WHILE I occasionally write to The Herald, until now I have made it a point never to respond to other correspondents whom I consider to be entitled to their opinions, no matter how much I may disagree with them. However, I feel compelled to respond to Philip Adams (Letters, July 21), who stated that "National Lockdown 1 was a massive exercise in stupidity".

As I wrote last week, I have been closely involved in the response to the pandemic, in my case within sport. Far from it being an exercise in stupidity those countries which responded immediately to the crisis through imposing lockdown (for example, New Zealand) have come through the pandemic relatively unscathed, whilst others who delayed, including the UK, have suffered significantly, and as we can see in the United States and Brazil, continue to suffer through their failure to introduce and sustain a coherent lockdown programme.

I would be interested in knowing what Mr Adams's qualifications are that allow him to make such an ill-considered sweeping statement supported by absolutely no empirical evidence whatsoever, or does he belong to the Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro school of medical wisdom?

That I am saddened by such remarks is because to my mind they exhibit a lack of respect for those who have lost their lives through a failure of governance and for the many more who would have died, and may still yet if the actions currently in place are not enforced rigorously a key part of which was lockdown. Such actions are not, nor have ever been, a joke.

Bill Mitchell, Kyle of Lochalsh.

IT was good that Robert Howie (Letters, July 20) got a lot off his chest in his letter to The Herald.

Fortunately, the letter from Douglas Jardine which followed indicated why the people in Scotland should adhere to the actions recommended by FACTS and should wear a face mask at appropriate times (even if it is tartan).

By doing this, we lessen our chances of becoming one of the millions affected by this global pandemic.

Duncan Stirling, Cardross.

ON July 7 Nicola Sturgeon insisted she wouldn't be rushed into dropping quarantine restrictions on airport arrivals, preferring to follow the science and her advisers. On that day, Spain declared 347 new cases. The very next day she dropped quarantine for most countries apart from Serbia and Spain. Spain announced 383 new cases that day.

Yesterday, two weeks later, Spain reported a four-fold rise in new cases to 1,527 and Nicola Sturgeon dropped its quarantine restriction ("Quarantine lifted for arrivals from Spain – despite surge in cases", The Herald, July 22). Am I wrong in thinking her advisers are actually holidaymakers and opinion poll companies?

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven.

WITH the pandemic now under some kind of control in Scotland, would it not be best now for the First Minister to stand down from her almost daily announcements? She could let a health expert take over the daily update, if it is deemed still necessary.

It seems almost as if she has grown to love the spotlight and coverage and will have to be dragged screaming and kicking from the podium and cameras. An announcement in Holyrood, where she can be questioned properly, seems much more fitting for the present situation.

Her daily pontificating long ago became a free, and unchallenged in any meaningful way, party political broadcast.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh EH6.