IT seems my local hospital is full – I hope I don’t get really sick any time soon.

Scotland’s biggest health board has warned it is facing Covid pressures that are “as serious as it gets”. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said it was dealing with record numbers of Covid patients alongside high staff absence rates and that people should only attend accident and emergency units if their condition is “very urgent or life-threatening”.

The number of patients across Scotland who are in hospital with Covid has hit a new record high. It was the third day in a row that the record had been broken. NHSGGC said 1332 of its 38,000 staff were off work for Covid-related reasons, with its hospitals treating 696 Covid patients – nine of whom were in intensive care.

Despite the sharp rise in patients in hospital with Covid, thankfully fewer of them are requiring intensive care treatment than in the past. However, people with Covid still need to be kept separate from other patients to try to limit the spread of infection. The Health Secretary has said recent weeks were the most challenging the NHS had ever faced, with every health board having to deprioritise other treatments. The latest figures from National Records of Scotland showed that there were 118 confirmed or suspected Covid deaths in the week to March 20, the same number as the previous week.

Another record has been broken this week. More people than ever before waited longer in an emergency department. Emergency department staff say they are seeing sicker patients who have deteriorated due to the pandemic.

In the face of all this it seems that every political effort is now being made to carry on as if nothing is happening. Covid infection levels and deaths no longer figure prominently on the news. Less than two years ago the country needed to be in lockdown. If a madman was stalking the land killing 118 people a week, every week, there would be a public outcry.

In addition, the horrors of Ukraine have also squeezed Covid from our TV screens. How quickly we move on, forgetting one disaster as another comes along to take its place. Before Ukraine there was daily footage of starving children being sold by their parents in Afghanistan. No doubt that still happens but the news focus has moved on.

How bad does Covid have to get before restrictions are re-introduced, or have the nightclub and pub owners won the propaganda war which means well over 100 deaths a week is apparently a completely acceptable number?

Brian Lawson

JOHNSON had a difficult task at the Tory conference. With Covid clearly not under control, the economy stagnating with millions about to be hit with huge increases in energy costs, a policy towards those seeking asylum and refuge obviously no longer acceptable to the vast majority of UK residents, and not a single Brexit benefit of note, he had to find something world-beating and fantastic to say.

He decided to channel his inner Churchill.

To do this, he chose to compare the plight of those fleeing from a war zone without possessions, leaving behind others who are fighting to retain their freedom from an invader, with Brexit.

What kind of individual even makes such a linkage in their own mind? Only the most shallow of human beings could join such things together.

Morven Easton

I WELCOME Glenda Burns’s clarification of her views on symbolic apologies regarding historical atrocities and wrongs (Letters, Mar 20).

In previous correspondence Glenda implied that burning people alive for the alleged “crime” of witchcraft was centuries ago and therefore acceptable. Likewise with the slave trade which, due to the passage of time, is also deemed an irrelevance and time-barred from being discussed etc.

However, the cenotaph ceremony where Westminster politicians gather annually to voice contrition and apologise (oh yes they do) for the mass slaughter of the First World War, which ended over 100 years ago, is exempt from Glenda’s accusations of political correctness due to being a “commemoration”.

Regarding the £150 rebate on my council tax, courtesy of the Scottish Government, I thought it only polite to thank Nicola.

Strangely, however, Glenda construed my good manners as a “celebration”, which surprised me.

In Glenda’s opinion, the £150 is merely the government giving us some of our own money back which, now Glenda mentions it, is such a departure from the long-recognised norm it is indeed worthy of a “celebration” . Nothing too fancy, mind – perhaps massed pipes and drums at Edinburgh Castle with a 21-gun salute from the ramparts.

Malcolm Cordell
Broughty Ferry

THE thing most likely to have been delivered by Sunak’s wee budget is the end of his chances of being PM of rUK.

M Ross