A LOT of people are living in fear, some of which is obviously justified, but I will give a simple tip to alleviate this fear: don’t watch the news.

The news is constantly stirring the recipe for fear by using its favourite words: “worry...death rate...hospitable crowding” etc. Today, I caught the first two minutes of the news but I couldn’t turn it off because there was some good news coming up about the parish council meeting that went viral and Joe Root scoring hundreds against India.

Those first two minutes said that 1 in 65 people had contracted the virus and gave the impression that this was in the last week. I thought, hold on, that means in 65 weeks everyone in the country will have contracted it. That can’t be true - it has to be the number of people contracting the virus since it’s inception. What a misleading figure to worry the life out of the worried and frightened.

I would like to know how many people have died from flu. This figure is no longer floated around, like it has been every year, and also whether any flu deaths have been included in the Covid deaths just to keep the fear factor going.

For the last few years in wintertime, hospitals have nearly ground to a halt with ambulances parked outside for patients to be admitted, and reports that the hospitals were at their limit. I am not saying this is not worse at this time but I just wonder how much worse the media is intent on making it.

Finally, the new gods are the scientists, who seem to believe they have to justify their doom and gloom figures to again so justify their existence.

Thomas Ball, Barnard Castle.