IN view of mankind’s inability to learn much from history, I’m not surprised that the Government has taken no notice of the consequences of relaxing restrictions on Spanish Flu containment in 1918 that subsequently occurred in the spring of 1919.

The First World War government introduced no effective measures to control the initial flu outbreaks in spring 1918 because they needed workers to concentrate on the war effort. Fortunately, by the time of the November Armistice, cases had dropped quite significantly and people crowded the street to celebrate victory.

Little did they know that a more virulent mutation of the virus had been spreading through the battlefield trenches and would be brought back to these shores by returning soldiers.

Finally, with the conflict ended, the Government started to issue health advice which included information on hygiene and distancing. The significance of distancing was recognised as important because doctors realised that infection was occurring in unique localised areas.

Towards Christmas 1918, the advice had been heeded which had helped reduce the death toll. Local authorities were given responsibility for deciding how Christmas festivities and events could be celebrated, with most allowing mass inter-mixing of friends and family over the period.

This led to a surge in infection in the following spring months. It is now quite obvious that a national lockdown would have saved many souls.

Presently, there is no intention of our leaders to impose a third lockdown. Like all readers, I will miss being in close contact with family over this festive time, but I also wish that all readers take a small pause to think upon the consequence of accidentally passing on a completely unwanted present to their family members this year.

B Jackson, Sacriston.