I DON’T like kicking someone when they’re down, but Dr Catherine Calderwood’s behaviour has been so extraordinary that she deserves it ("Calderwood quits after breaking lockdown rules", The Herald, April 6). She says she made a mistake; twice. However, there are innocent mistakes, when you do something thinking it’s right, but then find you’ve misunderstood the situation or got your sums wrong. And then there’s the sort of thing Dr Calderwood did; twice, on consecutive weekends.

If, as an airline pilot, I had deliberately operated outside the safe flight envelope of my aeroplane, or outside the limitations in my company’s operations manual, I would have expected to be sacked; quite rightly. Dr Calderwood knew the rules, had fronted the campaign emphasising how vital it was to follow the rules, but still chose to ignore them. In the process, she has completely undermined those rules, which she must know herself.

I can understand Nicola Sturgeon’s desire to stay loyal to someone she has worked closely with, but Dr Calderwood’s behaviour was gross misconduct and it should have been immediately obvious to Ms Sturgeon and her advisers that the CMO’s position was untenable.

Doug Maughan, Dunblane.

THERE is no doubt Dr Calderwood had to resign, and should have gone within minutes, in spite of the excellence of her advice in this time of pandemic. Indeed, it was because she flouted her own advice.

It doesn’t matter than Price Charles had done something arguably worse, travelling hundreds of miles with his personal/security staff when exhibiting signs of a contagious virus. It doesn’t matter that the Prime Minister and his Covid-19 team had ignored the social distancing advice and contaminated each other: at one point the Prime Minister even insisting on shaking hands with all and sundry.

It doesn’t matter that the same newspapers who jumped on the Chief Medical Officer, had the week previously attacked the police in England for trying to enforce that same travel ban, in that instance to the Peak District and other National Parks in England. No, all that matters is that Dr Calderwood had to go, a sad loss during a crisis, but what sticks in the craw is the unholy, slavering glee from a highly partisan media and Unionist politicians that they had, at long last “got a scalp”.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

IN the justifiable uproar over the resignation of the disgraced Catherine Calderwood, an extremely important isssue is in danger of being missed.

By the time Nicola Sturgeon gave her disastrous press conference on Sunday, she knew that Dr Calderwood had been in Fife on at least two weekends when she should have been in Edinburgh. If we take the First Minister at her word that she had not known of the Chief Medical Officer's whereabouts until that day (and we have no reason to doubt her) then she is admitting that she had lost operational control.

Had the CMO's advice – which was cited as being so irreplaceably invaluable at the same press conference – was required, at short notice, she was over an hour's drive away. The question is: why did the First Minster not know the whereabouts of her Chief Medical Officer at the time of a deadly pandemic?

Peter A Russell, Glasgow 13.

THE Calderwood debacle raises the question of what has been the point of having a separate Scottish team giving its own daily briefings during this crisis. The answer is that it allows Ms Sturgeon her time in the limelight, and she is very much the star of the show. The Health Secretary is pretty much silent and sometimes absent, and the CMO has been allowed a couple of minutes to say her piece.

I imagine most of us prefer to get our information from the decision-makers in London. It is not as if Scotland doesn’t have the foremost authority in the UK on epidemiology, but Professor Hugh Pennington is not acceptable to the SNP regime on political grounds – he is pro-UK.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh EH14.

SURELY the deep, if generally under-acknowledged, disparities in wealth in Scotland are evidenced anew by Dr Calderwood's recent trip to Fife? Here's a public servant, paid for us out of taxation, who apparently has a second home to go to, when so many of our compatriots struggle to secure just one.

Alistair Richardson, Stirling.

REGARDING the behaviours of Catherine Calderwood, Gordon Jackson, Prince Charles et al, I think your readers should be told that the rules are for the little people like your readers and me, don’t you know?

As Gerald Ratner found out to his lasting cost, us little people have long memories and don’t forget their abject arrogance.

Ian McNair, Cellardyke.

