I am inclined, like James Moore (‘How do we have a careful hug? The government’s Covid advice from Monday makes little sense’, 15 May), to be one of the “far more circumspect” with regards to lockdown easing.
If ever a single image would support that and demonstrate the total inability of the British public to grasp the implications of Covid, it appeared in the BBC News’ over-celebratory summary, which included the return of sport spectators. There we saw a football match where the spectators were in adjacent seats, in adjacent rows, all duly masked, until one removed his mask in order to shout at the oncoming teams. Breathtaking.
Yet again Boris Johnson hits the nail on the head by shelving the planned announcement on social distancing next week.
As Matt Hancock has already pointed out, the Indian variant of Covid is very serious, is spreading, and coupled with the fact that lots of people are still not fully vaccinated, would pose a danger to life yet again.
There may be 12 countries on the “green list” but seven have their borders closed anyway and in the case of Australia, is now likely to remain shut to international arrivals for another year.
Add to this the remarkable news that an Australian Covid drug tested on mice has had a 99.9 per cent success rate in stopping damage to the lungs from Covid and the only conclusion is that patience is a virtue.
Electric vehicles are still too pricey
On climate change we need to deal with facts not imaginings. Dr John Cameron’s comment in his letter (17 May), “I would imagine more carbon is expended producing a new car than actually driving it”, should be underpinned by widely published statistics on the CO2 emitted in the manufacture of each new car and the CO2 that will be emitted in driving it 100,000 miles, or in the case of electric vehicles (EVs), the consumed electricity in kilowatt-hours (kwh) with the marginal CO2 emitted for those kwh.
We have needed early adopters of EVs to kickstart the availability of charging points but now is the time that the government should be addressing how to ensure every household can charge an EV, how to ensure the electricity consumed emits no CO2 and how to minimise the CO2 emitted through the manufacturing of EVs. The latter by making them smaller, making them last longer and discouraging owners from replacing them prematurely with new vehicles.
I have considered replacing my 19 year old car in the UK and 18 year old car in France but the available EVs are either too big and unnecessarily sophisticated or have insufficient range and the EV infrastructure is inadequate. Hopefully a sensibly designed EV and charging facilities will be available before they expire as it would be ludicrous to buy a new petrol car.
Northern Ireland could be set back 30 years
There are belated signs that the government is beginning to realise the size of the huge head of steam that has built up in Northern Ireland over the protocol and the Irish Sea border. I hope the government is not too late. This is a problem of the government’s making. My worry is that I don’t see anyone in this government with the negotiating and diplomatic skills to resolve it, as they will need to work this out with the Irish government and the EU. Gung ho diplomacy will set Northern Ireland back 30 years.
John E Harrison
Time for some honesty, Harry and Meghan
Oh my, I see “Blunder Sussex” is at it again across the pond! Prince Harry really does need to count to 10 before he opens his mouth, as he is offending people on both sides of the Atlantic now. He does come across as being rather immature for his age. The only thing that he is qualified to do is interviews, and he’s making a hash of those.
If he didn’t want to be a royal, he certainly made good use of every opportunity and privilege that came his way, and no one forced him to have such a lavish wedding.
As for Meghan, it’s understandable that the pomp and ceremony side of carrying out royal duties was overwhelming for her (especially with her husband standing behind her telling her the exact spot to stand on), and she obviously required a lot more time to get used to the whole scenario – but please, just admit it!
Action on dementia
This week is Dementia Action Week, an occasion for us all to reflect on the steps we can take to help change the conversation about dementia in our country.
Despite there being more than 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, as a nation, we are remarkably reluctant to think or talk about it. Anchor Hanover’s research shows that nearly half of the UK (47 per cent) have never discussed dementia with loved ones. In fact, we’d rather talk about divorces, break-ups and our weight.
This concerning trend has been brought into sharp relief by Covid-19, with recent NHS data showing a decline in the number of dementia diagnoses since the pandemic began.
Dementia has been a taboo for far too long. This week, it’s time to break the silence. It’s encouraging to see that more people are now realising the importance of talking about and planning for later life. Discussing dementia may feel embarrassing and uncomfortable for some, but it doesn’t have to be.
Our Reframing Dementia guide aims to encourage honest conversations amongst loved ones, so that for anyone who does develop dementia, there’s a plan in place to ensure they can still live their life to the full.
Jane Ashcroft CBE
Chief executive of Anchor Hanover, England’s largest not-for-profit provider of care and housing for older people
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