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Letters / Mothballed for nothing

Are we seriously expected to believe that Covid-19 is still with us in Shetland?

If we have symptoms we must self-isolate for 14 days and it may take a week after infection for symptoms to appear, so the life of the virus is around three weeks before it dies from naturally produced antibodies (or the patient dies). Say four weeks to be on the safe side.

If the virus is still in Shetland, silently infecting people, it is inconceivable that it would not by now have infected somebody sufficiently severely for them to report to the hospital or their doctor.

There have been no new cases since the 22 April, at which point there were 54 confirmed cases.

There have been no deaths since 6 May.

There have been ‘less than 5’ hospital cases confirmed or unconfirmed since 26 March. ‘Less than 5’ is denoted in the official figures by an asterisk “for disclosure reasons”, whatever they may be.

In Shetland ‘less than 5’ would appear to mean zero because anyone in hospital since 26 March would either have recovered and would have already been in the 54 reported cases, or would have died, making the number of deaths more than seven. Any new hospital cases would have increased the number to more than 54.

This would seem to indicate that the hospital is effectively mothballed for nothing, denying those with real need the chance of treatment, while having no Covid patients to deal with.

It makes a mockery of those dutifully working away producing scrubs if they have no use. The first duty of a doctor is ‘do no harm’. By keeping the hospital closed Shetland NHS is actively harming the public.

The same applies to the SIC. We are lucky to be able to monitor our entry points. All efforts should be put into ensuring anyone coming into Shetland is tested and checked while they are here – surely not difficult with the small numbers involved.

The SIC should allow businesses to open and let people get back to normal. Every day of lockdown causes immeasurable damage to our economy and our community. Do no more harm.

When businesses do open, many will be struggling. We should all make a point of supporting Shetland businesses and buy local whenever we can.

The big multi-nationals have done very well out of this crisis as people have been forced to buy online and local businesses have been forced to close.

Vested interests would like the lockdown to continue as long as possible. Don’t let them get away with it.

Stuart Hill