THIS is an open letter to the Scottish Government, to argue the case for playing golf.

I can go to the supermarket where I social-distance with over 75 people in an enclosed environment.

I can drive several miles to a major hardware store. When I arrive there I social-distance with over 50 people as I stand in a queue in the open air. I can go to my local park where I social-distance with over 100 people in the open air.

But I cannot play my local golf course – is this fair? I do not believe so. My drive to the golf course is no different from driving to the hardware store. When I arrive at the course I can social-distance with no more than four (or two, if that is more acceptable) people in the open air.

When I finish my round of golf I leave the golf course promptly. There is no social interaction: the closest you are likely to come to any other golfers is probably a minimum of 50 yards.

As any golfer will know, social distancing is a natural occurrence and golfers are sensible people who know the importance of staying at least two metres apart at all times.

Golfers are responsible people, and appropriate protocols could be adopted which would mean that playing golf is actually safer than going to your local supermarket, park or hardware store.

I consider the case for an immediate return to playing golf (under strictly controlled conditions) is irrefutable. Please see sense and permit golf to be declared open.

Rob Campbell, Captain, Balmore Golf Club, Glasgow.

I AM pretty sure that I speak for most locals when I say that I want this current coronavirus scare to be over soon, if only to allow us to resume our daily routine.

I think that the main problem is in politicians assuming that we’re not capable of making sensible, informed choices.

For example, I’ll sit in my car while my wife joins a massive queue to enter, say, a local Tesco shop. Many others waiting in the queue are well spread out and some are wearing face masks (often across only their mouth). They don’t seem to realise that the whole point of a face mask is to protect others from “bugs” that they may be carrying in their nasopharyngeal tract.

I’ve never had Covid-19, so I think that I should be allowed to return to my favourite diner (after passing any health checks that are considered necessary, of course).

When this is over – hopefully sooner rather than later – managers of big shopping sites are going to feel pretty silly about all their lines of tape that they used to enforce nice neat queues at the entrance to their shops.

Barry Lees, Greenock.

WHEN will the barber’s reopen?

My wife and I were sitting smugly, having solved one of the more difficult puzzles in the Herald, when she suddenly said, “You’re like Einstein”.

“To be fair, dear, you solved quite a bit of it”, I replied, not wishing to be too big-headed. “No, it’s not the puzzle I’m talking about,” she said. “It’s your hair”.

David Hay, Minard, Argyll.

DR John Cameron’s criticism on Nicola Sturgeon’s strict adherence to two-metre social space distancing concludes with “ why does the First Minister meekly follow the UK Government on this matter?” (letters, May 8).

Our FM may undoubtedly have varying strengths and weaknesses but “ meekness “ she assuredly does not portray – indeed, quite the reverse insofar as the coronavirus and our Prime Minister’s reported wavering intentions are concerned.

Many people, and not necessarily those who share Ms Sturgeon’s avowed political beliefs, have been greatly impressed by her clear and unwavering daily press statements, even if she has been beset by some unsavoury opposition comment at FM’s Question Time, and by reports of large crowds gathering at Portobello Beach in Edinburgh (Herald, May 7).

She continues to serve us well in these trying times.

Allan C Steele, Giffnock.

MARTIN Redfern speculates (letters, May 5) as to why people in Scotland listen to the First Minister rather than to Messrs Hancock, Gove and Raab (and Johnson). The answer? Trust.

Colin Campbell, Kilbarchan.

ALISTER Jack, David Mundell and Jackson Carlaw would have us believe that irrespective of the prevailing status of Covid-19 in different parts of the UK, each part, even different countries such as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, should come out of lockdown “together”.

To any objective observer this, regrettably, is putting political ideology above regard for human life by a select group of persons whose comfortable surroundings allow them to live physically, as well as mentally, remote from the rest of us.

While the UK Government still engages in every artifice of which it can think to hide the true extent of deaths in the UK, by no longer including separate ONS data in their country comparison chart while introducing an even more opaque logarithmic representation of the current situation, it is clear that its handling of this crisis has been a disaster.

We do not need another year or two to assess this government’s performance to date; the only countries that even come close to sustaining the number of deaths per head of population as the UK, had less time to prepare than the UK had, and\or are including suspected deaths, such as the majority of those in care homes, in their figures.

In fact, by comparison with the UK, most independent countries of comparable size to Scotland have suffered death rates less than ten per cent of that of the UK, something which already equates to thousands of lives saved.

Is this really the price Conservative and Unionist politicians wish Scottish citizens to pay for a supposed ‘Union Dividend’, of having some of our taxes returned to us, and sharing a debt that will be many times what had been accrued in 2010 when George Osborne considered the UK to be “on the brink of bankruptcy”?

Stan Grodynski, Longniddry, East Lothian.

IT does not take a scientist to understand that if the virus got into care homes it would be deadly. Ordinary people were saying it right from the start.

I am not a political person and have voted for all parties over the years but I do feel that Scotland has been lagging behind in all decisions, though I appreciate that they are taking the same advice as the UK.

Why have we not ramped up testing as in England? Why have care homes been left so far behind when it was obvious right from the start that they would be at particular risk?

Why are we not fully equipped with flexible mobile testing centres? Our geography has not changed.

Nicola Sturgeon is at the podium every day apart from a Sunday. This must be a strain on her. Why is this? I get more of a sense of a team effort from the UK government, with different members of the cabinet sharing the podium. Why is the Scottish government not sharing the load? Who is making the decisions? Just wondering.

Margaret Sweeney, Howwood, Johnstone.

I FEAR that Dave Biggart (letters, May 5 and 8) still awaits an answer to his question “ How is the R calculated?”.

It appears that, as with climate change, different scientists use different models.

In the S-I-R model, the R is based on S (susceptibility to infection), I (infectivity, the rate at which infections occur), and R (the rate of removal by recovery or death).

How these statistics are fed into the model, I know not.

Why the Downing Street scientists can tell us that the R is for example between 0.5 and 0.9, a pretty wide range in statistical terms, but cannot or will not be more precise, baffles me.

I hope that this boring exposition takes Mr Biggart a tiny step forward.

David Miller, Milngavie.

SINCE the current situation in Scotland is apparently set to continue on a permanent basis, is it not time to dedicate certain hospitals or buildings, such as the Louisa Jordan, to Covid patients only?

I seem to remember there used to be separate Fever and TB hospitals in the past.

This would allow all the other hospitals in the country to be cleaned up and at last get on with their work. The rest of the NHS (due to initial complete lack of foresight by politicians and their advisers) has been so severely abandoned already, that it will probably never again catch up with its workload.

It is time at least to attempt to reverse this situation, starting immediately.

Mary Maxwell-Irving, Blairlogie, Stirling.

WE are living in an age in which man may travel to the moon and walk in space, where the medical profession is capable of replacing almost every organ in the human body, where we may send an email to the other side of the earth in a matter of seconds, and where we have created a bomb so powerful one will completely flatten any city.

Despite all this, we have been crippled by an enemy so small it is not able to be seen by the human eye.

This makes a mockery of the old adage, “What the eye does not see, the heart does not grieve over”.

Colin Bower,

Sherwood, Nottingham.