THE big question that should be being asked worldwide is how did all our elected governments end up being totally blind-sided by this current pandemic.

This is not the first, nor will it be the last, pandemic to strike the human race.

So why then were governments caught so catastrophically on the back-foot?

WATCH: Nicola Sturgeon's full address to the nation

It is unbelievable that neither the UK nor Scottish governments had clear and comprehensive action plans in place when this current pandemic struck. This in face of extensive reports being produced from previous events.

The list of issues is massive, the list of successful pre-emptive strategies is a blank sheet of A4 paper.

Amongst these are...

  • A crucifying lack of testing kits.
  • Pitiful levels of protective equipment available to frontline medical personnel.
  • Ventilators in the low thousands nationwide with no chance of sourcing additional units in the face of a known pandemic. Add to that, a total lack of UK ventilator manufacturing capacity.
  • An exodus of EU NHS staff including trained intensive care nurses to operate said non-existent equipment.
  • An NHS which is unable to cope with normal demand, let alone an explosive growth pandemic.
  • An upper-class expectation that the public would be "responsible" over panic-buying has been shown for what it is, a totally out-off touch understanding of the general public by a privileged ruling class.
  • A very fragile web of marginal wage-earners which has been brutally brought into clear focus for what it is – slave labour underpinning a broken capitalist system.
  • A dangerous lack of understanding of where the vulnerable are and what procedures should be in place to ensure their safety.
  • A total absence of a national IT infrastructure stress-testing despite the system now being faced with an unknown additional load of home-working at the same time as catering for the inevitable "box set" streaming load from kids at home.

The complete list will be enormous and should be authored by the “real” participants, not left to the “ivory tower” delusionists currently in power.

If Nicola wants to show real leadership she should be saying clearly now that as soon as this contained, there will be a nationwide review on lessons to be learnt before the next viral outbreak hits.

A grown-up strategy to cope for a future outbreak is not only achievable but essential.

We seem able to stock-pile nukes but not face-masks. Reality calling – over and out.

Aitken Scott

BORIS Johnson looks like a man on the edge of hysteria. Everything is really a big laugh.

When Johnson, like Trump, is praised for maintaining a serious demeanor in these unprecedented, challenging times then we know the bar has been set unacceptably low.

At his daily briefings it is hard to shake the perception that Johnson is struggling as much with the catastrophic consequences of Covid-19 as he is with trying to keep his boisterous, exuberant, insincere personality in check.

On Wednesday, when given half a chance, as he was when asked about the Brexit negotiation timetable, he could barely maintain the act and briefly reverted to type, only to be met with a deafening silence from the assembled journalists. However on Thursday we saw a return to the full fat Bullingdon BS.

Air punching and lots of “hope”, because enforcement is just not the British way!

Contrast that with the sober, decisive clarity of Nicola Sturgeon and it’s not difficult to understand why she has garnered the support she has.

I Easton

VERY belatedly, after losing his nerve, Boris Johnson has decided to follow the example of many other countries and introduce strict measures such as closing schools, discouraging mass gatherings and now instructing many businesses to close.

However, being Johnson, the actions have been introduced in an ill-thought-out and poorly expressed manner. Pubs, clubs and theatres have been penalised because Johnson did not make their closure mandatory until yesterday, so they are suffering financially, when a little thought could have made their lives much easier.

The vague and confusing statements on school closures have meant, yet again, that others now have to spell out the detail, and clarify what the Prime Minister probably meant.

Actually planning out a coherent course of action and then explaining it clearly seems totally beyond him.

The delays in implementing the lockdown, in the words of authoritative medical journal The Lancet, will mean “there will be deaths that were preventable”. Its editor has accused Johnson of “playing roulette” with public health and of making a “major error”.

One former regional public health director has said the government has “lost control” of the situation and should have acted much more quickly.

The inexperience of this government, selected for obedience and political correctness, not for experience or ability, has been lamentable.

The most experienced Health Secretary of modern times was excluded from the government because he dared oppose Johnson for the Tory party leadership. He too has criticised the government for its lack of action.

At this time of national crisis we need a government of national unity, with experienced ministers as well as medical experts.

We desperately need much more testing for the virus, we cannot fight coronavirus blind.

Pete Milory