AT present there are many comparisons being made between the leadership qualities of Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon. The former is being heavily criticised and the latter applauded for their handling of the Covid-19 crisis. However, to my mind there is little to choose between them.

Before the coronavirus hit our shores, Boris Johnson had tunnel vision with Brexit being his sole focus. Ms Sturgeon was equally consumed by independence. Both failed to focus on the impending disaster across the world with Cobra meetings on the virus being missed and the NHS and care homes being left totally unprepared.

We will never know the numbers of vulnerable people who died because of UK and Scottish government dithering, but surely now is the time to ensure that our authorities can cope with any second wave which could be on the horizon and take any measures swiftly and effectively. We owe it to the memory of the victims of the virus that proper measures are now in place to protect the public and as individuals we have a duty to behave responsibly to safeguard the more vulnerable members of society. Nothing less will do.

Bob MacDougall, Kippen.

RECENTLY whilst watching the First Minister reporting on the Covid-19 situation, giving updates as to what we can and cannot do and passing opinions on how our neighbours are handling matters, I have formed the opinion that she believes that we are suffering a bit less than those around us because of actions that she and her Government have taken.

Having observed the volume of foot and road traffic (on my daily walk) and the behaviour of shoppers (on my very occasional visits) over the past 12 weeks I can assure her that many of her warnings and actions have meant very little to a large sector of the population, and maybe the better results are dependent on multifarious factors and a bit of luck.

William MacIntyre, East Kilbride.

PEOPLE south of the Border who have booked holidays in Scotland in the near future must be feeling nervous about Nicola Sturgeon’s threat to quarantine people coming into her jurisdiction. What we have to remember is that her priority is to get rid of the virus. In that regard she has a policy whereas Boris Johnson has none – he just keeps bumbling on.

The nature of Covid-19 is that it cannot exist on its own. It requires a host. Without hosts it peters out. Perhaps if this message had been conveyed loud and clear to the people of Leicester it wouldn't be facing a return to lockdown. In the absence of a vaccine this is where social distancing, wearing masks and isolating make so much sense. Having made good progress so far in containing the virus I personally wouldn’t want Scotland to turn into another Leicester.

Duncan Macdonald, Taynuilt.

WHILST welcoming the steady progress being made in Scotland towards reducing the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths and the consequent ability to relax the restrictions that this has facilitated, I cannot understand why the use of face coverings in shops has not been made mandatory rather than simply remaining a recommendation.

At this critical point in our fight against Covid-19, we should surely be employing every tool at our disposal in preventing a reversal in the downward trend in cases and the mandatory use of face coverings in shops seems a very simple and obvious step, particularly as it is mandatory to wear them on all public transport.

Rodger Smyth, Glasgow G44.

WHY has the UK the worst Covid-19 death rate of the G7 countries as well as rest of Europe? Answer: Brexit.

This country was totally unprepared for a pandemic; after all, for the last four years or more nothing else mattered but Brexit. Millions were spent on preparing for a no deal and hundreds of hours of Parliamentary time discussing nothing else. The eye was off the ball, in particular following Boris Johnson’s election, when all he could talk about was “get Brexit done” at the very early signs of coronavirus infections in China. This has cost lives, not just Jo Cox’s four years ago.

Rosemarie Lang, Douglas.

I JUST read that Northern Ireland has done almost twice as well as Scotland on Covid-19 with 46 deaths per 100,000 nearly half Scotland's 74 and England's 82, despite their population density (136 per square kilometre) being twice Scotland's (70 per sq km)and having only restored devolved government a few months ago.

Scotland has apparently had 13 fantastic years of devolved SNP government.

Nicola Sturgeon should take a ferry to Northern Ireland and asked how they used their shaky devolved powers to overcome what we're told is the biggest crisis to face the UK since 1945. Before they copy our ideas and close their border to us doubly-infectious Scots.

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven.