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Don’t be bloody-minded

Why is it that some people are ignoring the government’s advice and congregating in groups?

I find it difficult to believe that they are all bloody-minded selfish people who couldn’t care less if they passed the infection on to someone who subsequently dies from it. I prefer to believe that it may be because they do not understand the reasons behind the advice.

So, here are some of the facts:

The coronavirus (like many other flu-like illnesses) causes a respiratory disease. This means that it affects (predominantly) the throat and lungs. Thus, the virus gets into the air we breathe out.

If we cough or sneeze, the droplets in the air can travel between 1-1.5 metres. Hence the advice to keep a distance of 2 metres apart; and, also, to catch the germs in a tissue (or hand if we do not have one) – and then bin it.

But our hands will have touched the tissues, or our face; hence the advice to wash our hands frequently.

If you have become infected (by breathing in the virus or touching an infected person or surface), you will not be aware of it – for a while.

There is a so-called incubation period (of 5-7 days) before you will get symptoms. During this time you are a carrier of the disease even though you don’t feel ill.

But, even so, you can still pass the virus on to other people.

Hence the advice to avoid meeting people, particularly in groups, and to self-isolate – particularly if you have been in touch with someone with the disease.

This is the reason for closing all meeting places– such as pubs, cafes, restaurants and shops (other than those selling food) or sporting events – where large groups are gathered close together. This restricts the opportunities for transmission of the virus to others.

Although the disease is usually mild in fit, young adults, it can lead to pneumonia – which can lead to the need for admission to an intensive therapy unit in hospital, the need for assisted breathing on a ventilator, and even death.

This is more likely to happen to so-called vulnerable groups such as the elderly and those whose immune systems may be weakened by disease or by some immuno-suppressive drugs used in the treatment of some cancers.

Hence the advice for these people to self-isolate and avoid contact with anyone who may be a carrier of the virus – which means most people.

I am sure most people would not, willingly, wish to infect someone with a disease that might kill them.

So, please, everyone, obey the advice.

Malcolm Morrison, Retired Surgeon, Prospect Hill, Swindon

Behaviour must change

This weekend, we have all seen pictures of people still gathering in crowds.

Working in my garden I observed quite a few aircraft in the air, not as many as usual but still as many as a few years ago.

To cap it all I heard an ice-cream van with its jingle operating for several hours.

Statistically we are on the same track as Italy but two weeks behind

Don’t these fools realise that we have two weeks to try to avoid the Italian disaster.

Behaviour has to change and change quickly.

Tony Mayer, Wheatlands, Haydon Wick

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