My heart goes out to all the victims of the coronavirus pandemic. The reality is that the total cost of the pandemic will be higher than anticipated and its effects will be felt for years to come and it won’t just be financially.

Everyone is currently feeling anxious about what the future holds as we are not being reassured by the UK Government and we also have the highest number of Covid-19 deaths in Europe.

Those undergoing cancer treatment or screening are feeling powerless as they have experienced hospital delays and cancellations and are suffering acute anxiety as they wonder how it will affect their survival rates.

The current health crisis means that the NHS must try and prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus to protect the NHS from being overwhelmed and to save lives, but what about the risk of dying from cancer?

Some patients haven’t been told when their appointments will resume other than there is a backlog in hospitals. The situation is an unfortunate consequence of the pandemic and I have nothing but admiration for our NHS frontline heroes trying to save lives.

No one really knows how this new disease will behave this summer, particularly, as lockdown restrictions are being eased. The coronavirus is going to be around for a very long time until a vaccine is made widely available.

The death rate is likely to soar again during the flu season and it is possible that NHS hospitals will again be overwhelmed by Covid-19 patients. Will cancer patients again be put on hold?

The Government needs to reassure the public with a precise plan how the NHS will cope this winter if a vaccine is not readily available.

Jeannette Schael, Crookham Close, Tadley