Is this the Dunkirk spirit, the British true grit and pulling together that got us through in our hour of need? I refer of course to the supermarkets displaying empty shelves and the lack of toilet rolls, which seem to be the prime target for those selfish shoppers in panic mode. I fail to see any logic: perhaps you can eat them?

Sadly it must be up to the supermarket management to ration certain items like we had to do during the war years. However, if we are to beat this virus-stricken world we must all pull together in our common goal of survival. Even if that has to be at a four-metre distance!

Phil Shepherdson,

Chantry Close,Woodthorpe, York

Virus shows just how crowded our world is

If COVID-19 has demonstrated anything, it is how crowded our little planet really is. And of course, how interconnected all of its more than 7.5 billion inhabitants really are.

The oft quoted phrase of John Donne, which is almost 400 years old, is perhaps even more demonstrably apposite than ever: “No man is an island entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent.”

Simple solutions such as closing schools are soon exposed as anything but. Indeed, they may create more problems than they seek to solve.

Governments will inevitably be criticised, no matter what policies that they employ. And if the more ‘advanced’ countries such as Italy, Spain and the UK, with their comprehensive health care systems, struggle, how will the likes of Albania cope? Or the small islands situated between Greece and Turkey?

Just how do you get those who are homeless, living on the streets to self-isolate, let alone the untold millions in various refugee camps on the frontiers of Europe?

Comparison of the effects of COVID-19 and the rapidity of its transmission with the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 are further complicated by the very interconnectedness today as against the situation then.

‘Keep calm and carry on’ might not be much of a homily. But for the time being, it might just be the best advice on offer?

Malcolm Glover,

Lindsey Avenue, York

Many charities rely on healthy older people

Like Keith Massey (Letters, March 16) my husband and I also went down with a strange virus in January, which lasted for four weeks.

We both had unrelenting coughs which could last anything up to 15 minutes at a time. If it is Coronavirus-related do you think we are now immune?

With regards to self isolation for the over 70s, I hope the powers-that-be will start to realise that many older people are very fit and healthy. Indeed, if all these people are isolated then many of the charities, of which they are the mainstay, will flounder.

Hazel Clark,

Brawby, Malton

Forget toilet rolls, it’s beer I worry about...

The advice for us old folk is to buy online. My neighbour tells me Sainsbury’s said three weeks for delivery. So I am off to Morrisons, where I happily expect deserted aisles as well as sparse shelves. I worry about beer not toilet rolls.

John Zimnoch,

Osbaldwick, York

Spread the word: diabetes meetings off

Unfortunately we have been informed by Tesco that the Community Room has been closed until further notice. In view of this, in addition to Diabetes UK Guidelines, all meetings of the York & District Diabetes UK Group have been cancelled until further notice. Please share this information so that all our members will be aware of the situation. Email us at or phone Christine on 01904 410490 for any further information.

Sue Smith, Vice Chair,

York & District Diabetes UK Group,

Rishworth Grove, York