Letters Jan. 14: Racism and blindness; empathy for all; teen mental health

Memories of John Milton’s words

Re: “North Cowichan leaders condemn racist posts as Cowichan Tribes face ­coronavirus outbreak,” Jan 12.

This story reminded me of the John Milton quotation: “They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them of their blindness.”

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Jim Pine
Victoria

Hypocrisy, arrogance in politicians’ travels

The hypocrisy and arrogance shown by the two local councillors in travelling abroad, just as the pandemic is going through its worst period of infections and deaths is unforgivable, and has permanently damaged their reputation, and the public confidence in all elected members.

How on earth did they think this would be a good idea?

This serves as an indicator of the quality of their decision making, and it explains totally, with regard to the city council why they constantly make terrible decisions, and are out of touch with the people they represent.

If they have any integrity they will resign. Your actions speak louder than your words.

Hillary Stevens
Victoria

Our terrible lack of empathy

Recent events have illuminated a horrendous lack of empathy in our society.

We selfishly donate our COVID-19 virus particles to others, thereby endangering their health in spite of repeated prevention advice/rules/recommendations. People die as a consequence.

In Canada and around the world we have witnessed overwhelming proof of this selfish and destructive behaviour but our leaders are afraid to admit that voluntary regulations do not work.

There is absolutely no excuse for not making the absence of face masks an offense with an immediate fine.

Hire people to enforce. Even give them a commission as a bonus. If police want to work overtime doling out fines, go for it. Collecting these fines will more than pay these salaries.

This is an emergency. Current methods have failed.

Enough of this cowardly light-touch approach by our leaders, an example of which was amply demonstrated by this report: “A party of 100, mostly unmasked … two were fined for not dispersing.”

So dozens suffered no penalty for dangerous behaviour.

And a Victoria councillor can’t be fired in spite of flagrant disregard of travel restrictions! The mayor and councillors should sign a statement telling Coun. Sharmarke Dubow that no-one has confidence in him continuing as a councillor.

If this doesn’t result in his resignation, then he should not be given any significant role on council and ignored where possible.

And on the topic of empathy, I am sickened by some of the comments in letters to the editor about our homeless people.

Whether their situation is self inflicted or not, we have a moral obligation to attempt to alleviate their suffering and if some plant-life in a park suffers as a consequence, so what!

Dr. Adrian Fine, MD
Victoria

The suicide of Andre Courtemanche

We are all deeply saddened by a life cut short at such a young age.

My heart goes out to the family of this young man, and to all teens who are suffering in an acute way during this pandemic.

Let us never forget that humans are social creatures, our young people especially so.

Let us be very careful that the rules we are creating in this pandemic time does not eradicate our humanity.

Let us not turn one pandemic into another. The stress levels felt by teens everywhere are rising to critical levels. As a community we need to address this proactively.

To isolate is not human.

For any of us.

Jennifer Chapin
Victoria

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