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Letters Feb. 8: A virus to social stability; Canadians are spoiled brats

An image from an electron microscope shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. NIAID-RML VIA ZUMA PRESS/TNS

The real culprit is that virus

COVID has made us feel powerless. It has forced constraints on us that we are powerless to address. It has forced us to confront the limits of control we have over our own lives.

As a result we look for opportunities where we can exercise choice.

Conspiracy theories offer this. They postulate a seemingly reasonable cause of our powerlessness; government leaders, government policies, appointed officials, rules, social agreements, etc.

This has led to a rise in protest movements that can make individuals feel like they are acting to recapture their lost personal power. If there is an apparent cause of my loss of power, then it makes sense to target that source.

COVID restrictions are characterized as government policies that restrict our freedoms. As an individual feeling helpless in the face of COVID-induced restrictions, I welcome a narrative that appears to restore control of my own life.

Unfortunately, my desire to recoup control over my life makes me susceptible to simplistic but erroneous claims. Conspiracy theories fall into this category.

They point blame at things we have a say about rather than focusing on the real culprit, COVID. However, our only real chance of regaining the freedoms that COVID has taken from us is to act to eradicate the virus itself.

Only by eliminating the virus that is the true cause of our loss in personal choice can we hope to regain what has been taken from us.

All other approaches are counterproductive and only delay the recovery of our freedoms by diverting efforts toward false solutions and away from the real problem.

Terry Findlay

Is this the start of a new Dark Age?

The yoke of anti-intellectualism pulls hard on the shoulders of the ill-informed masses as they strain to stop progress from racing ahead of them. Their main weapon against this march and straining divide is the lie.

False words to rally their kindred in a war to fight the forward progression of the evolution of mankind, their ilk wanting stagnation or even retreat to a fantasy world of their own imagined comfort.

It is so sad to see the world smothered in this ignorance today, when lies spoken loud enough and often enough overrun truth and knowledge.

It is time for the knowledgeable to fight back against these lies, for we can no longer rely on time to allow lies to fade away.

The way the world is now shifting, if we do nothing, someday soon, the freedom of intellectualism will be outlawed, and the dark ages will return, once again.

Rand Granbois

Flags and honking — Go, Olympians, go!

I was thrilled Saturday to see the support the public in Victoria is giving our Canadian Olympic team!

We’d only won one silver and one bronze so far, but the streets were full of patriotic Canadians honking their horns and waving Canadian flags!

Jonty Parker-Jervis

Canadians are just spoiled brats

I’m ashamed of my fellow Canadians.

I’m seeing sad news stories from around the world, Afghans still suffering at the hands of the Taliban, Ukrainians with Russia threatening their borders, I could go on and on. There’s real suffering going on around the world.

And what are the very fortunate citizens of Canada doing? Thousands are throwing tantrums like two-year-olds! Instead of appreciating how lucky they are — a billion people would trade places with them — they’re whining and complaining because they’re being inconvenienced.

They have my undying disgust. They’re behaving like spoiled brats.

Bobbi Sheridan

Rather than using facts, they take the easy way

In downtown Victoria, it was another Saturday saturated with blaring horns and the noxious smells of monster trucks belching fossil fuels onto a planet already haunted by climate chaos.

One trucker’s “freedom” is another person’s burden to bear.

I wonder why these protesters don’t take the intellectual path and reveal the science and statistics behind their demands to ignore an airborne pandemic that has caused more than five million deaths worldwide.

Where’s the science that says I should feel sanguine about hospitals filled with non-vaccinated COVID patients? Why shouldn’t I worry that a maskless person getting in my face could send me down a COVID spiral?

Where’s the “freedom” in an occupation of Ottawa that has local residents decrying the harassment and intimidation of protesters, along with the hate symbols of Confederate flags and swastikas?

But arguing the science of COVID protocols would demand fact-based research and mental energy. So, these truckers take the easy route and pollute the environment with noise and fossil fuels. Sad to see.

Ira Shorr

Preventing access is the idea of a protest

This reader is somewhat bemused by reports that various Ottawa citizens are upset that they are losing income because the truckers’ protest is making it impossible for them to work.

Without taking a position on the issue of mandates, may I suggest that making it impossible to work is exactly the point of the protests?

David Lowther
Mesachie Lake

Sacrifice, work hard to make it better for all

The “old white men” line in the Feb. 3 letter “Reconciliation grant is a tangible gesture” certainly touched a nerve among your readers, and deservedly so.

But the follow-up letter “A long life of hard work, sacrifice” (Feb. 5) touched what I view as a more powerful truth and meaningful message for our times.

The writer’s unprivileged and persecuted background as a Mennonite gave powerful legitimacy to the words “we pulled up our socks and worked and sacrificed to better ourselves and did not have our hand out for sympathy nor for someone to compensate us for what we had lost.”

These are wise words that have inspired good parenting, good teaching, good leadership for generations. That message poses a challenge to everyone in our community to meet the adversity we face today on so many fronts with a positive can-do attitude to improve society anchored on personal accountability for our actions.

Tim McGee, QC

Bishop Remi De Roo left a strong legacy

Bishop Remi De Roo will be deeply missed, particularly by an older generation of Vancouver Island Catholics.

I well remember receiving a phone call from Bishop Remi in 1979. He asked me to assemble a team of knowledgeable people to advise him on restoring St. Andrew’s Cathedral.

He had two provisos. First, that a reorganized interior should accommodate the new liturgy espoused by the reforms decreed by Vatican II. Second, that we should find a way to express the spiritual legacy of First Nations in his Vancouver Island Diocese.

