THERE'S nothing like adversity to bring out the best in people (or most, at least).

Living alone (in a block of 92 apartments) and three-weeks-away from becoming an octogenarian, I have already been contacted by a number of neighbours (all in their late 20s to early 30s) with whom I have had little more than a nodding acquaintance, who have given me their telephone numbers and insisted that they will be very happy to help with shopping, posting letters, picking up prescriptions, running errands and so on.

This kindness by people who are virtual strangers is extremely heartening – and only goes to prove the old adage that 'every cloud has a silver lining'.

It would be wonderful if, when the present global crisis is over, it leaves in its wake a kinder, gentler society – less obsessed with material things.

Forget the selfish, antisocial, greedy morons who are stripping shops bare of essential goods – they are far outnumbered by decent, caring folk, only too willing to go out of their way to help those who are the most vulnerable at this time.

My heartfelt thanks go out, not only to those good neighbours who have offered ME their help, but to all those others like them everywhere.


Norwich Avenue West, Bournemouth

Callous decision

ONE can make a strong case for maintaining that the Government’s decision to impose a strategy of ‘herd immunity' to combat the Covid-19/coronavirus represents one of the most callous, reckless and irresponsible mandates in British political history.

Why? Because successful implementation of the policy demands the sacrifice at a bare minimum of at least a million lives (i.e. mostly frail, elderly people, the two per cent of the total UK population thought to be most vulnerable to the disease) in order to have any hope of blunting the relentless recent spike in new cases.

Indeed, a cynic might well claim that the decision to proceed with HI is evidence of a dastardly secret plan cooked up by top civil servants and senior politicians to thereby achieve the savings so urgently needed to rescue the cash-starved NHS from total collapse.

What then, apart from its unethical motivation, is fundamentally wrong with the notion of HI?

First, the practical reality that not a single other nation, even the most authoritarian, has any intention of following our example in condemning so many of its own citizens to almost certain imminent mortality.

Second, the smug, cocksure insistence of the carefully selected band of public health officials and academics invited to promote HI that the ‘science’ behind this approach in combating Covid-19 is somehow unassailable. It isn’t.

Why? Because the scientific evidence they offer for the efficacy of HI and the ‘modelling’ they derive from such data is based almost entirely on historical patterns, on the way certain other viruses we have become familiar with (e.g. swine flu, avian flu, Ebola, SARS etc,) have behaved in the past.

But Covid-19, although sharing certain characteristics with other viruses, is a brand new phenomenon, as yet inadequately researched, poorly understood, and notably different in certain critical respects, especially the extraordinary ease and rapidity of its transmission.

How on earth then can we confidently predict what pattern it might follow and whether it can be tamed, at great cost of life, by HI?


Julyan Ave, Poole

No to touch screens

I WAS stunned on visiting Poole Hospital yesterday to find that they are still encouraging patients to use the touch screens to check in.

Clearly these screens will still be carrying germs and viruses from previous patients. No-one was cleaning them in between patients.

I saw these screens being used in the entrance lobby, in general outpatients and in oncology outpatients.

I am shocked that Poole Hospital is putting patients at risk in this way.

In Swanage our GP practice removed the touch screen days ago. Patients are asked to stand a safe distance from the reception desk.

I made sure to check in with a staff member at the relevant desk but few patients appeared to be doing this.


Salisbury Road, Swanage

Leave something for us

AS TWO OAPs in their nineties, my wife disabled, who have relied on online food shopping for a long time it is a problem to find that suddenly there are no delivery spots available, all taken up by panic buyers.

Whilst family are keen to help, the whole business of writing out lists is not easy. Surely there should be some provision for elderly regular online food shoppers?


Woodland Avenue, Bournemouth