• I would take issue with the statement that it is “always the case with flu” that people in poor health are at greatest risk (Explained: The outbreak, 21 January). The 1918-20 Spanish flu took the lives of fit young individuals, while children, old people, and those in poor health frequently recovered. Current thinking is that the virus sent the uncompromised immune systems of the healthy sufferers into overdrive, killing off too many cells. Those with weaker immune systems avoided this extreme reaction, so they survived. We should learn the lessons of history. A new flu virus may behave unpredictably.
Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire
I read more and more pleas to “email your MP about this…” I can’t email my MP, the Conservative Dr Julian Lewis, as he does not have an email address for his constituents to use. I believe he is the only MP who doesn’t let his constituents contact him in this way. I find this deplorable. It should be a requisite of his well-paid job.
• Sam Wollaston quoted the advice to “get a nice manicure” to discourage nailbiting (Can I kick my bad habits?, G2, 20 January). The next day we were told of the “pretty cruel human cost of a £10 manicure” (The unvarnished truth about nail bars, G2, 21 January). “Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.”
• On 31 January I shall be mourning the loss of solidarity, civilisation, security against mindless dictators, and protection for our planet. I shall therefore be dressed in black.
Dr Carole Ulanowsky
• Going to church on Sunday may be a good way to end weekend loneliness (Letters, 22 January). But only if you are looking for an imaginary friend.
• A comeback job for Jeremy Kyle (Terrorist convicts to face lie detector tests after release, 21 January)?
Ian D Richardson
• The marmalade correspondence has run its course, surely? Can we now please have jam tomorrow?
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