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READERS’ LETTERS: Lockdown lead must be taken by scientists

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Sir, – The present rise of new Covid cases was forewarned by those scientists who at the outbreak of the virus argued against a general lockdown in favour of more specific measures.

By the time lockdown was introduced in the UK we had already passed peak infections.

Our politicians panicked on seeing the pictures from Italy where their health service in the north was overwhelmed.

Two months ago French scientists estimated that because of lockdown only 5% of the French population had been exposed to the virus.

The UK figure was 7%, mainly due to London.

Now that lockdown measures are being eased the virus is spreading again.

But most importantly this is not being reflected in increased hospital cases, and medical advances having greatly reduced the likelihood of death.

In fact more people died last month from flu and pneumonia (both preventable by vaccines) than from Covid.

The figures for those with the virus are estimates and, to an extent, that is also true of deaths as many have died from other causes but with Covid present.

The only true figure is patients being treated for Covid in hospital.

In Sweden where there was no lockdown and no use of face coverings they have only 30 cases in hospital.

Similarly Denmark lifted its lockdown early and they do not have compulsory face coverings and their hospital cases of Covid-19 stand at one.

Interestingly Sweden, Denmark and Germany who have had the best outcome have all had their Covid response led by scientists rather than politicians.

Perhaps we have something to learn.

Eric Gibbons.

Coldingham Place,



Be role models for kids to copy

Sir, – A lot of unmasked ‘hot air’ is being expelled on the demonisation of school kids. That they are the virus spreaders is being shouted from the rafters.

Spreading the virus, almost deliberately, by not taking heed of the elders’ warnings.

Whilst I support the encouragement of school students adhering to the F.A.C.T.S, demonising them is the wrong approach, in my opinion.

What behaviour are we offering as role models for them to model?

At the start of this pandemic, we had Professor Calderwood, Jenricks MP and Cummings.

Calderwood’s two trips to her holiday home were wrong. She ‘fessed up’, so some respect is due to her. Jenrick’s trip to his parents home was ‘uncovered’ by the press, he still stands by the position that he did nothing wrong.

Cumming’s trip, dear me what to say, to Durham and Barnard Castle and back, took the proverbial biscuit, even more so than the Aberdeen FC and the Celtic debacles.

And then we have house parties where seemingly intelligent adults, young and old, are ignoring the rules and consuming alcohol, aka falling-over liquid.

These are the messages and role models that some of these children are being given, so what do we expect? Angels?

It would appear that we will probably see several increases in Covid infections as the schools return, so let’s give our children good Covid models to copy.

This virus will not go away in the next few months, so we all need to sharpen up, me included.

Alistair Ballantyne.




Alternative universe in Fife

Sir, – Is Anstruther in an alternative universe?

I just wondered, because Derek Farmer of Anstruther (‘Tiresome bleatings of devolved assemblies’ Courier, August 18) seems to live in one.

He asks ‘what exactly is the point and benefit of devolved assemblies’?

I can only speak of the Scottish Parliament, which endeavours to run the country, within their devolved powers, and in line with the democratic wishes and aspirations of the Scottish people, which are largely ignored by the UK Government in Westminster.

‘The decisions arrived at are almost exactly the same’ as they would be at Westminster, he tells us.

Well I would suggest that Mr Farmer has not been paying attention, as this particular time is an excellent example of where they differ.

At the beginning of the Covid crisis, the Scottish Government worked in step with Westminster, seeing that a one island solution, in this particular dangerous time, would be best.

But seeing the uncaring incompetence of the UK Government, they fairly quickly took matters into their own hands, and thereafter managed the situation with clarity and fortitude, such that much misery was avoided and many lives saved.

Mr Farmer goes on to pillory the ‘incompetent and inexperienced ministers at Holyrood’ for their handling of the ‘current education fiasco’.

Again, where has he been?

It is the UK Government which has demonstrated stunning incompetence and lack of experience, putting their young students through the mill for an extended period, before finally bowing to the inevitable, whilst, in Scotland, our experienced education minister realised that he had erred and moved swiftly to take appropriate action.

He suggests that ‘the main qualifying factor (for the Scottish Government) seems to be membership of the SNP since the age of 16’.

I would respond by pointing out that this at least shows commitment, in comparison to our UK Government, which seems to ignore qualities like competence, experience and honesty, in favour of old chums, with the only commitment being to the Brexit cause.

When I compare our letters, I see pretty comparable themes.

But I leave the reader to make up his or her mind as to which is reality, and which is Anstruther.

With apologies to my Fife friends.

Les Mackay.

Carmichael Gardens,



A shining example to us all

Sir, – Among the many instances of selfishness in the world there is always a shining light and a beacon of unselfishness which transcends all of that.

I refer to a lady in my village who every day has taken it upon herself to travel along all the hedge ways and parks with a sack and grab stick, picking up all the litter and debris left by others, who have either consciously or casually left it there.

No one asked her to do that other than her own civic conscience, and she is unsupported financially in her actions.

Hers is a simple gesture and I am sure she is highly valued by her community, and many, myself included, indicate our appreciation in passing.

I would commend her to you as one of perhaps a dying breed, who simply cares about her village; may others in other villages follow her example towards an improvement in society.

David L Thomson.

Laurence Park,




Crowd pleasing Covid response

Sir, – It is wrong to allow obvious infectious disease spreaders, such as pubs, schools, funfairs, and amusement arcades to reopen.

Pubs and schools are already regenerating Covid infection.

Meanwhile, easily controlled one to one medical contact – such as in opticians – is denied.

Proof positive that the entire process is being managed on a crowd pleaser basis.

Malcolm Parkin.

Gamekeepers Road,