence to us in the here and now, as we cannot deal with something which does not – or maybe never will – occur.

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Now is the time to be cautious, but not to a degree where nothing changes at all. Especially when we are dealing with something which, we should remind ourselves, does not cause serious illness to 99.6 per cent of the population.

David Millar

West High Street, Lauder

Vaccine success

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I went to get my coronavirus jab at the end of last week. The whole process took around 25 minutes and the staff were incredibly pleasant and efficient. We found ourselves in the company of a number of residents from our area in a bizarre community outing, but everyone was upbeat and pleased to be heading towards some kind of immunity.

The one sour note was raised by a member of staff, who said that they had stopped reading the papers because of the apparent inability of some to understand the prioritisation of the strategy and the number of carping letters appearing in a variety newspapers. Step forward and take a bow Colin Hamilton (Letters, February 13). He said targets were not being met, but now says that if targets are not being met it's nothing to do with the planners, administrators or vaccinators, it's all the fault of the SNP. Could the corollary be that, as things are going particularly well, it's all down to the SNP? I don't think so. Unsurprisingly, Mr Hamilton continues to avoid acknowledging the targets which are being met, but chooses a bit desperately to major on a projection made before the programme geared up.

There's also a weird conundrum in his letter in which he now says that that there is "an inability to vaccinate due to having no doses". What the public now urgently need to know, is that if there were no doses available, what on earth was it that vaccinators were putting into the arms of more than one million people?

Gill Turner

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Derby Street Edinburgh

Man in white coat

Whenever I turn on the news I see the Prime Minister in a white coat and rather smart trilby working away in a vaccine laboratory.

I’m delighted to have received my first dose but when the second comes along I hope it hasn’t been manufactured by Boris Johnston.

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Michael Grey

St Thomas Road, Edinburgh

Logic puzzle

I note that the police have fined Edinburgh drivers for visiting North Berwick in East Lothian. East Lothian residents have been instructed to attend the EICC in Edinburgh for their Covid jags. Will they also receive police fines?

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Donald Carmichael

Orchard Court, East Linton

Crying foul

After nearly a year of lockdown most of us are tired of being unable to lead a normal life, but the vast majority of the general public realise that the current lockdown conditions are in everybody's best long-term interests.

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For a few irresponsible members of the footballing community to believe that the law applies to everyone other than themselves therefore is an insult to the sacrifices made by the vast majority of the population.

Handing out spot fines of a few hundred pounds to these grossly overpaid and self-important individuals is clearly no deterrent and alternative punishments should be put in place; perhaps it might be more appropriate for the SFA to deduct ten points from the clubs involved for each infringement. Alternatively these irresponsible individuals could be shown what real "lockdown" is like with a month-long spell in one of HM prisons. This might help focus their attention.

AEA Porter

Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire

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Tower struggle

Although there is something to cheer about in England in the “war on woke” and the stalwart struggle against attempts to rewrite British history, predictably, in Scotland, we have silence from the SNP. The recent capitulation by Edinburgh University over the name of the David Hume Tower, named after Scotland’s greatest philosopher, is a case in point (Letters, 16 February.

Despite being an alumnus of the university, I am aware of no attempt by the university to consult with the thousands of fellow alumni and alumnae who have studied in the David Hume Tower as to the proposed change of name. Instead, they have given in to a very small, but vocal group whose entire outlook is focused on attacking our history and “cancelling” our leading historical figures, which is easy to do when their values are 250 years old and they cannot defend themselves.

The decision follows a 1,700-signature petition launched by an American student, but we have no way of knowing how many (if any) signatures were of Edinburgh students, or graduates, or even if they have ever been in Edinburgh!

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This cancellation culture only succeeds when the authorities have a collective funk. Alumni and alumnae should demand that they be consulted and until they are consulted, the name must remain unchanged.

Andrew HN Gray

Craiglea Drive, Edinburgh

Propaganda unit

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It is outrageous that Scottish taxpayers are having to stump up for a Union propaganda Unit (Letters, 16 February) headed up by Oliver Lewis, a former Vote Leave strategist and Brexit apprentice of Dominic Cummings plus up to 50 staff to combat Scotland’s democratic wishes. One UK government official even compared tackling Scottish self-government with “a bit like the US dealing with the Viet Cong”.

The Electoral Commission needs to ban the Tory UK Government’s Union Unit from its propaganda onslaught during the Holyrood’s election “Purdah Period”. There is no need for a Union Unit when the number of the UK Scotland Office spin doctors has increased from 58 to 83 from 2014 to 2020 at a cost of £1,354,776 a year despite its diminished role since devolution. And as part of Boris Johnson’s planned Brexit grab of powers formerly held by our Scottish Parliament the overall annual cost of the Scotland Office has increased to over £8.5 million a year.

This week the Royal Mail delivered a Scottish Liberal Democrats election leaflet which was printed in London and the main opposition parties are also bankrolled from outside Scotland.

When you add to the equation that broadcasting is controlled from London and most of the press is opposed to self-government despite support for independence almost becoming the settled will of the majority one can appreciate that enough resources are thrown at the SNP without taxpayers subsidising a Unionist propaganda campaign.

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Fraser Grant

Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh

Educated guess

When Nicola Sturgeon first became leader of the SNP her primary resolve was to be education.

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After a substantial period in power surely she must publish the OEDC Report into Secondary Education before the elections in May to allow the electorate to learn of the wonderful job she has done. Could there be a political reason for the delay in publication?

Graham Smith

Alnwickhill Road, Edinburgh

Dry spell ahead?

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On our inevitable journey to Prohibition, we learn from BBC Radio Scotland this morning that Stirling University has a Professor of Alcohol Policy, who advises the Scottish government. Amazingly, recent findings of a peer-approved study are that the consumption of alcohol renders Covid restrictions impossible on licensed premises. One assumes that this study was commissioned to produce just such a conclusion.

Already a rather tame equivalent of the Speakeasy is cropping up, so perhaps in the near future Scotland will see a replication of events in the USA during their thrilling 13-year period of Prohibition from 1920.

Malcolm Parkin

Gamekeepers Road, Kinnesswood, Kinross

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