LAST night, I watched the latest NHS television advertisement encouraging flu vaccination informing us that “in an average year, flu kills 11,000 people”; we have always lived with this while risk-managing our possible contraction of flu.

The current UK death toll from Covid-19 stands at approximately 45,000, most probably because it is a new infection for us to deal with, and therefore, initially, we did not deal with it well.

However, Covid-19 is now being researched to the nth degree, and thus, there is ample reason to suppose that we will eventually, for the most part, "shut it down".

Indeed, this is the opinion of Professor Hugh Pennington – although he suggests that (while we wait for a vaccine) this will be better done with an effective contact-trace-and isolate system than with total area lockdowns.

The professor implies 100 per cent compliance for contact-trace-isolate to work; but given the human and other element in this, I don’t think such a goal will be approached, though we must try.

He also informs us that Covid-19 is not like flu in its effects; however, we apparently lessen our chances of contracting it in the same way that we lessen our chances of contracting flu – essentially social distancing and hygiene – as we have always done without a second thought.

So why are so many people apparently cowering in fear before Covid-19? Just manage the risk and "get on with it".

Once the money runs out and the cupboard is bare, I confidently believe that the constituent governments of the UK will abandon the stupidity of enforcing blunt total area lockdowns for sensible and finely-targeted risk management while keeping the country running.

Philip Adams, Crosslee.

PAUL McPhail (Letters, October 27th) observes that "there isn't a bottomless pit of money" in government and that "not everyone can be helped – or saved" in the current global pandemic.

Actually, they can. There are 54 billionaires in this country, many of whom are doing their utmost to accumulate yet more untold wealth, while working just as hard at avoiding tax.

The banking crisis of several years ago saw the world plunge into economic chaos, and those responsible were punished with huge financial bonuses.

"Where do the handouts stop?" Mr McPhail asks.

Never, is the answer, as long as you are filthy rich.

Kevin Orr, Glasgow G64.

LAWRENCE Wade, writing from Ayr (Letters, October 24), complains about the lack of nursery provision for his three-year-old daughter and wonders where any savings made might have gone. I can assure Mr Wade there are no savings for South Ayrshire Council to be made, as 95 per cent of three-year olds within South Ayrshire are receiving the 1,140 hours. Any delay in implementing the 1,140 hours provision, are due to building restrictions as a result of the pandemic. As building restrictions have been lifted progress is now being made, in order to facilitate the implementation of the 1,140 hours. I understand these will be completed by December this year.

Alec Oattes, Ayr.

YIPEE! I received my flu jab appointment today (October 27). Unfortunately, my appointment is for 12.30 on October 19. No luck getting through. Phoned NHS helpline. They were brilliant. Keep trying they said. Why didn’t I think of that?

Graham Andrews, Glassford.