FINALLY, I thought, as I started reading Kevin McKenna's article ("Pandemic rules show class divide across the UK, The Herald, October 17) finally, a commentator realising the horrifying injustices as a result of government handling of Covid-19. I was anticipating an article outlining how the lower paid suffer far more physically, mentally and financially than those cosy "desktop professionals" like myself.

To set a scene, as a "desktop professional", I have never had to use public transport during this whole crisis. I've never had to worry about the risk of infection from a bus or train. I've been able to travel in the comfort and absolute safety of my car. I have the type of job where I can comfortably work from home – even if I were struck by the virus, there's a very high chance I could continue working from home and keep myself and everyone else safe and continue getting paid. Even if I had the temerity to go on holiday abroad, and required to self-isolate when I got back, that's no real hardship for me. I'd order my food online and sit it out, working away. But most of all, I don't have to put my health at risk by wearing a mask for eight hours a day. I don't need to risk breathlessness, wheeziness and dizziness like shop workers I've spoken to experience. And I am fortunate to have a (relative) degree of financial security.

This is in stark contrast to someone on low income, working a hands-on physical job – driver, cashier, hospitality, conductor and the like. They have no such luxury of working from home. Their daily jobs involve constant contact with people. If, which by definition they have a far higher chance of, they get taken ill with Covid, it's pot luck on whether they will get paid. Should their role be made redundant, mostly they will be one of hundreds or thousands being put in the same position at the same time. Worst of all, they are expected to police government policy whether they like it or not – they are wrongly put on the front line of enforcing policy on distancing, face masks and general conduct. And don't get paid a penny more.

The management of Covid affects those on lower incomes or manual jobs disproportionately, both on the day-to-day and the long term and whether managed by the SNP in Scotland, Labour in Wales or the Conservatives in England. I was therefore disappointed that Mr McKenna went completely off track into a predictable and tired rant against the Conservatives. He is tone deaf to the realities facing the worst-off in society to make it a partisan issue when it is no such thing. More than ever we need a media aware of the reality on the ground so maybe next time Mr McKenna, rather than paying lip service to balance in the last paragraph, will take off his Tory-loathing hat and realise just how appallingly the poorest in society are treated and affected no matter where they live in the UK and under all colours of government.

Jamie Black, Largs.

THE claim by Nicola Sturgeon that Scotland was on track to eradicate Covid-19 has proved false. While New Zealand has proved successful in controlling the virus, that is simply because it is like a bigger version of the Hebrides, whereas the UK is a global hub.

The coronavirus will be with us for a long time, unless and until the boffins of Oxford and other research centres of excellence can come up with an effective vaccine. Accordingly we must learn to live with it by adapting our lives guided by the "hands, face and space" mantra and especially maintaining physical distancing. Vitamin D supplements, improving gut health through diet, taking exercise, and ensuring our homes and offices are well ventilated, are all beneficial.

Vestibulum vincere aptet: Improvise, adapt, and overcome.

William Loneskie, Lauder.

IT is imperative that Nicola Sturgeon calls for the Louisa Jordan hospital, created at the SEC specifically for the treatment of patients seriously ill with Covid-19, to be brought into immediate use for that purpose.

Too many people have been suffering – and dying – from lack of treatment for other serious and life-threatening conditions, despite this costly, desperately needed facility remaining unused for patients.

The doubtless valuable training presently being conducted there can effectively be done elsewhere.

Conversely, the specialist care facilities created at the SEC are not presently available elsewhere, yet remain as though redundant.

If the degree of unnecessary suffering and grieving in Scotland caused by delayed non-Covid treatments since March were laid bare, there would be rightful public outcry.

I would urge everyone concerned about the misery caused by diminishing availability of non-Covid procedures to back a call to the First Minister for the immediate use of the specialist (SEC) unit for the purpose for which it was designed.

The Nursing Times reported in July that the use of the new NHS Covid-19 facility, while having been re-purposed to provide staff training – would revert to its intended purpose “if necessary”: it’s long past necessary and the time is irrefutably now.

Rena O'Neill, Milngavie.

I WOULD like to join the debate concerning the flu vaccination debacle before the subject is consigned to obscure parts of the media ("Ross accuses Sturgeon of broken promises over flu vaccination 'shambles'”, The Herald, October 19 ). As a pensioner in his mid-seventies I am concerned that I have yet to receive my annual flu jab this year. Whilst I appreciate that transferring the responsibility for carrying out the programme from GP practices to health boards has been on the cards since 2018, it is inconceivable that the Scottish Government should effect this change in the midst of a worldwide pandemic instead of postponing it until at least 2021/22.

This has caused considerable distress and disquiet amongst the elderly and vulnerable, who instead of being prioritised for vaccinations as in previous years, have been placed at the back of the queue. In fact, an elderly friend of mine has just paid for a private jab rather than wait an interminable time to be called.

Surely this situation could have been obviated had an intelligent analyst picked up the fact that applying a system designed for childhood vaccinations, which prioritised the youngest first, would inevitably lead to under-65-year-old adults being dealt with before the most elderly and vulnerable in our society.

This debacle is exacerbated by the ludicrous situation in which our next-door neighbours (same age group as us) have both received their vaccinations at the local medical centre, to which we belong and they don’t, whilst my wife and I instead of a five-minute walk have to travel on separate days to a shopping centre several miles away. There is just no logic here and this entire shambles is just another example of the catastrophic mistakes caused by the Scottish Government taking its eye of the ball. There is still time to reverse this situation by accepting that the current vaccination programme is just not working and revert back to tried and tested methods adopted previously, thus saving a bit of face rather than the usual fallback position of carrying on regardless and blaming Westminster.

Christopher H Jones, Giffnock.

TODAY (October 19), I received a letter confirming my appointment for a flu inoculation. Unfortunately, the appointment was for Wednesday, October 14.

After 63 attempts to get through on my phone and 56 on my wife’s phone, I did manage to get a rescheduled appointment.

I now have first-hand experience of the serious administrative issues afflicting the flu vaccine programme.

Jim Coley, Glasgow G73.

Read more: Kevin McKenna: Pandemic rules show class divide across the UK