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Readers’ letters: Vigilance still needed as Covid has not gone away

Picture by Shutterstock.
Picture by Shutterstock.

Sir, – With many people now ditching the correct way to be safe and not wearing a face mask, I feel that people should take note that the pandemic is still with us and in my own personal opinion we should perhaps stay safe for longer and perhaps fewer people will fall ill.

For an example, Peterhead Medical Centre opened its doors this week and then had to close to everyone as there were staff problems and they could not even man the e-consult method of getting help with an illness.

People need to understand that Covid has not gone away – it still lives on in shops, supermarkets, buses, trains, taxis and ferry and air travel.

“Normal” died a long time ago and we need to educate ourselves in the best and safest way going forward in order to save our health and our family and friends.

Gavin Elder, Prunier Drive, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire.

Safeguarding our sports facilities

Sir, – Whatever happened to those hordes of Aberdeen folk, old and young, who once filled our parks from spring to autumn?

Those parks and facilities once provided by enlightened councillors who understood the merit of “Sport for All” – and at affordable rates.

Who knew that from such engagement our city hugely benefited, and who would take the trouble to make contact with the enthusiasts and organisers and thank them for their voluntary efforts.

My appeal goes out to those whose remit surely goes above and beyond merely fixing a sum in a budget and pushing the problems on to others. Indeed, those who understand that a champion is not only made by a spreadsheet or a special project and that, in the end, taking part is hugely more important to society than winning is to the few.

Over nearly 70 years I have had a front seat as this tragedy unfolded, first seeing Aberdeen’s grass tennis venues being closed one by one. Aberdeen had six leagues of many small clubs in 1953 – until only one club remained. I also had the pleasure of introducing family to putting at many local venues… and pitch and putt as they grew. And about 25 years ago I took up bowling, soon only find that the battle to safeguard our facilities continues.

Without the clear vision of those early councils – who set up the beachfront leisure activities and at Hazlehead, Stewart, Westburn, Duthie, and the sporting centres at Sunnybank, Pitstruan, Albury, Kincorth, Kaimhill, Northfield, Torry and others – what a lesser life I would have had. I’m so grateful for these wonderful years. I wish I could be confident that anything would be left for those families who might wish they had some too. Is it too late to turn this situation around? I sincerely hope not.

Heather Smith, Cairnaquheen Gardens, Aberdeen.

Farm fire-raiser’s punishment

Sir, – I add my name to those who have expressed their disgust at the sentence handed down to the idiot who torched a farmer’s property in a revenge attack – leading to huge financial loss and the slaughter of many traumatised cows.

It was not the sheriff’s fault that the sentence was inadequate as he was only following the guidelines on sentencing young offenders.

The finger of blame points to those who, in reforming our justice system, bring in laws that are no longer a deterrent.

I could scarcely believe the sheriff’s comment “you’re regarded as not having reached full maturity”. This is a man of 21 – not a silly 12-year-old.

I am well aware I belong to the age of the dinosaur, but we must remember many thousands of our teenagers, boys barely older than myself, died on the battlefields of Europe and the majority of our pilots during the Battle of Britain were in their late teens. They were considered old enough to fight and save their country from the scourge of Nazism.

Maybe the certainty of a jail sentence would not have deterred this man but it remains the possibility it might. The law as it stands no longer fits the purpose.

Ivan W. Reid, Kirkburn, Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire.

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