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Letters April 10: Better service at clinics; travellers in isolation

Why wait for pandemic to fix clinic problems? Re: “Doctors shift to virtual world amid pandemic,” April 4. So, walk-in clinic doctors say: “We’re here for you.
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Why wait for pandemic to fix clinic problems?

Re: “Doctors shift to virtual world amid pandemic,” April 4.

So, walk-in clinic doctors say: “We’re here for you.” Where were these clinic doctors six weeks ago?

For the thousands of people without a family doctor, who are forced to endure the deplorable conditions and wait times at walk-in clinics in Victoria, I ask: Why did we have to wait for the COVID-19 pandemic to do something about this problem? We apparently now have the luxury of a face-to-face visit or “virtual” visit with a doctor and a wait time of less than 30 minutes, compared to the normal two- to three-hour wait times of the past? What happened?

Offering the Medimap app that shows all the local clinics with usually only one doctor on schedule, with half of the clinics normally closed, on reduced hours or at full capacity or not taking any new patients, with no check-in or booking feature, just doesn’t seem humane. Who in their right mind thought it was ever OK to cram 20 to 25 potentially sick patients into a tiny clinic waiting room or hallway for hours for the privilege of seeing a family doctor?

This was, apparently, just fine with the doctors and clinics before COVID-19 came along.

Now the doctors and clinics are complaining they aren’t so busy. Now it’s all about “virtual” appointments.

Let’s hope and pray that once we get over these difficult times, someone figures out how to run these services and we never have to revert back to the old ways and we never have to wait for hours to see a doctor in a crowded walk-in clinic again.

Stay safe.

Brian W. Shaughnessy

Why aren’t travellers held in isolation?

Re: “Alarm raised over travellers who aren’t self-isolating,” April 7.

It appears we can’t trust travellers to do the right thing once they leave the port of entry. Given the proactive approach the Canadian government took for the repatriation of Canadians from China in the initial phase of COVID-19, by isolating all for 14 days at CFB Trenton, it’s shocking that a similar protocol hasn’t been adopted for all travellers returning to Canada. COVID-19 is obviously being spread by unmonitored travellers both domestic and international. It would be nice to know that CFB Trenton’s Yukon Lodge was full of recently returned international travellers. If it isn’t — why not?

Wayne Dauphinee

Identify travellers who won’t self-isolate

Re: “Alarm raised over travellers who aren’t self-isolating,” April 7.

If those who have returned from international travel are so selfish as to refuse to self-isolate, then we need to identify them so that the rest of us can protect ourselves should we come upon them in a grocery store or other important location.

Their right to privacy has been vacated by their own actions.

Len Dafoe
Nanoose Bay

Columnist should check his facts

Re: “Comment: Canada among world’s least prepared for COVID-19,” Gwyn Morgan, April 3.

The apparent authenticity of Gwyn Morgan’s facts was shattered by the last line of his column: “Canadians must demand that Canada’s … health-care system be opened to private sector competition, like every other country in the world.”

This last paragraph turned his column from fact to humour.

Norah Forrest

Door slammers against private health care

The predictable backlash to Gwyn Morgan’s support for private health care reeks of the reflex prejudices that dismiss any efforts to explore a system that Canada alone rejects.

Righteous door-slamming and peevish name-calling does not seem an adult method of resolving this dispute.

The proponents of proportional representation will recognize how entrenched opinions can deny and misinform when their beliefs are challenged. The art of compromise is diminished in today’s climate of identity group think.

We are denying ourselves the benefit of exceptionalism by adopting gated mindsets.

The ranks of the undeservingly privileged are not exclusive to those who are defined as right- or left-wing, rich or poor. It has been proven a decent audit system would eliminate most inequities.

Alas, in spite of successes elsewhere, the double standard rules even when detrimental to our health.

Russell Thompson

Pandemic ideal time to do roadwork

Now would be a good time to be filling potholes and repaving roads since there is little traffic to be disrupted and folks who have lost jobs need work.

Ann Lohner

It’s time to tax the disproportionately rich

In light of the impending colossal government debt, and the need to support those with little income, and less equity, hopefully some sanity might prevail, to tax disproportionate incomes that have become the norm, to tax the incomes of multi-million-dollar earners and to do something about the offshore tax avoidance schemes long reported in the Panama Papers.

Despite the apparent marginal generosity of people, and companies, who have acquired such unbelievable wealth, why should such a small proportion of people own so much, and what the hell can they possibly do sitting on it?

Time to share for those who won’t be suffering.

G.R. Greig

An upside to the dandelion cull

Re: “Strange new word — flattening the curve, one dandelion at a time,” Jack Knox, April 5.

Jack clearly missed the true essence of having to cull all 268 of those lovely dandelions. I can recall as a teenager in the mid-1960s being asked by my mother to go down to the park on the Gorge near where we lived and pick dandelions. She gave them a good wash, placed them in a large rubber bin, added water, sugar, yeast and slices of lemons to make dandelion wine. After the fermentation stage, she would bottle it for consumption in the fall. It was nectar of the gods!

Shirley Waldon

Don’t travel to Gulf Islands

As the long weekend and summer approaches people will want to visit the Gulf Islands. Please don’t. Nothing is open. Fresh produce and other grocery items are limited. Islanders are self-isolating and doing their best to keep themselves, their families and neighbours safe.

An outbreak would be devastating.

Once this is over, we will welcome you back with the hospitality you have come to know.

But, for now, please help us by staying away so we can stay healthy.

Audrey Stibbe
Pender Island

Will ICBC lower rates as road risk drops?

Major U.S. car insurers are refunding millions of dollars to customers stuck at home during the COVID-19 shutdown as these insurers have seen a dramatic drop in accident rates as drivers stay home and off the roads. As this reduces risk exposure to the insurers, they rightly decided that drivers deserve premium relief.

As the same risk conditions apply in B.C., when will ICBC and private insurers mirror this responsible policy? I am not holding my breath.

Nigel Giuliany

Send us your letters

• Email:

• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 2621 Douglas St., Victoria, B.C. V8T 4M2.

Letters should be no longer than 250 words and may be edited for length, legality or clarity. Include your full name, address and telephone number. Please avoid sending letters as an email attachment.

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