Letters April 8: Stay at home; seeing doctor in person is better

Stay home until this is under control

My wife and I have followed all the recommended guidelines for more than a year now. We wear masks, stay the recommended distance and so on.

Haven’t hugged a grandchild for over a year. We get our exercise by walking and we golf following all the rules making sure we keep a good distance from other players.

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I was so dismayed when we were paired off with a young couple from ­Calgary who said they were on a “road trip.”

I feel that our whole year of being so cautious may have been put in jeopardy. What is the sense of preaching to the residents of B.C. to stay home, don’t travel and be safe if others don’t have to follow the same practice?

It’s time to preach and mandate that to other Canadians to stay home until this pandemic is under control.

Walter Hill

Better medical care with in-person visits

Thank you to the concerned Victoria emergency physicians for their lucid, coherent accounting of their perceived abuses of telemedicine and its inherent inadequacies.

Please allow me to expound further on the fast fading concept of direct patient care. That is, “person to person” inquiry and “laying on of hands”.

There is no question that many “investigative techniques (x-ray, ultrasound, C.T., MRI, PET and so on) have become beneficial “adjuncts” (some would say necessary) to patient care.

All these techniques, including ­telemedicine, are however merely our attempts to “visualize reality” from a distance. We still need, however, the “real thing.” A living, breathing, pulsating body in our headlights!

A picture, in this instance, is not worth a thousand words, but less!

Ron Irish, retired MD
North Saanich

The reason behind telemedicine usage

The problem is simple: There are not enough doctors in Victoria who want to see you. They want everything done on the phone or computer. To be physically examined you have to go to the emergency department.

Sixty per cent of Victorians do not have a family doctor. Why? Someone explain that to me. I haven’t had one for 11 years.

Kate Sarginson

Enforcement needed to stop non-essential travel

As the vaccine roll-out increases, we see an increase in COVID-19 cases.

This non-intuitive phenomenon has been experienced by other countries: significant decreases in case counts do not occur until close to reaching herd immunity.

This is not due to any shortcoming in the vaccines but rather to human psychology: people think that it has become safer to carry out activities hitherto restricted, especially travel. Even before human understanding of the causes of diseases, plague ships have been turned away from ports for centuries.

The B.C. provincial government has not enforced the rule against non-essential travel, even encouraging it by adding extra ferries on the Easter weekend.

Once everyone in the province has been given the opportunity to be vaccinated, the government should introduce a vaccine passport to allow only those vaccinated to travel.

Kenneth Mintz

Hospital is people, it’s not the building

I am writing in defence of the Cowichan District Hospital, which was described in a recent article as a failure, particularly regarding the Indigenous community in that they are not treated in the same way as others.

The new hospital would “change that” and could then be regarded as “our hospital.”

I worked for 35 years as a consultant physician, now retired, at CDH and feel a great injustice has been done to first responders, nurses, doctors, technicians and hospital workers.

The portal of entry to the hospital and the “go to place” is the emergency department, and it is particularly challenging with acutely ill and stressed patients and staff trying to evaluate and treat their urgent needs.

A hospital is not a building, but the people that work in it. Change will only occur when the staff-to-patient ratios are improved.

Try a 12-hour shift on a long weekend in the emergency department and you will know.

A.J. Turner, retired MD

Wearing a mask in simple terms

Wearing a mask is like “not” swearing in front of your grandparents. Do it so you don’t hurt someone.

Bill Carere

A perfect spot for maritime museum

We need something important that can re-unite us with our city, the city we used to love. The Gold Rush warehouses could be turned into a spectacular maritime museum.

We could host an architectural competition, judged by the public. Perhaps the museum could issue bonds to raise some of the needed monies. Somewhere out there is a person with a vision of what these dear old buildings might become.

We don’t need any more waterfront condos, no high rises. Let us preserve and enhance what we already have, and thereby enrich our city, and our heritage.

Sabine Orlik

In defence of Saanich chickens

I read with dismay the letter suggesting backyard chickens should be banned in Saanich. Following this logic no one should be able to have cats and dogs because some people mistreat them.

Also no one should be able to ride a bike or drive a car because some people do so dangerously.

I say, deal with the person who is mistreating his or her chickens, ban them from owning more, and leave the rest of us with happy, clean, quiet chickens alone.

Having seen the conditions on a local chicken farm I know ours are having a much superior life. My only issue is how to dispatch them humanely when they get too old to lay.

Sheila Ruffell

‘Snail mail’ hurtful to postal workers

A recent commentary twice used the term “snail mail.”

That term is hurtful to thousands of good people who work for Canada Post. I recommend that the Times Colonist stop using that term and use “postal mail” instead.

I recommend that the TC outlaw “snail mail” completely and permanently.

David Stocks

Transparency needed during the pandemic

Oak Bay council’s efforts to ensure “fairness” in the marina lease renewal process have shut down reasonable discussion and diminished transparency.

When asked to discuss the matter, one councillor responded that since a request for proposals was active, he couldn’t provide information, but that he hoped to be able to provide information and clarity soon.

From this I deduce the agenda-less special in camera meeting on March 31 was in fact a review of the marina lease proposals.

However, only after a meeting on the topic would the representative feel free to engage in discussing it. This is discouraging and counterproductive.

Good public decisions arise from broad consultations. Diversity helps. And invariably the time taken to develop consensus is well spent.

Counterintuitively, striving to get the task done quickly to meet a deadline before the public complicates matters frequently results in backtracking, further delay, and disengagement of the citizenry. (In public life, pragmatism doesn’t work, as the Clover Point fiasco demonstrates.)

During a pandemic, extra efforts to engage citizens are essential. Special means to ensure broad public participation must be devised. Restricting input in the name of fairness must not result in poorer decisions and reduced transparency.

Gordon Alexander
Oak Bay


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