SO Alison Rowat has joined the chorus bleating for us to be “treated like adults” over the Covid pandemic ("From PM to First Minister they are in this together now", The Herald, June 25). As parents of teenage children have to tell them all too often, to be treated as adults, they have to behave like adults. The evidence before our eyes is that at least a significant minority among our population are unable, or unprepared, to behave in such a way. The crowds flocking every fine day to the parks and beaches, with scant regard for social distancing or any other attempt to minimise spread of the virus, are just one example.

A more subtle example is provided by your correspondent Dr John Cameron, in his attempt to show that precautions are no longer necessary because infection and fatality rates are now low (Letters, June 24). What he fails blatantly to recognise is that these numbers are low precisely because of the precautions and privations that the majority have accepted. His argument has all the rationality of a diabetic on insulin who decides that, because his blood sugar level is within limits one morning, the insulin is no longer required.

If this is the standard of logic shown by a presumably well-educated person, the SNP Government would be very wise to continue with its current policy, which has actually compared very favourably with that in England in terms of explaining its rationale.

Dr RM Morris, Ellon.

THERE is a persistent allegation that Nicola Sturgeon is just copy-catting the Johnson Government over opening up, only two weeks later. But even a casual glance at statistics show there has been a substantial divergence between Scotland and England over Covid-19 infection and mortality rates. Scotland is now opening up with the virus in full retreat: that is not altogether the case down south.

I hope I am wrong, but when I see England’s packed beaches and the utter “after corona” complacency of columnists in the English press, I fear for our big neighbour’s wellbeing. Nor does it help with an incompetent braggadocio in No 10 “leading the world” in absurdist crowing over the whole pandemic.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

HELEN McArdle is not comparing like with like in her article (“Excess death figures do not leave Scotland looking good”, The Herald, June 25). The Scottish Government is deprived the levers of governance enjoyed by the other countries cited in her article. With them (for example) lockdown and controlled closure of our international borders could have been introduced much earlier than than they were.

With the limited powers available to her, Nicola Sturgeon has competently steered our nation through one of the darkest chapters in its recent history and persuaded a lot more Scots that a sunnier future awaits us once independence is won.

Charlie Shaw, Glasgow G73.

POOR John Swinney, among the meekest of parliamentarians, and damned by Alexander McKay (Letters, June 25) whether he reopens the schools or doesn't. Indeed the SNP Government is similarly damned by Mr Mackay. But the sad news for your correspondent is that this SNP Government is performing better than its Westminster counterpart and will sooner rather than later deliver the nation of Scotland back to its people.

Mr McKay will then find himself living in the capital city of his country instead of residing, and unhappily at that by the sound of it, in a provincial city furth of the metropolis of London, somewhat like a kayaker whose paddle has just fallen into the current and been swept away.

That too will be another fine lesson in the general curriculum as delivered by the SNP.

Ian Johnstone, Peterhead.

I AGREE with Phil Tate (Letters, June 22) that any inquiry about the transfer of people from hospitals to care homes should look at events from well before the outbreak of the coronavirus, and I also agree that the sudden influx of funds to enable people to be transferred to care homes was surprising given the decades of bed blocking that had gone before. Successive UK Governments have ignored the underfunding of care of the elderly.

I have to disagree, however, with his implication that local authorities simply could not afford the "higher prices" (higher than what) charged by care homes. The reality has been that Cosla, the local authority umbrella organisation, has rigidly controlled fees paid for the care of publicly-funded residents. Privately-funded residents generally pay more than the Cosla rate but were not affected by bed blocking, which only involved the commissioning of publicly-funded care. Bed blocking came about decades ago because there was not enough central government funding for local authorities to commission a service for all those assessed as needing residential care. To imply that high care home fees have been the problem is inaccurate.

And it wasn't just funding cuts from the Scottish Government that led to bed blocking. It was decades of under-funding of care of the elderly and a steady refusal, by successive UK Governments, to address the problem. Mr Tate advocates a National Care Service, working alongside the NHS, paid for out of general taxation. I am not sure what he envisages in that proposal but, as the present system for publicly funded recipients is already paid for through general taxation I am pretty sure that, without a better share of that pot, the problem would not necessarily go away.

Jim Proctor, Paisley.