JOANNA Blythman doesn’t believe that it is necessary for care home workers to be vaccinated against Covid ("Don’t trust Hancock and power-hungry pals, vaccine passports are a step to dystopian future", The Herald, March 27). I think she is wrong.

It is all very well to argue about the rights of the individual to choose, but what about the rights of those being cared for? Surely they have a right to be protected from catching this potentially fatal disease? It is a well-known fact that care home residents are particularly vulnerable due to age and infirmity. My late mother passed away in a nursing home almost two years before the outbreak of Covid in the UK. If she were still there today I would like to be assured that all of those responsible for her care were vaccinated. I would argue that that would have been her right.

David Clark, Tarbolton.


WESTMINSTER is trying to decide how to implement a system whereby people can prove that they have received their two Covid vaccinations, the so-called vaccine passport, in order to secure entry to premises, or travel. Qatar has introduced a very simple system that our legislators should consider. When a person has been given their second vaccination, a code – known locally as the "gold bar" from the colour of the design – is entered on their mobile phone, with no need to fill in forms or provide personal details.

A similar scheme could be adopted here. Admittedly there are two groups of people for whom this would be problematic: those unable to be vaccinated on health grounds, and those without mobile phones. For the first group their GP, who would be aware of the reasons for them not being vaccinated, could provide a certificate, or perhaps an app that would have the same function as the gold bar. For the latter group, a certificate system, with its attendant problem of others making use of it, might have to be implemented.

What is not needed is the setting up of a committee of MPs to discuss, debate and squabble over the new system, which will only result in delay, and if the usual Westminster practice is followed, an impractical, bureaucratic system that creates more problems than it solves. Adoption of the gold bar system would enable a quick solution, leaving time for a committee to concentrate on the two groups referred to above.

TJ Dowds, Cumbernauld.


THE last time we were on a war footing of the magnitude of this pandemic, the only people who went abroad were fighting for their and our lives. The rest of the population was getting by as best they could. Those left at home coped without a fortnight in the sun for the best part of five years.

Surely it is not too much to ask that we stay at home until the pandemic looks like being under control in most of Europe. Being vaccinated will not guarantee immunity nor necessarily prevent transmission of the virus. Especially as more variants are continually being found.

Ian Smith, Symington.


THE Rev Dr John Cameron (Letters, March 26) notes the success of a legal challenge by churches against Scottish Government pandemic restrictions on worship. Many clerics and church attenders are in the older age group, so will be at increased risk from coronavirus. The Easter message of the Cross speaks of every human life being precious.

Can Rev Cameron reconcile Christian resistance to abortion (or euthanasia) with churches pressing to remain open while a dangerous virus is spreading? New Testament churches met in private homes for prayer and the Lord's supper. The simple churches of the First Century turned the ancient world upside down.

My own spiritual journey was deeply impacted by reading Miracle on the River Kwai by the late Ernest Gordon (1916-2002), who came to faith in a Far East PoW camp. On return to Scotland Gordon is allegedly to have described the Kirk as "a bureaucracy not a fellowship". Perhaps the pandemic will move UK Christianity away from clericalism and an obsession with buildings?

JT Hardy, Belfast.

* I NOTE Alistair McBay’s thoughts on the recent reopening of places of worship (Letters, March 26), particularly his claim that “no god or gods seem able or willing to address [the global pandemic].” On the contrary, God gave us the wits to develop various vaccines. This thought might not have occurred to humanists, so many of whom persist in the delusion that science and religious belief are incompatible.

Charlie Friel, Clydebank.


I AM genuinely moved and in awe of Thelma Edwards’ unique and lovely accord with nature in reading 63 poems to 63 different trees in the rain (Letters, March 26 ).

My own engagement in woodland is likely to be more down to earth, and standing behind a tree; but with an appreciative “for this relief much thanks”.

R Russell Smith, Largs.


MAY I add "or whatever", " almost unique", "nearly unprecedented", "future prospects", "past history", "future plans", "safe havens", "raise up" and "he is currently the chairman", to your list of ineffectual phrases (Letters, March 25, 26 & 29)?

David Miller, Milngavie.

* I WOULD add to the list of ineffectual phrases,but while I took some me-time and built a wireframe of the letter, I unfortunately failed to put any meat on the bones of it and as such will spend more time awaiting my second jag.

Des Arthur, Cambuslang.