I HAD had difficulty understanding the flow of Jeremy Whiting’s argument in his letter headlined “Covid stats” (HAS, Feb 9), especially the last paragraph. “The Government,” he said, “has acted according to how things are.” What does he expect the Government to do? Act according to how things AREN’T?

Let’s face it, since the start of this pandemic, these “things” have pulled the policy makers in every direction, arguments in favour of lockdown being knocked back by counter arguments of terminal damage that would be done to businesses and trade and mental health and children’s education to name just a few. Has anyone else noticed how as soon as a slight drop in the figures is announced, immediately, reporters are demanding to know how soon “things” can go back to normal?

(As I write this, the owner of Ryanair is indignantly complaining about the Government’s advice against booking summer holidays while allowing local elections. Not sure how the two are comparable.)

It is possible to argue that this litany of “circumstances” goes a long way to explaining the Government’s “shortcomings”, for example its procrastinations, changes of mind and U turns.

Again, what does Mr Whiting want? A government that stubbornly refuses to modify its ideas despite the ever-changing situation?

The fable of the man, the boy and the donkey comes to mind.

Jo Jones, Darlington.