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Video on Scots Diaspora and Religion on Electric Scotland


I note that New Zealand and Scotland have roughly the same population of some 5 million and yet New Zealand is reporting 1 death whereas Scotland is reporting over 1600 deaths. I have links in the news items below so you can learn about both approaches.


Peering through the fog
An article from CapX

As the Covid-19 death toll mounts, there's a strong temptation to look elsewhere and wonder what might have been.

'We could have been Germany / Korea / Sweden ...' the argument goes, if only the Government had taken certain actions at certain times.

A good example of the genre cropped up in the Guardian earlier this week, with a piece from the writer and researcher Elaine Doyle asking why the UK's death rate is higher than Ireland's. While Ireland acted early, her argument goes, the UK was still allowing big events to go ahead well into March and is now reaping the consequences.

Appealing though this line of argument may be, there are several problems with the 'if we'd done X, we'd be like Y' approach. Even among superficially similar Western European countries, variables such as population density, demographics and household formation can be quite different, even before taking into account factors like how a country's health service is organised, or cultural differences in the way people interact.

For instance, in Italy, where the virus has hit so hard, the number of multigenerational households is higher than in Germany, where they appear to have managed better. Likewise, Ireland may have a lower death toll thanks to the excellence of its government's strategy, but the country is also both smaller, less densely populated and less exposed to international travel than the UK.

The same false comparator problem crops up on the other side of the argument where the experience of small (population-wise), sparsely populated Sweden is held up as evidence that a less stringent lockdown was a viable option for the UK.

Above all, it's just too early to say which measures have and have not been decisive. The infectious disease specialist Professor Samuel McConkey put it pithily, arguing that while Ireland's actions may have helped it avoid the worst of the virus, "I’d reserve judgment on this for two or three years”.

It's not just what should have happened, but what may yet. Virologist Jeremy Rossman has pointed out just how difficult it is to model the future impact of the virus. Because the virus arrived in different places at different times, a model that might currently be "very accurate" for Italy offers an enormous range of possibilities for the UK - from as low as 15,000 deaths to the ghastly prospect of 220,000 at the top end of the forecast.

I suspect that a good deal of the 'if only we'd done this' commentary has less to do with an honest seeking after truth and more a reflexive desire to blame someone for a situation that still, even after all these weeks, seems so unfathomable. It's not just politicians, of course - the new phalanx of professional scolds would have you believe that the only thing separating us from a return to normal life is people shopping too often, rather than the fact there is no vaccine or treatment for the disease.

Perhaps most importantly, whatever side of the debate you happen to favour, none of us knows how long this disease will take to manage, let alone conquer. Estimates for a safe vaccine to be ready vary and, for all the speculative articles about hydrochloroquine or remdesivir, we don't know if a workable treatment is around the corner or many months, possibly years, away.

Add into the mix the WHO's announcement this week that antibodies do not necessarily mean a person is immune to the disease, and the still befuddling uncertainty of this situation becomes all the more apparent.

Scottish News from this weeks newspapers

Note that this is a selection and more can be read in our ScotNews feed on our index page where we list news from the past 1-2 weeks. I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland as world news stories that can affect Scotland and all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines. I might also add that in a number of newspapers you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish which I do myself from time to time.

China must pay for its Covid crimes
If the Chinese government were a person, it would surely be guilty at least of manslaughter

Read more at:

Capt Tom Moore hailed by Prince William for 19m fundraiser
A 99-year-old war veteran who has raised more than 19m for the NHS has been hailed as a one-man fundraising machine by the Duke of Cambridge

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How New Zealand relied on science and empathy
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said her country has "done what few countries have been able to do" and contained the community spread of Covid-19 and can start easing its lockdown measures. As the BBC's Shaimaa Khalil writes, the country's success - and Ardern's leadership - have won it global attention.

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M&S and Aldi launch new essential food boxes with prices starting from 15
Most Aldi stores are now open until 10pm too which should ease supermarket congestion for shoppers following the social distancing guidelines.

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Scots schoolboy gets birthday surprise from cops after he was forced to cancel party
The primary school pupil, called Alex, had been due to celebrate his 8th birthday but was forced to call it off due to the pandemic.

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Expert predicts hard Brexit will follow coronavirus pandemic
A hard Brexit is now the most likely outcome because the public is distracted by the coronavirus crisis, an expert has warned.

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Legal history as virtual court hears Kezia Dugdale appeal case
Legal history was made today when a defamation appeal involving former Labour leader Kezia Dugdale was heard by three Scots judges sitting in a virtual court.

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Britain has what it takes to bounce back - but only if we know what we’re facing
Remember, the UK has faced bigger debt burdens than this and overcome them

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Indians Aren’t Buying China’s Narrative
For a majority of Indians, Beijing isn’t part of the solution to the pandemic, but the problem.

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Coronavirus in Scotland:
Total number of deaths rises to more than 1,600

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Here comes the bride, her mother and the Scots doctor who, 27 years ago, saved both their lives
Twenty-seven years earlier, while volunteering in the African country, the Scots anaesthetist had paid for an operation that saved the lives of both Catherine and her unborn daughter, Regina.

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The Weekly News to close after 165 years
The Weekly News is to close after 165 years, its publisher DC Thomson has confirmed.

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Inverness surveyor steps down after nearly half a century working in the Highlands
Surveyor Richard Smith was involved in both the construction of Eden Court Theatre and the conversion of Skibo Castle.

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Canada shooting: Police defend lack of emergency alert
Authorities have been criticised for relying on social media to alert Nova Scotia residents the manhunt for the gunman.

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Electric Canadian

Parting Address to the People of Canada
By Sir Fred Middleton, K.C.M.G., C.B., Lieut.-General, and late Commander of the Canadian Militia (1890) (pdf)

You can read this at:

Caravaning through Prairie and Mountain in Canada
By F. H. Eva Hasell (pdf)

This can be read at:

An Actual Democracy by James Bryce (Viscount Bryce) (1921) (pdf)

You can read this at:

Electric Scotland

Home Preacher
Added Services 46 - 50 which you can read at:

Mind that in each service we have provided links to information about the Minister which can be most interesting.

The life of Archibald Hamilton Charteris D.D., LL.D.
by Gordon, Arthur (1912)

A most interesting book in which are very interesting comments on running a 120 pupil class of all age ranges and doing so with considerable success. In fact I decided to ocr in Chapter 1 for those interested in studying education as a period in time when Scotland was the most successful country in the world when it came to education.

I might add I have ordered the book "Wamphray: Pages from the History and Traditions of a Famous Parish in Upper Annandale" (1906): by Paterson, Professor of Law, John.

You can read this at:

The Selkie Girls
Added a 1 hr 40 min video of them to our Community which you can view at:

Donna Flood
Got in a story from Donna Flood which I've added to her current thread in our Community at:

Children's Stories in Audio Format (mp3)
Read by Fiona MacKinnon and added towards the foot of our page at:

Clan MacDuffee Newsletter
Got in there Spring 2020 issue which you can read at:

Dr. Thomas Fetzer Clark
The lead artist for Cairn Studio, Ltd. Dr. Clark, the most well-known artist in America today, is the most prolific and talented sculptor in the figurine industry, with collectors in every county of every state, plus Europe, Asia (especially Japan!), and Canada.

You can read about him at:

A collection of modern Scottish Comedy Actors which you can view at:

By the Rev. W. Lindsay Alexander (pdf)

I've added a link to this book on our Iona page at:

The Land We Love by Will H. Ogilvie

Added this book to his page at:

And that's it for this week and hope you all have a great weekend and mind and keep your distance, wash your hands and stay safe.