IT would assist us all if John Swinney (and all other politicians) would do their thinking in private, having digested as much expert advice as they can assemble, before making half-baked public pronouncements ("Possibility of ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown being explored, says John Swinney", The Herald, October 1).

I think most of us appreciate that those in charge are having, to an extent, to make things up as they go along, simply (and reasonably) because none of us has ever been in this position before. We can all sympathise with the desire to be seen to be acting decisively. Perhaps then Mr Swinney's "circuit breaker" idea is a veiled threat: behave yourselves or we'll shut you down – and at that it may be both well-intentioned and well based. As expressed, though, the only effect it is likely to have will be to empty supermarket shelves yet again.

Brian Chrystal, Edinburgh EH14.

THE Herald, many other media outlets and the Scottish Government have for the past six weeks been encouraging us to ensure that we get our flu vaccination this winter.

At the end of August, on reading the advice, I contacted my surgery, where I have had the flu jab for each of the last 10 years, to be told they were not offering it this year and that Greater Glasgow Health Board would contact me and arrange an appointment.

Some six weeks have elapsed and still no contact

Reviewing the surgery's website and the Scottish Government website again this week the advice is plain: as a 75-year-old I am entitled and encouraged to ensure that I get the flu jab , and GGHB will send an appointment letter.

Contact with Boots and other pharmacies elicits the response that they will not dispense the flu jab to anyone over 65.

My daughter, who makes use of the same surgery as we do, has been contacted directly by phone by the surgery to advise that they are running a drop-in service this weekend to provide flu jabs, but only for those under 65.

Neighbours of similar age to us are experiencing the same frustrations of no contact from GGHB, pharmacies refusing to deal with over 65s , and our adult offspring saying to us: you need to get the flu jab, I've had mine or I have an appointment.

Just what is GGHB or indeed the Scottish Government intending; that we read Beckett and wait for Godot?

Andrew Robertson, Giffnock.

STEPH Johnson (Letters, September 30) lists several reasons for her being ashamed in present-day Scotland. No time to deal with her list here, but one main cause of her shame is that we have a First Minister who has a party political broadcast every day as she blatantly "politicises the issue" of Covid. It's not clear why the actions of another should be a source of shame to your correspondent? It's even more unclear why a politician seeking political advantage would subject herself to a daily delivery of bad news. Much safer to take the Boris Johnson approach and keep yer heid doon?

Stuart Chalmers, East Kilbride.

MY sister and I are two fit and healthy elderly widows who live close by in our separate houses. Why is it that I cannot go to her house or she to mine for lunch? We have to meet in the pub and use their public toilet. This to me is total nonsense and far more dangerous than meeting in our homes one on one.

Alison Noble, Bridge of Weir.