Readers' letters: Long Covid throws spotlight on ME sufferers

I have every sympathy with those left suffering long Covid, as a consequence of catching the illness.

Chronic fatigue syndrome can be debilitating

However, while not at all intending to detract from or belittle their battles, uppermost in my mind is the number of people like myself who have lived with chronic fatigue syndrome for decades, and largely had little or no acknowledgement, support or care.

ME/CFS are all but the same conditions as long Covid, with all symptoms documented as virtually identical.

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Yet, over the decades many of those with ME/CFS have been totally dismissed and treated despicably, not only by the medical profession, but many by their relatives, colleagues and friends too.

I was diagnosed with ME following an episode of glandular fever as a 15-year-old in 1973. I have lived with this extremely debilitating illness for 48 years and at times been virtually bed bound for anything from 8-12 weeks at a time.

I have developing numerous other illnesses and conditions over the decades, which are believed to be as a result of the glandular fever and ME.

Many reported cases of long Covid are evidently nowhere near as debilitating or long-lasting as ME and CFS. Only a small minority of those sufferingfrom it experience it affecting them for more than three-six months. Many with ME/CFS face a ‘life sentence’.

At a time when there is a massive focus on caring for people left suffering withlong Covid I believe very strongly that it is now time for all those in the medical world to acknowledge the great injustice that has been done to ME/CSF sufferers, and accord us all the same level of care and compassion which is being given to long Covid patients.

Mrs Judi Martin

Maryculter

Kilt defence

It would be laughable were it not serious and typical of the Ministry of Defence procurement mishandling of taxpayers, money that the MoD intends to import sporrans for kilt wearing Scottish soldiers to save money!

Never mind that deprives workers here of their existing jobs! This is the same MoD that taxpayers have been learning has a £5.5 billion project for about 600 tanks which seems unachievable and that time spent by manning crews is short due to health concerns and limited vehicle speed, among other problems!

It surely calls at least for SNP MPs at Westminster tossing the caber over an issue which affects jobs in Perth and Edinburgh, never mind Scots pride!

Perhaps the time has arrived for outsourcing MoD procurement because the record has been poor and costly over the years.

Jim Craigen

Edinburgh

Pension plunder

Further to Jane Ann Liston's concerns over pension security in an independent Scotland (Letters 5 June) there is another warning to add.

Mary Thomas (Letters 4 June) may well enthuse about supposedly "better pensions" in Scandinavia and Ireland, but she is clearly ignorant of the Irish government's legalised raid on pension funds of tens of thousands of its own former employees after the 2008 financial crash.

This "stolen” money was used to pay off huge debts the country owed to German bankers. One of the victims of this cash grab was my own father, after 30 years of service to the state.

Don't imagine for one moment that such a disgraceful act of daylight robbery wouldn't happen in a cash-strapped indy Scotland.

Martin O’Gorman

Edinburgh

Even more British

I realise that the clue is in the name of the British Broadcasting Corporation. However, from a young age I believed that the BBC was impartial and able to present opposing views with equanimity.

This has been demonstrably not true since before 2012 in the case of the Scottish independence movement.

During the 2014 referendum concerns were raised about the BBC's news reporting. Many complaints were registered based on preferential treatment given to anti-independence voices, while pro-independence ones were sidelined or ignored.

We have a UK government, mired in corruption and deceit, around Brexit and Covid, where our PM lies with impunity and where secretaries of state break ministerial codes without any real investigation from the BBC establishment.

Finally there is now a plan by BBC London to take control of BBC Scotland's news studios, to create "greater efficiency" or more likely greater Britishness! In view of this I will definitely not be renewing my BBC license fee this autumn, whatever the consequences.

With this dishonest and incompetent Tory administration, recovery and regeneration is unlikely. Only an independent Scotland, in full control of its affairs, will be able to recover and revitalise our faltering economy and chart a course as a nation of the British Isles, Europe and the world.

Grant Frazer

Newtonmore

Chinese whispers

Sir Richard Dearlove’s accusations against China (Scotsman, 4 June) are hedged with “it would now be difficult to prove” and “possibly” and “people are beginning to take seriously” etcetera.

I think we are seeing a pandemic of another virus, one which causes outbreaks of paranoia in ‘security services’ worldwide.

One of its variants certainly seems to have caused a serious outbreak of anti-vaxer syndrome in the west.

One explanation for the initially slow response to Covid-19 in Wuhan is a conspiracy theory, in this case, experiments in biological warfare.

The problem with this is that viruses that have a fairly low morbidity rate but are highly transmissible are unsatisfactory candidates as biological weapons.

Nevertheless, since China is indisputably to blame for everything wrong in the world, this explanation is undoubtedly true – whoops, I seem to have caught a virus from Sir Richard, and will have to self-isolate for a moment. Now I’ve had a jag against it!

The other class of explanations is cock-up theories, in this case that the authorities in Wuhan thought that the late Dr Li Wenliang (remember him?) was a troll deliberately spreading alarmist rumours on social media, much like anti-vaxers in the west. They were proved badly wrong.

Roger West

Edinburgh

Budget bravado

I read Mary Thomas’ letter (4 June) with particular interest, as I was wondering who would pay me my pension under independence.

I think Mary Thomas has got it all taped and all will be all well come the day. Westminster will pick up the full national debt, pay all pensioners, take the full costs of North Sea and wind farm decommissioning.

They will also continue to pay 92 per cent of renewable subsidies to wind farms and solar energy and keep Scotland supplied with energy.

They will also take care of defence and pay billions each year for Faslane for as long as the base will be tolerated.

The budget and balance of trade deficits are fictions made up by Westminster.

It will all be wonderful and that is why the First Minister does not think it is necessary to show us the costs and benefits of independence until after she has got a Section 30 agreement written on her terms including yes/no instead of leave/remain.

The financial case is solid and does not need to be divulged to us voters.

There is nothing like getting good opinion polls based on appeals to the heart and leave the mundane money stuff to another day.

John Peter

Airdrie

Sporting health

Recently there have been concerns about the health of sportspeople suffering from illnesses due to brain injuries.

One area is football players who may have developed ill health due to heading the ball.

An area currently not being addressed by this medical sporting concern is boxing, where a scoring object is to strike the skull.

In writing this I do not in any way wish to detract from such persons as Josh Taylor, who skillfully is the undisputed light-welter weight world champion. He is, I know, very well cared for and looked after.

But with the incidentce of head injuries gaining more attention, the sporting authorities must surely address this, perhaps going as far as to banning boxing altogether, for the good health of the participants.

Indeed some in authority have suggested banning heading a football for long term health reasons.

Tom Reilly

Edinburgh

Indy support

John Fraser (Letters, 4 June) makes a false equivalence between the 2019 UK general election and the recent Holyrood election.

At Westminster, due to the first past the post system, the Tories secured a whopping 80 seat majority with only a third of the votes of the entire electorate.

In the recent SNP Holyrood victory the party gained 64 seats out of 128, meaning the result was commensurate with the actual constituency votes cast for the SNP (47.7 per cent).

How he can argue that the Scottish result is less democratic than the Westminster result beats me. This was a considerable achievement in a multi-party system designed to prevent any party from gaining a majority

There were, however, other pro-independence parties standing on the constituency - Greens, Scotia, Restore - whose combined constituency votes must also count if we are to take this result as a view on the constitution.

A considerable proportion of Labour voters also support independence, estimated at around 40 per cent, and even a few Tories and Lib Dems.

It is entirely reasonable, therefore, to conclude that support for reclaiming our sovereignty is a democratic aspiration among at least 50 per cent of the Scottish people.

Mairianna Clyde

Edinburgh

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