Great Britain

The government only has itself to blame over coronavirus failings

There is almost no decision the government could have taken in regards to the coronavirus pandemic that would not have been criticised by someone. But at yet another point in the progress of this pandemic, the government shoots itself in the foot again.

The government failed to take advantage of the break offered by the summer weather to improve the test and trace program. And now the government fails again by not taking advantage of the break offered by the lockdown to make sure its arguments for the new tiering system were rock solid. The government’s own action – or inaction – has led us all to question their moves. They have no one to blame for this but themselves.

Scotch egg silliness

Last year my wife went to a fish and chips cafe in Lytham, Lancashire. She ordered chips and gravy. They refused service as this, in their opinion, wasn’t a “proper meal”. Pity they didn’t sell scotch eggs.

In our part of the country, what constitutes a “substantial meal” is different to the ministers’.

Not today, thank you

Aside from the hideous waste of taxpayers’ money setting the scheme up, with entertainment venues in so much financial trouble already, the expense and bureaucracy involved in policing a de facto identity card system just to keep punters away could be the final nail in their coffin.

Systemic failures

Throughout the pandemic there have been systemic failures to respond adequately to the realities and experiences of many disabled adults. Our research at Dimensions shows that 76 per cent feel that, compared to other people, they do not matter.

Smaller, specialist care homes and supported living environments have consistently been deprioritised or overlooked in the Department for Health and Social Care’s response. Consequently, so have the social care providers supporting people who have a learning disability and autism, with response measures such as testing implemented months later than elsewhere.

This “numbers game” is not fair. All people deserve to be held in the same regard, and should be empowered to have a say in decisions that impact them and those they support. This would go some way to finally reflect the diversity of services and the fact that settings differ in terms of risk and needs.

Going forward, official guidance must be produced in accessible formats simultaneously, so everyone can understand their rights and the restrictions they’re facing at the same time, to avoid them being further disadvantaged by the system.

The pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing health inequalities faced by people with learning disabilities and autism. It is now crucial for primary care to prioritise learning disability health provisions, most importantly annual health checks, to avoid a long-term worsening of health inequalities and a further widening of the mortality gap.

CEO of Dimensions, a not-for-profit, supporting people with learning disabilities, autism, challenging behaviour and complex needs

Educating Rita

How come she wasn't arrested and appears not to have been fined so far? I saw an item on TV about a woman who is on Universal Credit and has been fined thousands for her breaches. Levelled up, indeed.

Freedom comes with responsibility

We are given a lot of freedom in the UK and with that comes responsibility. If I choose a dangerous sport – TT racing, free climbing etc. – generally the danger is mine alone.

In the Covid situationy, many are claiming the right to do just what they want and to take risks. No longer is that risk just for that individual. They are risking the wellbeing of all who might, willingly or unwillingly, come into contact with them. Nobody has that right to inflict a disease on innocent parties. Since many with Covid have no symptoms, nobody can be certain they are free of the disease.

Nobody has the freedom to not wear a mask in the designated areas. Nobody has the right to not isolate when told. Their freedom comes with their responsibility to society. Nobody has the freedom to shout fire in a crowded theatre.

Not just about the English

So someone in England declares the best argument against independence is so that the Scots save England from the English? (Letters, 30 November) So we in Scotland and Wales simply exist to serve your purposes?

Does the author of this letter have any conception of how arrogant that sounds in Scotland and Wales?

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