WHENEVER I hear Government spokesmen on TV giving statistics on their current stocks of various commodities such as masks, protective clothing, gloves, ventilators and testing kits, or making statements saying that the NHS will shortly be carrying out 100,000 tests per day, invariably the figures prove to be vastly overstated and within about 24 hours the true figures emerge when medical staff up and down the country reveal the true position and inform the media that the figures released by ministers bear no relation to reality.

This reminds me of some well known lines from the song The Irish Rover:

"We had one million bags of the best Sligo rags, We had two million barrels of bone,

We had three million bales of old nanny goats’ tails, We had four million barrels of stone,

We had five million hogs and six million dogs, and seven million barrels of porter

We had eight million sides of old blind horses' hides in the hold of the Irish Rover.”

If the Government. does not have accurate figures, their spokesmen should just admit that fact and not resort to fantasy.

Edward Coyle, Hamilton.

I AGREE with Margaret Forbes (Letters, April 4) that there should be some focus on the causes and origins of the Covid-19 epidemic. My understanding is that the dangerous and unhygienic conditions in a so-called "wet market" in China are where the virus started spreading from. I have seen no apology from the Chinese government about this, or reassurances that conditions over food hygiene have been improved, such as veterinary inspections, as would be the case in slaughterhouses in developed nations.

When the crisis is over I would expect governments to raise the possibility of financial reparations for the countries worst affected. The Chinese have been commended for getting on top of the problem quickly in their own country; however, that did not prevent two Chinese tourists being allowed to travel to York in January and begin the spread in the U.K.

Elizabeth Mueller, Glasgow G12.

I’M 70 years of age and have had the virus symptoms since March 19, when I started to cough and sneeze.

I deteriorated from there sweating hot and cold, shivering and boiling, temperature up and down, no smell or taste, continued nausea and not eating. My wife was changing my sheets twice a day and sometimes in the middle of the night. I was extremely ill as never before and my wife, who was extremely concerned, was told over the phone to give me paracetamol and only call back if I can’t breathe

No house visit to check if I had the virus or something else and no offer of assistance. No registration of her call or put on a list for future testing. I was very ill but if I had been on my own I believe I would have died.

This blanket ban on house calls is just ignoring a vulnerable group who may need a house call even to confirm one way or the other if the person has the virus;if not treat the illness they have and relieve the fear.

Robert Buirds, Port Glasgow.

CAN anybody tell me if the advice for over-70s isolating has changed? I’m over 70 with no health issues and have kept to my house since advised, but I know several friends – some over 80 with health issues – are still going out shopping. And people I know who are much older than I am regularly pass my window with their messages. I’ve not heard of any of them being arrested in supermarkets or on the bus travelling to the next village in search of essentials. The advice for this most vulnerable group not going out seems to have been dropped in favour of just the "shielded". Did I miss something?

Yvonne Dalziel, Ormiston.

I SHOULD like to add to letter from Jim Coley (April 4) another group of selfish exercisers. A minority of cyclists come blasting past on paths designated for walkers and cyclists. They do not use a warning bell (some have never had the courtesy to do this in the past) and pass within a metre, peching and panting and it is not possible to hear them approaching from behind. This minority must think that their speed of overtaking must make us feel safe, which is does not, but sad to say some others do not care.

My own experience of this unacceptable behaviour relates to the pedestrian path/ cycle path between Ardrossan and Seamill.

I would ask the few individuals who behave selfishly to think of others and if speed is so important, try the near-empty adjacent A78.

Malcolm Rankin, Seamill.

IN today's climate of apprehension and fear caused by the virus, and with the threat of job insecurity, lack of social interaction, constant bad news and a continuing lockdown, it is worrying that some people seem to have gone beyond apprehension and are now gripped with fear.

I am therefore reminded of President Roosevelt's famous phrase in his inaugural address in 1933 during the Great Depression: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." I think it is just as appropriate now as it was then, and I hope we will come out on the other side a better, fairer and fitter society.

Alan Stephen, Glasgow G44.

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