IT'S interesting to read letters such as that from Dr Johnson in The Argus debate section, suggesting that it shouldn't be for individuals to take responsibility for their own actions regarding the potential further spread of Covid19, but for the present government to take the decisions of the freedom of movement, or actions, away from the population and dictate what should be complied with, for the supposed greater good.

It's impossible to know when influenza first started, but the description of its respiratory symptoms in humans has been recognised as early as 6000BC in China and Greek writings of the 5th century BC.

The earliest recorded pandemic appears to be during the Peloponnesian war in Athens 430BC.

As far as global death rates is concerned, Covid is just about in the top ten of pandemic mortality, depending whether you want to take on board that those deaths currently being registered are solely from Covid, not just dying WITH it. Big difference.

Heading the list of pandemic deaths is the Black Death, 75-200 million died between 1346-1353 from bubonic plague.

HIV and Aids are said to have killed 35 million persons plus, as of 2018.

On a separate death side note, 74,600 people died from smoking in 2019, according to NHS. UK. About the same as Covid if you annualise the two.

The Hong Kong flu of 1968, called H3N2, killed between 500,000 and two million globally and is still recognised as a strain circulating as part of the seasonal flu.

Future avian origin influenza is seen as almost inevitable and globalisation has made it easier for novel viruses to spread.

Meanwhile the collateral damage of the lockdowns, to attempt to control an invisible enemy, has grown out of all proportion.

Depression, job loss, suicide, isolation, missed starts of diagnosis of other life-threatening illness, business failures, personal bankruptcy, penalised by banks and mortgage lenders for taking mortgage breaks or loans to survive.

I even had three policeman on my door at 1am on a Saturday morning, because my son asked, on his 20th birthday during lockdown two in February, if he could have four friends round for a few hours in the cabin at the bottom of the garden, no risk to anyone in my opinion. One of my neighbours decided it was a matter to call out and waste police time.

The sooner we put this fear and division of people behind us the better.

Covid-19 is not going to just disappear, but with most of our vulnerable hopefully vaccinated now, we need to reinflate the economy, especially the seasonal industries, to generate income, keep employment up and put the taxation back into the pot, to pay for the services we so dearly rely on.

Gordon White

Address supplied