Why Professor Chris Whitty has my confidence over public health measures

From: David Collins, Scissett.

Chief medical officer Chrs Whitty was largely unkown before the coronavirus pandemic struck.

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Why Boris Johnson’s bluff and bluster isn’t hitting home – Jayne Dowle

I READ Jayne Dowle’s column on the Covid-19 message not getting home (The Yorkshire Post, March 30). Personally I find Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer, to be just right. Measured, serious and definitely not a politician.

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Boris Johnson is a professional politician. Enough said. However replacing him with professional soothsayers in the shape of marketeers and advertising agencies is no answer.

Boris Johnson at one of the Government's earlier coronavirus briefings.

The current message is simple and easy to understand, and apparently even that is too much for some. Putting out slick material will only serve to confuse. People won’t know if they are watching soap operas or adverts, or “reality” programmes as they all tend to use the same format, and actors.

The real life people involved in the crisis with their social media do a great job and show what is going on in specific locations, although some of it does appear inaccurate and out of date, but that is social media for you. Let’s ensure that what is out there is accurate – and that the powers-that-be stick to the game plan and don’t venture into the blame game.

From: Geoffrey North, Guiseley.

I APPLAUD the Government and the various professional advisers in the way they have conducted this worldwide outbreak in this country. Their briefings have been excellent.

Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer, arrives in 10 Downing Street.

However I cannot say the same for the various journalists who have put forward their questions. Some have seemed to be more concerned about putting on virtuoso performances.

The lectern holders, having to field the various questions, may have been briefed beforehand but so many journalists have started with pontificating addresses followed by multiple questions that it is difficult for many viewers to follow. Perhaps journalists should be asked to put simple one answer questions first, but which can then be followed by others.

From: Allan Friswell, Cowling.

THE Government and top medical experts have prescribed safety measures against Covid-19 – frequent washing of hands and not touching one’s face. Neither is remotely practical outside the home.

There are no publicly accessible free hand sanitisers, there are none in the shops and everybody touches their face without the slightest awareness of doing so.

They also pooh-poohed right at the outset the effectiveness against contracting the virus of wearing blue surgical masks, though grudgingly admitting, quietly, better that protection than none at all.

I suggest that were we all to wear these when out shopping, for example, it would be of enormous practical help in preventing the wearer from infecting other people.

Add to that the psychological benefit of removal of so much of the paranoid fear of others that currently infects each of us. Austria is doing this and making it compulsory. Why are we always playing catch-up?

From: Roger Backhouse, Upper Poppleton, York.

I THANK your correspondent Robert Bottamley for his comments on my letter about China’s response to the Covid-19 crisis. As I made clear, I am no fan of China’s autocratic government, and he is right to remind that China suppressed first news of the outbreak.

Unfortunately no government likes such bad news. Donald Trump caused serious delays to America’s response by accusing Democrats of exaggerating the effects of Covid-19, even suggesting the common flu was more dangerous. His obsession with political point-scoring will cost American lives.

Whilst it is too early to assess the impact of our own Government’s response, which deserves a full-scale inquiry later, I fear their initial slowness may have also allowed the virus to spread faster than expected. History will judge.

From: Jarvis Browning, Fadmoor, York.

I WISH folks would not attack the Government over the Covid-19 timescale. For goodness sake, take each day as it comes for better or worse, we’ve all got to work our way through this together, no matter how long it takes, if we want to save ourselves.

Common sense will prevail if we stick to it. We’re not as isolated now with all this communication online – that is if you can understand how it all works.

Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well. Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.Postal subscription copies can be ordered by calling 0330 4030066 or by emailing [email protected]

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Sincerely. Thank you.

James Mitchinson

Editor