One result was commissioning new furnishings and stained glass from three First Nations artists: Charles Temosen Elliott, Tim Paul and Roy Vickers. One particularly innovative piece, by Charles Elliott, and the focal point of the colourful Gothic-Revival interior today, is the high altar.

Charles produced a simple cedar communion table resting on two large cedar boxes. The sides of each box illustrate episodes from the Bible, but appear in the form of First Nations’ sacred stories.

According to the liturgical seasons, Christmas, Easter, Pentecost etc. the boxes can be rotated to display the biblical stories appropriate to the time.

The furnishings raised a few eyebrows when unveiled. But Bishop Remi’s decision to start down the path of reconciliation was prophetic by some 50 years.

Bishop Remi maintained a lively interest in the project as it evolved, even outlining a scheme in quite some detail to build an addition with a pool to accommodate full-immersion baptisms. Alas, it would have consumed half the restoration budget available at the time.

Bishop Remi did not shy from controversy, but always saw himself first as a pastor to those on the margins.

Martin Segger

Who can we hound about medical care?

I have been without a family doctor for almost two years. I have been taking the same prescription medicine for 25 years.

If I wish to keep taking my medication (I have been told that stopping could be dangerous), I have to get a doctor to call my pharmacy and authorize refills.

The only avenue that seems open to me is to call a walk-in clinic and request a doctor interview over the phone. I have not had good luck with that. The clinics take calls for only about five minutes each day until their doctors are fully booked.

Why have I and do I pay taxes to cover my health needs? I am 78 years old and have paid a ton of taxes over the years.

It’s a scam! They take your money and offer dismal service in return.

If I don’t pay my taxes, I’ll be hounded by the CRA. If they withhold service, who are they hounded by?

It seems like you have to be a protester or homeless to get any attention these days.

Don Boult

Stand with the Queen to fight the pandemic

Sunday, Feb. 6, marked the 70th anniversary of accession to the throne by our Queen, Elizabeth II — a woman who has been an inspiration to me all of my life.

Eager to “do her bit” during the Second World War, she joined the ATS (like my Scottish mother did); on her 21st birthday she pledged her life to us and was Queen before her 26th birthday.

Probably not what she’d have chosen, but she knew it was her duty, which she does still, willingly and wholeheartedly.

Contrast this to what my partner and I witnessed yesterday; highways through Nanaimo were filled with honking vehicles, Canadian flags and signs claiming “FREEDOM FROM MANDATES.”

It was a cacophony of raucous participants — including cheering bystanders thronging roads and overpasses — looking and sounding like they were on their way to a carnival. And so they were.

People not willing to “do their bit” to end a worldwide emergency showed their true colours … and I don’t mean the red and white of our lovely flag, now co-opted by this bunch and floated alongside Nazi symbols, Confederate flags and Trump 2024 banners. God help us.

The Queen got her jabs and has obeyed mandates, though sitting alone at her husband’s funeral must have been painful for her. She did what countless others have done because it was right and necessary.

Vaxxed and masked, I stand with her till we see the job done.

Long may she reign and God Save The Queen.

Lynda Witham

Blame the internet for these silly theories

This isn’t the first time that mandatory cross-border vaccines have been required by a country. Even pre-COVID, you couldn’t (and still can’t) travel to some countries without proof of a certain vaccine (like yellow fever, for example). Their governments would not and still will not let you in. This is nothing new.

Canada’s earliest vaccine mandate crisis was during an 1885 smallpox outbreak that hit Montreal particularly hard. Anti-vax groups protested mandatory vaccine measures, leading to public violence across that city.

Other groups protested mandatory vaccinations for children in Toronto schools 120 years ago. This is nothing new.

By the 1950s, vaccine mandates were commonplace in Canada. Vaccinations against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, mumps, meningitis, whooping cough, chicken pox and measles were (and are) required if you wanted your child to go to school at all.

All of the protesters in town this weekend were themselves vaccinated by government mandate against these diseases. Many of them have children who have been multiple-vaccinated (by mandate) in order to attend school. This is nothing new.

Protests are nothing new. Only internet-fuelled conspiracy theories have made disinformation so widely available. But mandates are nothing new.

P.J. Perdue

Give us our freedom so we can watch TV again

We, the Freedom Group of Canada, make the following non-negotiable demands to be implemented immediately:

An end to all COVID restrictions all across the country.

An end to all forms of taxation of our money.

An end to speed limits on all roads and the requirement to drive in the right lane.

An elimination of all parking restrictions.

A complete elimination of all forms of federal and provincial government so we can have our freedom back again.

A total defunding of the police who oppress us.

A provisioning of free drugs to all who want them.

If these demands are agreed to and implemented promptly, we will all go back to watching TV.

Charles Krebs
North Saanich

What it could be, if for another cause

Thousands of protesters in multiple Canadian cities, miles of trucks blocking citizen access to their roads and highways, and $10 million in donations.

Imagine the impact to communities if these truckers mobilized for something that actually mattered.

Karen McKenzie

Right-wingers gone wrong, again

On Jan. 28, I saw one of the truck convoy organizers on Fox News. I knew then that would inspire the low- or no- information right and the protest would turn into a gong show.

On Jan. 31, Tucker Carlson, routinely pilloried by all the late-night talk shows and other media, devoted a long segment to Trudeau-bashing, standard operating procedure.

Trudeau is both a bully and a wimp, c’mon get real. Copycatting Trump and blaming the media?

I am not for censorship, give these people enough rope and they will hang themselves. It happened to Trump’s wannabes.

These people must feel like a penny waiting for change.

Grant Maxwell


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