IT is not the Government’s handling of Covid-19 that should trouble us, but the likely economic consequences of that strategy.

It would appear that the Government is adopting an intermittent suppression strategy in order to limit the spread of the disease and crucially to limit demand for intensive care units to the number of beds that we actually have. This will of course keep deaths to a minimum.

By the end of the three-week lockdown daily deaths will have fallen substantially, as crucially will daily admissions to intensive care units (ICUs). The lockdown will be lifted and somewhat normal economic and social life will be allowed to resume.

However, with the end of social distancing transmission rates will increase, leading to a climb in ICU admissions and after a short period a further lockdown. In order to limit deaths this pattern will have to be repeated for many months, until an effective medication and/or a vaccine is available.

This all makes complete epidemiological sense for the domestic management of the coronavirus pandemic, however for owners and managers of the majority of businesses, it is an utter nightmare. Imagine trying to run most businesses on a three-weeks-off-two weeks-on basis? I fear that we soon won’t be having to imagine this.

Otto Inglis, Edinburgh EH4.

I WOULD really appreciate being enlightened about present Government policy regarding the fight against Covid-19.

We are subjected to rhetoric about social distancing and various restrictions on our social behaviour; about the failure of people to observe rules concerning gatherings at weekends and evenings; about the necessity of reducing the burden on our NHS and all the other imperatives required to keep us safe. Yet despite our so-called lockdown millions of people, from Monday to Friday, are going to work and most of them in jobs that are not essential.

Witness commuters in London packed into Tube trains and buses. Witness the streams of cars, buses and trains taking people to workplaces where most will gather in groups and be close to each other for at least eight hours. Outside work similar behaviour could get you arrested. This is sheer lunacy. This is herd immunity by stealth and people are co-operating with it.

Further, it must be said, the people who will put the biggest burden on the NHS over the coming period will be those going to work as normal. The NHS will lose staff because of infection and we will run out of volunteers. Underfunded, without enough beds and equipment already, the service will collapse and what will then ensue does not bear thinking about.

The Government and employers must be forced to provide a guaranteed income for everyone. This is feasible and can be done if the will is there. We are simply kidding ourselves if we think that work must somehow take precedence over health. There can be no lockdown whilst millions have to go to work.

Alex Porter, Stirling.

ALASDAIR Galloway (Letters, March 14) has a go at neoliberalism, Margaret Thatcher and anything that remotely suggests enterprise and success. Unlike me, he conveniently forgets the three-day week, the miners. strike, power outages, lorry drivers, strikes, rubbish piled up on the streets and bodies waiting to be buried – little wonder we were the laughing stock of Europe at that time. And yes, it took a clever woman (Margaret Thatcher) from a humble background to get this great country off its knees and regain a sense of purpose and hope to the entrepreneurs (risk takers)that it was acceptable to work hard and be rewarded.

I appreciate it must also be difficult for Mr Galloway to acknowledge that it is a Conservative Government which is effectively nationalising parts of the private sector paying most of the wages of workers instead of their employers. Having said that, he and his ilk should understand that Britain’s suspension of capitalism is only temporary and will have to bounce back as soon as possible to pay off the massive borrowing undertaken to alleviate the worst aspects of Britain's coronavirus economic heart attack.

Ian Lakin, Aberdeen AB13.

MAY I support Alasdair Galloway in his reminder of Margaret Thatcher's infamous 1987 statement that there is no such thing as society. What a hostage to fortune that was. Even having lived through the war she had forgotten what society was, if she ever knew. We must hope that those who continue to admire her will have learned their lesson.

John Jamieson, Ayr.

FROM the newscasts it would seem that quite a lot of people have difficulty judging and maintaining the two-metre gap our health authorities recommend. Perhaps they could do with a familiar yardstick.

Most of the cars on the roads could squeeze through a two-metre gap with their wing mirrors out, but it would be close. If you think a car couldn't pass safely between you and the nearest person in any direction then you are likely to be too close to them.

Sandy Henderson, Dunblane.

