Letters Dec. 17: Virus and ferry travel; seniors' innoculations; moving forward on climate

Ferries should stop non-essential travel

I am extremely concerned over an apparent conflict in enforcement of last week’s restrictions and the double standard that is causing.

The current restrictions state “No social gatherings of any size at your residence with anyone other than your household or core bubble” plus “at this time, all non-essential travel should be avoided. This includes travel into and out of B.C. and between regions of the province”.

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My wife and I were planning to spend Christmas in Victoria with her sister and husband. There would be just the four of us. We all wear masks, social distance and take precautions when outside our homes. We feel we are safe and had no qualms about being together.

When the current restrictions were announced, we did as instructed and cancelled our plans. However, it seems ­others either did not get the message or have chosen to ignore the rules.

So please tell me why B.C. Ferries should allow non-essential travellers to openly flout the rules and travel, when others of us have had our plans cancelled to help reduce the case counts.

The increase in cases following Thanksgiving holiday will be nothing compared to what could happen at Christmas. You just have took at the U.S. to see what large number of travellers portend.

B.C. Ferries should have the authority to refuse boarding of anyone not showing proof that their travel is absolutely essential. They already refuse boarding of individuals who do not follow the mask mandate. This is no different.

If people are allowed to travel on B.C. Ferries to attend non-essential gatherings elsewhere, then I feel the current provincial guidelines and restrictions are worthless and will degrade the public’s confidence and compliance.

Barry Kimble
Crofton

Virus is arriving from the mainland

Island residences over the holidays must adhere to strict rules regarding having friends and family gatherings.

The B.C. Ferries reservation bookings are full and they are putting extra sailings on for the holidays.

Seems strange that mask-wearing non-residents, some of them carrying the virus, are allowed to come here and spread their Christmas joy.

What curve are we trying to flatten?

Bill MacDonald
Parksville

Can’t decide on vaccine? Go with Dr. Bonnie

There have been a couple of letters from seniors saying oldies should selflessly stand aside and allow young folk to get the first crack at available COVID-19 vaccines.

I’m guessing the emphasis on ­vaccinating the over-70s is because, if they get the disease, they’re much more likely than infected young people to end up in hospitals and ICUs. And that’s hugely expensive.

I’ll take it as given that Dr. Bonnie Henry and her team, who have spent years studying and working with all aspects of public health, know what they’re doing. If Dr. Bonnie says you should be vaccinated, just go for it.

Liz Pogue
West Shore

Seniors should be at the top of the list

Re: “Vaccinate seniors after everyone else,” letter, Dec. 11.

Ageism is a savage form of discrimination because it unfairly degrades and dishonours human beings simply because they have a few more years under their belts.

As an older person, it is hard enough to live within a culture that judges me more by my white hair than my grey matter. But that indignity pales in comparison to the humiliation of having my worth ­belittled by a fellow senior.

The letter writer does not speak for me. “We seniors” are not better or worse than anyone else, but we are definitely equal to any of them.

To suggest that we get vaccinated “at the very last,” simply because we are older, is repugnant and offensive. Her comments are no less egregious than recommending that Indigenous people or homosexuals “not be vaccinated until everyone else has been.”

This is not a case of seniors getting special treatment. Chronically ill seniors should be one of the first groups to get the vaccine because they are dying from COVID-19 at rates far higher than any other group.

Dr. Bonnie Henry made this decision in the interests of sound science.

The pandemic has exposed the ugly underbelly of age discrimination, where even the health and survival of older people has been compromised by ageist attitudes.

The disturbing letter is an unfortunate example of this injustice.

Doreen Marion Gee
Victoria

Weak arguments for natural gas

Re: “LNG expansion vital to fighting ­climate change,” Dec. 12.

The prominent position that the Times Colonist gives to Gwyn Morgan’s views on how Canada should act on climate change suggests the power of the oil and gas industry in controlling the media’s coverage of this debate.

This prominence seems out of proportion to the weak arguments Morgan presents. He refers to his October column, in which he dismissed wind and solar power as being against the laws of physics. This in spite of their obvious and increasing commercial success.

In fact, the laws of physics link burning of coal, oil and gas to climate change, sea level rise, forest fires and other problems, possibly including pandemics, and seem firmly on the side of carbon-free alternative energy.

The present article argues for expanding Canada’s exports of lower-carbon-emitting fossil fuels in the hope that these might reduce the use of higher-carbon-emitting fuels in other countries.

Such a replacement seems a pious hope, over which Canada has no control. At the same time, the global expansion of wind and solar energy seems on track to replace fossil fuels completely.

Diverting resources to develop natural gas seems a poor and half-hearted alternative, one that will also cause Canada to miss our targets under the 2016 Paris climate agreement.

Jim Gower
North Saanich

The minority can govern the rest

The latest form of government appears to be the Democra-me, a system of rule where a majority of the minority expect their wants and needs to supersede those of the actual majority.

Bill Carere
Victoria

A winter home for the homeless

Oak Bay Lodge was home to many seniors for years before they were moved to the Summit, so why is it not suitable to house some homeless people in the meantime?

Surely whatever plans Oak Bay has for the Lodge could be postponed for a few months to give tenters a solid roof over their heads during these cold, wet days and nights!

Cindy Alger
Victoria

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