Readers' letters: School ventilation was a big oversight

" As a result of ventilation, Covid cases in New York City public schools are near zero”

School ventilation was big oversight

At Friday’s Independent SAGE briefing it was asked whether herd immunity was the UK government’s intent.

The experts responded that if herd immunity was the intent, they would do exactly what the UK government is doing, or more accurately, not doing.

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The government has failed to properly ventilate schools, which prevents viral spread, and in May removed the mask mandate in secondary schools, not sharing any evidence as to why removal was necessary.

As a result, infections among young people are rising significantly, over 250,000 children are missing school and whole schools have had to close.

The government has also failed to provide financial support to those who must self-isolate because Matt Hancock thought people would game the system.

These are simple things that must be done to suppress Covid and yet the UK government hasn’t done them. Why not?

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On the New York City website, you can see the ventilation status of every classroom in every school and as a result, Covid cases in NYC public schools are near zero.

If the UK government prioritised the health of its citizens it would normalise simple measures like masks and ventilation, just as we have normalised seat belts, cycling helmets and indoor smoking bans to deal with other risks.

The Tories have shown repeatedly that they don’t trust or value people. Scotland didn’t choose this sorry government.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Merchiston Crescent, Edinburgh.

One law for us and one for Hancock

Given that the police are constantly under fire for institutional bias, will Matt Hancock be spoken to for breaking his own Covid restriction rules or will the public again have to accept there is a law for some and a different law for others?

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Although Mr Hancock has been forced to resign because of media pressure, it doesn't say much for Boris Johnson, who was prepared to quietly accept a meaningless apology and move on, suggesting that the matter is now closed.

Fortunately for Mr Johnson, a majority of the English electorate are still able to overlook these, almost weekly shenanigans, to vote for a Conservative Party that is less popular in Scotland.

This is part and parcel of why the call for Scottish independence is as strong or even stronger than ever because the Scottish electorate will always be trumped by a more numerous English electorate that has turned to the right because Labour has failed to offer a credible alternative.

Jack Fraser, Clayknowes Drive, Musselburgh.

Incompetence is no barrier in politics

It says so much about this country and the Tory Party that Matt Hancock could be incompetent at his job, award fast track multi-million pound PPE contracts to friends and party donors, be accused of lying to committees and the public by former Tory insiders, be described as ‘useless’ by his party leader, have benefitted financially through shares in a company supplying equipment to the NHS where his sister is a director, given his ‘aide’ a paid Departmental board position without scrutiny and awarded a PPE contract to a company in which her brother is a director.

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According to Tory government standards, all this is perfectly fine. But what brought him down? A clandestine relationship where both parties were married and his crime was being caught ‘in flagrante’. Something Boris Johnson was initially cool about, but he would be, wouldn’t he?

D Mitchell, Coates Place, Edinburgh.