IT IS clear that the virus will now have much wider distribution than was the case at Lockdown 1.0. Ignoring this fundamental, our leaders take the same lockdown route and immediately cause three days of predictable and avoidable panic-buying in “non-essential retail” this week, thus proving both their incompetence and that there is no such thing as “non-essential retail”.

There will now be a spike of cases as a result of this week’s pushing and shoving in shops which will be matched only by that of a subsequent Christmas relaxation as politicians “save Christmas” or, more likely, try to save their own careers.

The WHO has already said lockdowns are not the answer. So why is Ms Sturgeon hell-bent on unnecessarily destroying so many small businesses, making Jeff Bezos ever richer. And why are we letting her do it? Where are the legal challenges from trade associations?

Consider the case of driving instructors. If it is safe this week to have a lesson, taking the necessary and agreed precautions, why is it not safe next week? Lions led by donkeys. I apologise to all donkeys for the comparison.

John Dunlop, Ayr.

I UNDERSTAND that the Scottish Government is planning to be very unfair on small traders by allowing supermarkets to continue to sell non-essential items in Tier 4 areas whilst compelling non-essential shops to close. Did Wales not get it right in their second lockdown by banning supermarkets from selling non-essential items ?

Nigel D Macleod, Clynder.

MILLIONS of us are now in Tier 4 but still the the schools are open. Just days ago it was reported on the BBC that ‘Children are now more likely than adults to be the person bringing a Covid infection into a household’. The mental health of our children will not be improved by the fear that they will infect their families.

Professor Greg Philo, Glasgow University.

LIVING in North Lanarkshire, I learn that as of 6pm on Friday we will enter level 4 restrictions. For a number of months now people who have wished to gather together in places of religious observance have been limited in number, irrespective as to how large the church or meeting-place might be, even if it could accommodate more than 50 people sitting at least two metres apart.

Later this week, however, we will be limited to 20 people gathering together for worship, where we may now be able to sit about five metres from each other. I am unaware of any local outbreaks of Covid-19 in Scotland having been associated with places of worship, unlike schools, where we have seen a number of outbreaks.

Schools are to stay open, and I very much agree with that, but with no 60 per cent reduction in the number of pupils allowed to attend, as compared with places of worship. Spiritual health and growth is, I would contend, every bit as important as educational growth and opportunity.

If the Scottish Government want people to “stick to the rules”, compliance is likely to be far higher if the rules make sense.

Alan Mitchell, Motherwell.

GIVEN the First Minister’s announcement and the move of 11 local authorities to Level 4, does Ms Sturgeon realise it’s Anti-Bullying Week? With the resulting closure of many businesses and restrictions on others, never before have so many had their pocket money stolen by so few.

Kenneth Reid, Edinburgh.