I find it very sad that our schoolchildren are still at home and York schools are still closed after eight weeks of lockdown. We have to find a way to get pupils back into the classroom - in as safe an environment as is possible given that there may be some (but acceptable) risk. Nothing in life is risk free but North Yorkshire must be a safer place than many?

Teachers or pupils with any serious health concerns or their families should, obviously, stay away for now. But with arrival and classroom safety measures in place, it would be a positive move for the country, and a return to a pupil-structured life and social development. School is a safe place for those in unhappy homes or with violent parents.

In 1968/9 Hong Kong flu killed 80,000 in the UK and one million worldwide. I was in my 20s and cannot remember this at all. There was no lockdown of people or the economy. Does the terminology of coronavirus and covid-19 with a 24-hour rolling news media conjure up a a more sinister picture?

One compensation is that this historic time will be be a valuable memory and lesson for all pupils.

Keith Massey

Bishopthorpe, York