WHEN Nicola Sturgeon announced the extension of the Glasgow area restrictions ("Household visiting ban extended to two more council areas", The Herald, September 8), I read the Twitter responses and comments on your website with horror, shock and dismay. Many of the comments came from the self-centred, the politically motivated, and the uninformed.

When East Renfrewshire was locked down last week, I was shocked until I looked in more detail. Counting infections is not the key parameter, it’s how many per 100,000. And last week’s three local lockdowns were the top three authorities with the most cases per 100k. This week’s update simply adds the next two authorities which are neck and neck with East Ren.

Track and trace had its troubled start but it seems to be coming up with sensible information. East Ren has so few pubs, unfortunately, and yet the numbers are rising. There are few factories like the Coupar Angus hotspot. If it was the schools causing the increase, that would be uniformly spread across the country. Unless I’m missing something, what else could it be in a near-publess society other than house visits, where we all have anecdotes of people stretching the rules? Track and trace tells us who is passing on the virus and where.

I can’t claim there’s no political skulduggery, but it’s only at the edges. Greece being on the quarantine list was an issue until Westminster changed the rules for the Greek islands. We live in a devolved society where four governments and their advisors will make marginally different decisions. Marginally to the point that the UK and Scottish politicians are accused of copying or playing catch up a week later.

The uninformed are in two groups.

Some people are reading the headlines and not the details and then applying additional rules. People cancelling holidays in Scotland while people from England can holiday here? The only change is visiting homes. People changing babysitting arrangements by or caring visits to grandparents is still permitted – we are not giving up on care for the vulnerable, old or young.

The other group is the bloody-minded. Don’t tell me what to do. You can’t take my freedom, and so on. These are the people who frighten me the most, because they are inventing science to suit themselves and causing the upward drive of this virus.

This virus has killed around 2,500 deaths in Scotland. That’s roughly the same as 9/11. In the UK it’s about 20 times 9/11.

Now if you think it’s crass to compare Covid-19 with 9/11 because 9/11 was caused by deliberate acts by self-centred, politically motivated and uninformed people, just reflect on the actions of those around us, and indeed yourself and your own impact and contribution to these figures.

David Gailey, East Renfrewshire.

MANY people in Scotland wonder when the Covid-19 epidemic will be over. Happily, my extensive knowledge of Scottish political science allows me to answer this difficult medical question: in nice time for next May’s Holyrood elections.

Penny Ponders, Edinburgh EH28.