Readers' letters: A better way to deal with pandemic

It is a pity that recent letter-writers criticising the Government’s handling of the Covid outbreak did not read a recent pronouncement from the NHS which says that scientific modelling has been crude and unreliable at predicting the pandemic.

Sunday, 20th June 2021, 4:55 am
Is there a better way to deal with the pandemic?
Is there a better way to deal with the pandemic?

We might have one of the best groups of scientists and doctors in the world but they accepted this model uncritically and swamped the media with gloom and doom without positivity.

In October 2020, in Great Barrington in the US, a group of the world’s immunologists signed a statement which said that the best way to end the pandemic was to concentrate on the vulnerable and let the rest get on with their living.

If this had been applied in England, such as the hotspots in the North West, the pandemic would now be under control, but it was ignored so medical resources have been spread too thinly.

What happens in far-flung corners of the world is not relevant to the situation in Britain, yet should not countries around the world be careful that toxic substances are not allowed to escape from their laboratories?

I have had Covid so I have some experience.

Bill Fielding

Orrell

Applaud England team – don’t boo

A minority of England supporters booed the team for Taking the Knee at the three recent matches against Austria, Romania and Croatia.

Boris Johnson’s statement said he “fully respects the rights of those who choose to peacefully protest and make their feelings known”.

Tory MP Brendan Clarke-Smith has rightly been under fire after comparing Take The Knee to England footballers performing the Nazi salute during a 1938 match with Germany. Another Tory MP for Ashfield in Nottinghamshire has stated he will boycott England games because of Take the Knee.

Prior to England’s first game at Euro 2021 against Croatia, videos on the internet were circulating which actively encouraged protest

These were the work of well known neo-fascists.

A host of right wing figures, including former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, said “‘fans’ have a right to boo when players Take the Knee for Marxist BLM”.

Why then is there a small section of the crowd booing the England team?

I have heard that it’s because they consider Taking the Knee to be a tokenistic gesture. It’s apparently a technical objection to the strategy of BLM and the anti-racist movement in Britain.

They are booing because Taking the Knee doesn’t even begin to cut the mustard when tackling institutional racism.

I suspect the reason some people are booing the England football team is because they want to condemn them for taking an anti-racist position. What does that make them? What sort of people boo black players who have been subject to racism all their lives? On the issue of BLM being Marxist, this is not true.

The BLM draws its support from a wide range of public opinion which includes Christians, Muslims, Jews, trade unionists, environmentalists, gay and trans campaigners, ordinary members of the public, socialists, and yes, a few socialists of the Marxist tradition.

Some people who don’t support BLM Take the Knee because it is acknowledged as a general stance against racism. Martin Luther King Took the Knee. Was he a Marxist who got it tactically wrong?

What sort of world do we live in when people feel it’s okay to boo anti-racists?

We should continue to applaud Gareth Southgate and his England team.

Dave Lowe

Wigan Stand Up to Racism

Boycott your bed for charity

Even before coronavirus hit, more than four million children were living in poverty in the UK. Now our most vulnerable children and families face the toughest of challenges, as the financial and emotional impact of this horrible pandemic truly hits home. Action for Children is determined not to let this generation of lockdown children become a lost one.  

For over two decades now I’ve taken part in the charity’s annual sleepout. Before the pandemic this meant bedding down in a London location, getting very little sleep and always being chilled to the bone by the time the sun rose. Yet I would get to go home and have a shower, something to eat and very soon would be feeling normal again.

For the vulnerable families that Action for Children works with hardship is their ‘normal’ – fear and worry over paying their bills, not being able to put food on the table or clothe their children.

I’ve been privileged to see the work Action for Children do every day to change people’s lives. 

Last year alone, their Coronavirus Emergency Fund provided essentials, like food and warm clothes, to around 20,000 children and young people. Frontline key workers kept 99 per cent of services open. And Parent Talk, an online support service, was a vital lifeline for more than 350,000 children and families seeking reassurance and advice.  

They are doing all they can but now they need your help. They need you to Boycott Your Bed to raise money for some of the country’s most vulnerable kids. 

This July 9th they – and I – are asking families in your area to ditch their duvet, put away their pillows and bunk down somewhere unusual in their homes or gardens. Last year I slept out in my treehouse! Everyone who signs up will get an exclusive invite to a night of incredible virtual entertainment, raising desperately needed money. Because no child should go to bed hungry. And no child should lie awake feeling frightened about how their family is going to cope.

Please do sign up at www.boycottyourbed.co.uk and I can’t wait to see you all virtually this July. Thank you for your support.  

Jenny Agutter

Action for Children Ambassador