COULD this be a possible solution to social distancing and the panic buying in supermarkets? Every council in the UK issues each household with six months of tickets which allows them entry to any supermarket in that area on one day a week only. The ticket could be checked and stamped at the entrance (to ensure it is only used once). Essential items would be limited, the number of each item allowed dependent on the number of people in that household (printed on the ticket).

So whatever time of day you visited, you should still be able to find all you need. If you were shopping for someone else, they could simply give you their ticket. It would also deter people moving to other parts of the country to isolate themselves, as they would not be able to use the supermarkets there. A system like this should make it easier for supermarkets to manage stock and the numbers of people visiting their stores at any one time.

Mary Tatner, Kilbarchan.

THE phrase "better together" comes to the fore again. Perhaps this time because the circumstances are more demanding.

The current crisis is as we all know extremely serious; our politicians are doing a marvellous job at all levels, and in all parts of the UK.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson may come under fire from various quarters, but I believe he is the sort of leader we need in such times.

As far as I am concerned the emergency measures will be handled best by a government which through our electoral system has the responsibility for the whole of the UK, with the resources to tackle the enormous problems relating to the economy, unemployment, health and wellbeing of the population. It is my view that the Cabinet under Mr Johnson is best placed to carry out such a task.

How this country fares in the current crisis, and beyond, I truly believe could see an end to any attempt to cause political division in future years. In Scotland I believe the SNP has passed its sell-by date. Hopefully the flag-bearing, tartan-clad, woad-painted marches will be a thing of the past. Scotland needs to be part of a strong UK economy, with optimum employment and minimum taxation.

I sincerely believe that we will emerge from the present crisis a stronger and more united UK.

Robert IG Scott, Ceres, Fife.

PERHAPS we all should write a diary for the duration, a bit like Samuel Pepys journal about the Plague in 1666 in London. Daniel Defoe also wrote about it and noted: "Nothing was to be seen but wagons and carts, with goods, women, servants, children, coaches filled with people of the better sort, and horsemen attending them, and all hurrying away." As the plague raged throughout the summer, only a small number of clergymen, physicians and apothecaries remained to cope with an increasingly large number of victims."

When this lockdown ends these could all be collected by the National Library of Scotland and in 100 years' time they could be the source of more PhDs than you could shake a stick at. At least creating a journal/diary would do something and it might avoid having to put all the carving knives in a lockable drawer/box.

I believe there has been a run on jackets with wraparound sleeves that buckle at the front. Any sources?

Stay well and sane.

Ronald H Oliver, Elie.

IT'S not easy to accept that important events such as epidemics or climate change are shaped by random forces. We crave order at the heart of the storm and as we lose our collective rationality, the fake news of populists becomes ever more seductive.

Conspiracy theories and superstitions emerge as we try reintroduce a kind of order into our lives. Psychologists call it "compensatory control". Some put their faith in the kind of autocrats found in Germany after the Great War – good luck with that one!

Hyperactivity reigns in Downing Street with a Tory Chancellor being roared on by Len McCluskey and trade union capos. Schools are shut, so now we close something really pointless: golf courses. Anyone fancy a national day of self-mortification?

Dr John Cameron, St Andrews.

ONLY social distancing guidelines prevent me from tracking Owen Kelly down and shaking his hand for his comments on Prince Charles bailing out to Deeside (Letters, March 24). What parts of "stay at home" and "over-70's self-isolate" do the royals not understand?

Cathy Baird, Dunipace.

THANKS to the current crisis, there is no doubt that some of us will be either excellent cooks, decorators or alcoholics, when we eventually return to work.

Due to the poor fare offered by the BBC and STV, there is a possibility of a baby boom I don't think Boris Johnson has put any restrictions on that. Already I can hear the Glasgow mothers of the future, roaring down the street: "Ho, Corona, get yer backside in the hoose!"

Robert McCaw, Renfrew.

WHAT are the odds on Vera Lynn topping the charts again with “We’ll meet again, don’t know where , don’t know when....”?

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.