IT seems to me that both the Scottish and UK Governments are being weak in the area of social contact. If they are saying no social contact then they should close restaurants and the like. Enough government budgets are being spent frivolously, free bus travel for under 18s for example, or building tunnels between Scotland and Ireland, introducing 5G when a lot of the country does not have 4G and for many areas virtually no broadband at all. It is time for government money to be transferred to paying people to stay at home when they cannot work remotely. If these projects can cost billions, then we can absolutely pay people to stay at home.

As regards the potential pressures on the health service, 10 years of austerity from both the UK and Scottish Governments with savage cuts on health spending at the same time as spending on pet projects are now having an impact.

At the end of the virus period there needs to be a national debate on the priorities for government spending and tax policies with an end to party politics determining varying priorities every five years. We also need governments to set targets for the period of their administration and if these targets are not met then politicians should be held to account and pay the price of their failure to deliver.

Bill Eadie, Giffnock.

MY husband and I emigrated to Spain on the back of the Brexit vote, as we were so destroyed at the idea of leaving the EU and worried for the future path of the UK.

Here we are in total lockdown. No-one is allowed to leave their house unless for essential food, fuel, pharmacy or money.

Only one person at a time may leave the house. A metre distance must be kept from all people when out.

How does this make me feel? Personally I feel a lot safer than I would in Scotland, where we are governed by Westminster’s fool standing on his hind legs making flaccid suggestions, stepping back as businesses go bankrupt and people can’t pay their bills. I’m sure he won’t blame it on Brexit.

The double whammy of Brexit and this health crisis is devastating for the economy, for the people of the country. Pedro Sanchez, the Spanish Prime Minister, is talking of a universal income for the unemployed, of temporary suspension of utility bills, mortgages; meanwhile in the UK loan sharks and banks are rubbing their hands together and licking their lips in anticipation of the money to be made. And I haven’t even started on the NHS which with 10 years of underfunding is bound to suffer, and while Mr Sanchez simply requisitioned all private health beds, Boris Johnson expects the NHS to pay millions per day to rent beds from the private sector.

Please, people of Scotland, try to limit your contact with other people, especially large crowds. Don’t go to restaurants and pubs. It’s awful and Mr Johnson should be making it a law in order for the insurance to pay out for lost revenue for these businesses, but we know he is protecting them and not us.

Look to the EU and how they are doing things. Thank our lucky stars we haven’t yet fully left as the EU has already promised the UK help in terms of ventilators and knowledge and so on.

Act now.

Amanda Darling, Malaga, Spain.

I WOULD have expected at least all of the large supermarkets to have been advised of reasonable point of sale quota limits by our Government. With no limits being publicly announced, it leaves retailers' staff facing the wrath of customers at checkouts when asked to put items aside.

Bearing in mind quotas, last night on the news there was an item regarding the shocking plight of food bank stock levels, with some saying that they are on the point of closing down. Two problems arise here: how do the general public purchase items for donations without retailers thinking that this is a way around "these are not for me but for the local food bank", and how are we instead able to donate cash to the food banks directly unless we actually know the genuine operators to pass funds to?

Our society being as it is, it is only a matter of time before the charlatans with their fake IDs purporting to be from the food banks, start coming round the doors and conning many old, and young, out of their cash.

George Dale, Beith.

THE ongoing coronavirus emergency will have deep and lasting impacts over many aspects of society, our lives and our economy. For those people with no home, or about to lose their home, and who cannot simply self-isolate, the risks are even greater.

Homeless individuals face significant health problems at the best of times – the alarming recent statistics on homeless deaths in Scotland prove as much. However, at a time when a virus such as Covid-19 is circulating rapidly, the need to provide adequate housing to all becomes ever more acute. Not just to keep individuals safe, but also to protect wider society and to provide the space for individuals to be able to self-isolate in line with Government advice.

