Readers' letters: Nicola’s caution on Covid well founded

Scotland is fortunate that Nicola Sturgeon is cautious on Covid and face masks (Dr SJ Clark, letters, 17 March) as this has led to many fewer deaths and cases per head of population over the last two years compared to England and Wales.

Boris Johnson’s dithering at the start of the pandemic has proved very costly for the economy and our health, as by 18 March 2020 most infected countries had put in strict controls but not the UK, which has resulted in the third highest death rate in Europe.

Covid patients admitted to hospital throughout the UK increased by 20 per cent over the last seven days with over 100 people dying every day and most scientists have criticised the UK Government decision to drop Covid safety rules and widespread testing, as in future we won’t know soon enough when a new variant develops.

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We should listen to experts like Dr Deepti Gurdasani who criticised comments on face masks from the Tory MP Andrew Bowie.

“I just don't understand how politicians who don't seem to have any understanding of public health two years into the pandemic feel free to wade in and put out completely uninformed and unhelpful rhetoric. We should be doing more not less..."

She added: “England is not a good standard for comparison for anything. Yes, England doesn't have mask mandates because of the sheer stupidity of politicians, not because they're not needed!”

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh

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Are face coverings masking a problem?

Instead of preventing it, face masks have probably caused the present Covid spike as they are constantly handled by their wearers, particularly when taken on and off.

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The effect is the same as exposing a used handkerchief, which is exactly what they have become.

They should either be on all the time or off all the time.

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Malcolm Parkin, Kinnesswood.

Help us to tackle secondary breast cancer

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In the UK, 1000 people die from breast cancer every month. Most of those deaths are from secondary breast cancer, which occurs when breast cancer cells spread from the first (primary) cancer in the breast to other parts of the body.

Secondary breast cancer can be treated but not cured, so we urgently need to do more for people affected by this incurable disease.

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Breast Cancer Now is calling on readers to pledge to raise £1000 by 31 December - from bake sales to getting sponsored to walk or run. However you choose to raise the funds you’ll make a difference by supporting research, care and campaigns for anyone affected by incurable breast cancer.

There are an estimated 35,000 people living with secondary breast cancer in the UK, but without an accurate, up-to-date figure we’re missing insight and information about their experiences and outcomes.

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Last year, our campaigning efforts helped secure a secondary breast cancer audit in England and Wales, meaning for the first time we will know the number of people living with this disease. This data will support the NHS to design and plan services and help to improve outcomes for people diagnosed with secondary breast cancer. This is progress.

Help us create a future where people with secondary breast cancer get more precious moments with the people they love, and to do the things they love – sign up to our £1000 Challenge at

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Rachael Franklin, Breast Cancer Now.

Write to the Edinburgh Evening News

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We welcome your thoughts. Write to [email protected] including name, address and phone number – we won't print full details. Keep letters under 300 words, with no attachments. If referring to an article, include date, page number and heading.

A message from the Editor

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