THERE has been a lot of discussion in the media about the effect of the coronavirus on our everyday lives, the economy, jobs, and more. The necessary lockdown is causing great distress across the board. However, my thoughts turn to what happens when we get the “all clear" from our respective governments. This is not going to be a return to 2008, more like 1946. Great loss of life, high unemployment, huge national and personal debt.

Things need to change, and change radically. A brief list would include the following:

1, Brexit. This should be delayed indefinitely or preferably scrapped. The UK and our friends in the 27 member states are in no position to discuss or agree any sort of deal at this time. For the same reasons, forget trying to do a deal with Donald Trump’s America. Neither they nor we will achieve anything worthwhile until we know how our respective governments survive the present emergency.

2, Trident. This should be cancelled. It is of no use against pandemics, terrorism or climate change, which are the real dangers facing us today. Spend the money on the NHS, conventional forces and much-needed surface ships.

3, HS2. This vanity project should be scrapped on cost and environmental grounds. Ditto fantasy projects such as bridges/tunnels across the Irish Sea.

4, NHS. Implement a realistic hospital building programme, fully funded and staffed, with the spare capacity and equipment to cope with any demand.

5. Welfare. This needs a complete overhaul, especially the disastrous Universal Credit. Those who find themselves in financial straits for whatever reason, must get the funds they need when they need them; not weeks or months later.

6, Westminster. This antiquated establishment must be dragged into the 21st century and the anachronism that is the House of Lords should scrapped and replaced with a democratically elected second chamber a fraction of its present size.

Personally, I would like to see an independent Scotland in Europe. However, one thing is certain, we cannot go back to the status quo. Major reform has been required for many years. Now is the time.

Angus Ferguson, Glasgow G12.

WE are in this lockdown situation at the moment and some of the information we are being given is indicating that it could go on for months. This is surely unacceptable.

It would surely be possible to ask all businesses to come up with plans to get back to work but meeting the current rules of distancing. It would also be necessary to include rules about travel to work, but I am sure a lot could be done. One size fits all is not good enough. Many local shops employ people who can walk to work and could easily fit locks to doors to allow one or two customers in at a time. I think there would be many good ideas come out of this and it would not be impossible to monitor.

I remember being on a course many years ago where one of the exerciss was to lay out a workshop meeting certain constraints and it was surprising the different solutions which came up.

We must do something if we are not to face a situation where many businesses close, where debt is enormous and life is poorer for many.

Jim McAdam, Maidens.

NO doubt many studies will be done and many lessons will be learned from Covid-19 by all nations after it has been controlled as to what worked best, from containment to testing, PPE procurement to distribution to the frontline carers and beyond, to a cure.

Every cloud has a silver lining and in this unprecedented case in tackling this pandemic, it seems many Government critics in the media have acquired 20-20 vision.

If we have to prepare for every and any future eventuality, the same critics will be the first to question the unnecessary cost for something that may never happen.

Trident is an obvious example of something no one wants to pay for, or use, but until all world powers agree to multilateral disarmament it acts as a costly deterrent.

How many of the critics would leave their front door open and cancel home, car and life insurances?

It is one thing for the opposition to rightly hold the Government to account but another for the media to seek fault and apportion blame in retrospect. They too have a duty to report news rather than fabricate and create hyperbolic headlines for want of an original story. We should not need to work out fact from fiction depending on who the messenger is.

Allan Thompson, Bearsden.

IT would appear that following the latest briefings there are too many different priorities running in parallel, mixed messaging again. It strikes me that Government leaders are contradicting the medical professionals whom they claim they are following. While I do have to some sympathise with our elected leaders, this far down the line the glitches should have been sorted out.

We are losing too many members of our society in the race to halt this deadly pandemic; the Government has been too slow to respond swiftly to the outbreak, but no we must we must focus fully as one to halt it.

Iain Rowan, Largs.

NON-PRIORITY (offices, hotels and house building) construction works are currently still being permitted in England and only a few house builders (Persimmon,Taylor Wimpey and Barratt) have so far voluntarily suspended works. According to Construction News, a leading publication for the building industry, there are many Scottish, and English, businesses who will be/are under threat from their customers down south to come up with the materials, labour, and sometimes both, to satisfy their contractual terms or suffer the consequences.

I can understand that the supply chain requires to keep in operation for essential works, but this is where both Governments need to get their heads together over the definition of "essential". As an aside, I worked in the building trade for 53 years and the two-metre rule is a total non-starter.

George Dale, Beith.

MIKE Wilson (Letters, April 1) wonders what might happen in a worst-case scenario of a post-coronavirus economic collapse.

He needs to look no further than the data on the World Bank website.

The old Soviet Union disintegrated in the early 1990s, and the economy went into meltdown. In 1989, the life expectancy at birth of Russian men was just over 69 years. It did not return to this level until about 2011, having dropped by between two to five years in the interim. Life expectancy for Russian women also fell during this time, but not by so much.

Christopher W Ide, Waterfoot.

IN these very clever digital days would it not be possible for supermarkets to take plants from the local nurseries and sell them outside their own stores ("Plant growers facing total wipeout", The Herald, April 1)? Clever little machines could take our payments by contactless means, and the gardens of Scotland bloom throughout the summer as ever.

We are all now used to queueing, keeping the statutory two metres apart, and a plant stall in a corner of a supermarket car park surely would not cause trouble? Perhaps volunteers from amongst keen gardeners could be found to "staff" the stalls? I would be happy to put in an hour or two each day.

It is going to be a sad summer without the beautiful plants. Once the wild daffodils are over what will we do for colour? In the woods there are dog-violets, forget-me-nots, speedwells and primroses but gardens will be rather bereft of colour and beauty.

Thelma Edwards, Kelso.

THIS thought suddenly struck me. We’ve had fire, floods, locust plagues and now pestilence. Does this sound familiar to something I read in a book at Sunday school?

B Mitchell, Johnstone.

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