Stopping homelessness in the first place should always be our priority. As some employers are beginning to contemplate shutting down and asking workers to take unpaid leave, the ability of households to keep up with their rent or mortgage will become more and more difficult, increasing the risk of evictions and repossessions. That is why we warmly welcome the Scottish Government’s intention to ensure people are not evicted due to the pandemic, and we await Thursday’s ministerial statement with interest. We suggest that convening a virtual coronavirus housing and homelessness taskforce will allow us to come together to assist in the design and implementation of such a policy, including how the advice sector can support individuals through it. We would also hope the statement will provide for emergency funding for local authorities to guarantee safe accommodation for homeless people.

Adopting a safeguarding approach to protect life, provide people with suitable accommodation, and ensure people can stay in their homes in these unprecedented times is a vital element of how our society responds to this emergency. We stand ready to work with the Scottish Government and other partners to make this happen.

Graeme Brown, Director, Shelter Scotland, Edinburgh.

AS an elderly person qualifying for free bus travel in Scotland, I think we must be realistic, and withdraw this benefit for the time being.

I think a concession fare of, say 50 per cent discount, for essential bus travel by persons holding travel cards and needing to use buses would dramatically reduce the use of buses for purely leisure use and continue to give income to bus companies, allowing them to maintain services.

To reduce risk of coronavirus transmission, whilst retaining the availability of bus routes in the interest of all, this seems logical and fair.

John Ewing, Ayr.

WE face a national and world crisis of huge significance. All our advances and technologies cannot prevent it getting worse. Yet each one of us has the potential to help others through the ravages of this pandemic, and we need to pull together in supporting one another in a multitude of practical ways, as we are being advised.

One thing that has not been mentioned, however, is prayer. We have a Christian heritage of a faith in a God who listens when people call on Him for help. Let us, who still believe, set an example by praying for our loved ones, our friends, neighbours, health workers who are on the front line, those who serve us in many different ways – keeping our country going. Let us pray for the vulnerable, for those who are already sick, and for our leaders who are struggling to know how best to advise and legislate. Let's pray for our nations, for the world as it faces this extreme crisis which is bringing each country to its knees, seemingly powerless before this virus's effects.

Let's pray that God will give us strength, wisdom, peace even in the storm, and endurance as we seek to cope. Perhaps the Christian churches would consider a day of prayer for our nation, our world. Perhaps we cannot physically meet together, but we can each pray wherever we are, seeking God's help. He has promised to listen and answer those who turn to Him in prayer. Let's just do it.

Alasdair HB Fyfe, Glasgow G76.

HAS anyone thought through what to do if all the funeral directors and grave diggers contract the virus or are quarantined, and is there enough cold storage in the event of not being able to do burials? Also, how many people are allowed to attend funerals?

Susan Nelson, Glasgow G44.

WITH the hospitality industry in the doldrums and workers skilled in engaging with the public in the food and beverages, travel tourism, hotel, and recreation sections having unwished-for time on their hands, there is a valuable source of experienced help for older, and other, groups, and some services, whose activities will be greatly restricted for months to come; and the public purse should allow suitable remuneration.

R Russell Smith, Kilbirnie.

HAVING of late attained my 90th birthday and now, in my musing moments, wondering how I should celebrate my centenary, I thank Ian W Thomson for his letter (March 17), in which he supports us auld yins by pointing out that international figures such as Gladstone, Eisenhower and Churchill ere past three score years and 10 when they led their countries. I do not feel threatened by the expected lockdown, especially when kind neighbours have handed in their telephone numbers in case I should need their help when faced with the viral onslaught.

W Raymond Shaw, Glasgow G41.

DELICIOUS Magazine has produced a list of 50 recommended store cupboard ingredients – including two grades of olive oil, anchovies, capers and harissa. Phew. Now we know Edinburgh's Stockbridge and Morningside residents should be able to struggle through the coming weeks.

Martin Redfern, Edinburgh EH10.

NO excuse to delay the decorating now. Watch out for panic buying of emulsion paint this week.

John Dunlop, Ayr.

Read more: Coronavirus: ALL routine NHS ops cancelled for 3 months