Sir, – Hysteresis is the delay between event and result. In this instance I refer to infection rate to hospitalisation or death rates from Covid.
Reading data provided by Public Health Scotland on the previous Covid spikes, the hospitalisation rates peak about six to nine days after infection and death rate peaks several days after that.
Infection rates were still rising on January 5, so hospitalisation rates will still increase.
Health specialists report these are starting to increase based on the Christmas spreading activity, as predicted.
Professor James Chalmers, professor of respiratory medicine at Dundee University, has stated it will take to mid-January before the infection rate peaks and a couple of weeks after this for hospitalisation rates to peak.
Senior health professionals also predict other variants will emerge and we will need to take cover once more, until we can determine how serious these variants are.
As Professor Devi Sridhar, of global public health at Edinburgh University, has stated the worst case would be a new variant to emerge which is highly infectious, yet does not make people seriously ill for a week or so after infection, sheds a high viral load and which can swerve the current vaccine. It takes time – that’s the hysteresis of detection/ diagnosis and analysis of new variants of any virus.
So it is clear, we need to take our medicine, which starts with personal hygiene. We know the rules, this is the Covid legacy, we should embrace it.
Alistair Ballantyne. Birkhill, Angus.
Scottish Government has failed on drugs
Sir, – It is very sad to see the Scottish drug deaths taskforce is now in tatters with the resignations of the chairman and vice-chairman this month and as Drugs Minister Angela Constance attempts to put political spin on this major setback.
We have the worst drug deaths record in Europe and the Scottish Government has completely failed for years to stop this ongoing tragedy of human life lost to drugs.
Scotland deserves better.
Dennis Forbes Grattan. Mugiemoss Road, Bucksburn.
Sturgeon’s actions cast pall of gloom
Sir, – Nicola Sturgeon finally relaxed Scotland’s self-isolation rules when even she realised they were ineffective.
One would hope this will lead to a rethink of her whole Covid strategy and the introduction of a pragmatic approach benefiting Scotland rather than ideological point-scoring in her potentially catastrophic attempt to hive us off from the UK.
The U-turn that brought Holyrood more in line with Westminster was seen by her disciples as a defeat but the fact is Scotland must live with the virus and that requires a more balanced approach.
Her harsh restrictions are not only futile – they are intolerable and have led to gloom descending on every aspect of national life.
Dr John Cameron. Howard Place, St Andrews.
Stop squabbling and unite to beat virus
Sir, – I was one of many millions who understood that for the benefit of our nation, party politics had to be laid to one side between 1939 and 1945 – things were so dire unity was the only way forward.
While in 2022 we are not fighting people, we have most definitely been fighting a much more subtle enemy, the Covid virus, for two years.
Yet during this period that brought illness and death, the public has been witness to our elected parliamentarians verbally abusing each other over petty things – like whether some political get-together on a lawn two years ago was legal or not.
And while we are one island group and have one central government at Westminster, we have been subjected to different local anti-Covid directions put forward on behalf of various political parties.
I say to our politicians: “Let’s have less inter-party squabbling so that we can all move forward as one country and as a united coalition until we win this war against Covid.”
Archibald A Lawrie. Church Wynd, Kingskettle.