EMBEDDED in Alison Rowat's article ("Too many are suffering, it's time to get back in business", The Herald, June 18) is a critical sentence which deserves much more prominence. She asks “are ... we as a society willing to put in that effort for the greater good?” The answer seems to be a resounding no; those clamouring for instant easing of lockdown are vocal in their demands, but singularly quiet as to what steps they would be prepared to take to ensure that any such relaxation does not result in a second wave of infections and deaths.

As an exemplar, in the early stages of lockdown, the Scottish Government asked that people wear face coverings. While these provide little protection for the wearer, they do give significant protection for others against spread of the virus from those carrying it. They offer little gain for the individual, but a significant benefit to society. Yet observation then showed that only a tiny minority were taking this advice and even that minority has now shrunk.

As a 76-year-old male with blood cancer, I am probably highly vulnerable to the virus, so am careful to wear a mask when likely to be in contact with others. Why is it then too much to expect others to take the small inconvenience of face covering to protect me?

The heading to Dr Frederick Hay's excellent letter “A triumph for naked self-interest”, on the cynical destruction of the Department for International Development by the Westminster Tories (June 18), probably provides one answer. Surely it is incumbent on those demanding an end to lockdown to come up with proposals, and be prepared to enact them, to ensure minimum danger to society from such easing?

Dr RM Morris, Ellon.

EVERY day Nicola Sturgeon congratulates the public on doing a great job in obeying her rules and helping beat the virus. She tells us that she has to be cautious to avoid a second spike. The reality is that about 10 per cent of customers in a supermarket wear a mask, lots of children play with other families, the parks are full of people close together, many shops and tradesmen trade illegally and almost everyone ignores the five-mile rule.

Against this background the downward trend in deaths and new infections is very encouraging. It also shows that the rule-breaking to date is not causing a spike and the damage she is inflicting on the economy is going to be her legacy, not that she saved Scotland from a second spike when other countries had to go back into lockdown.

Maurice Paterson, Glasgow G43.

I WAS impressed by Helen McArdle’s Analysis article ("Sturgeon banks on ‘slow and steady’ exit from virus lockdown", The Herald, June 19). I cannot but be so thankful that we are under the governance of Nicola Sturgeon with her “cautious and proportionate” response to the crisis.

No doubt the necessary public inquiries will reveal where mistakes have been made and judgments ill-founded. However, her approach and presentation contrasts so favourably with that of Boris Johnson, whose climb to the top, which began in 2016, was founded on lies and promises that could never be kept. Is he the man to trust with our very lives?

John Milne, Uddingston.

NICOLA Sturgeon is " slavishly" sticking to her plan ("Sturgeon's small steps to lockdown freedom", The Herald, June 19). In earlier times she claimed to be acting for all of Scotland, now it is different. In fact, she appears not to be acting for anyone except her own desire not to repeat the mistakes that sent lots of elderly patients from hospitals to care homes.

Public health is, of course, a priority but this is bolting the door once the horse has gone. Instead we are witnessing mixed messaging, woolly thinking and an education system and the economy in meltdown. There is no harm in being risk-averse but not at the cost this is obviously incurring. Ms Sturgeon is trying to keep calm and carry on, but something has got to give.

Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow G77.

AS Nicola Sturgeon shares her plans for us in Phase 2, rather than adopt Downing Street's Stay Alert slogan which she derided, she opts for Stay Safe. Arguably as equally opaque but, presumably as far as Ms Sturgeon's concerned, it benefits from being different from Downing Street's wording – simply for difference's sake?

Martin Redfern, Melrose.

OUR political masters have difficult, fine judgments to make during this Covid crisis, so I am reluctant to criticise them, but Nicola Sturgeon’s claim yesterday that her strategy involves “targeted measures rather than blanket ones” simply beggars belief.

Here in Orkney we have been extremely fortunate with a relatively low incidence of the virus, Sadly, there were two fatalities in March, seven positive tests before April 25, one, possibly two (there may have been double counting, apparently) positive tests since April 25; and no hospital admissions in more than 10 weeks.

How good do these figures have to be before it is an acceptable risk to permit the lifting of at least the most burdensome lockdown rules that are currently depressing the Orkney way of life and economy?

Movements of people in and out of the islands is (and could continue to be) controlled, so our very geography means adequate, tailor-made Covid combatting restrictions are possible. One hat does not fit all.

Orkney (and other island groups) could be leading the country out of lockdown if “targeted measures” were applied but I fear Ms Sturgeon talks the talk and doesn’t walk the walk, on this one. Too blue-skies-thinking for an extremely cautious (may be even feart) lady, methinks.

James Miller, Kirkwall.

Read more: Letters: Scottish Government’s slow and steady approach is what is needed to see us through this crisis