SIR – In this area we have a high proportion of residents aged 70-plus, and the long-term repercussions of the self-isolation process can be substantial; for example, isolation can lead to loneliness, depression, self-neglect and general reduction in physical health.

In addition, the longer the crisis lasts we could see the development of a social divide; the danger is that a whole section of society becomes a new underclass, not based on being homeless or unemployed or broke, but purely due to their age.

It couldn’t happen in lovely, middle-class, comfortable rural Worcestershire? Don’t you believe it. We ignore this at our peril. Those with long-term health conditions and those who already have difficulty in getting out will become ever more vulnerable.

Things can only get worse. We hear suggestions about volunteers doing the shopping, collecting medication etc. Excellent. But people will still slip through the net. Not everyone has a support network – not everyone has a phone to ring for help.

Consequently, I have written to our local MP, Harriet Baldwin, with some suggestions.

The Government should consider putting in place someone with a high-profile who has responsibility for the 70-plus age group specifically during this current coronavirus crisis.

Would it not also be feasible for the government to set up a TV channel and/or radio station, totally separate from the BBC and other broadcasters, to give 24/7 factual information.

Not everyone has computers/smartphones, etc.  Most 70+ DO watch TV and/or listen to the radio.

Already, the headline writers across the media as a whole are either exaggerating and/or misrepresenting the issues.

It is demonstrated every day – I watch TV news and read the newspapers. I see the daily updates from the Prime Minister and the Chief Medical Officer. The reality is that large sections of the media only extract the worst-case scenarios and report them as fact. 

They rarely report, for example, that when suggesting self-isolation for the 70-plus group, the PM may also have included the words ‘for their own good’.  In the ensuing headlines, the underlying implication will be that those 70-plus are somehow at fault.

Therefore, I believe that there should be someone appointed from, or on behalf of the government, to give the facts about daily life. At the moment, every media outlet employs disparate ‘experts’ who give us contrasting and conflicting advice. Who knows what the truth is?

I believe that there are around nine million people in the UK aged 70-plus – this is a big and influential section of the electorate.

Brian Watkins