Letters July 22: Wear a mask to protect others; enlivening downtown; eating green crabs

Wear a mask or stay home

In a grocery store in Langford yesterday, the majority of customers were unmasked.

Clearly people are either too obtuse to get it, or too self-absorbed to care. Little wonder the COVID-19 numbers are on the upswing.

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If you can’t bring yourself to behave like a mature adult, stay home.

Greg Longphee

Wear a mask to protect others

It’s ridiculous that some people think it’s against their civil rights to mandate masks be worn in indoor public spaces.

Front-line workers wear masks for up to 12 hours a day. Is it so hard for you to wear one to protect other people for an hour or so when you’re out and about?

Is it your civil right to infect anyone who you come in contact with? Is it your right to possibly cause the death of another human being?

It’s not all about you.

Carol Dunsmuir

Require negative test before flying

We are seeing news about many airline flights carrying passengers with COVID-19.

Airlines have stopped leaving middle seats empty, making it more likely for the virus to spread. Why not make it a requirement to have a negative COVID-19 test within three days of flying?

It is not perfect, as the test can miss positive cases. However, if you combine that with mandatory masks on flights, it would make flying a lot safer.

Similarly, if Americans (or others) want to visit, make them show a negative test from an accredited laboratory within three days of entry. People from very high risk states and countries should just stay home right now.

Cases of the virus in B.C. are surging. This is not surprising, as people are not wearing masks and have become sloppy about distancing.

Wearing a mask is not about your freedom. It is about public safety. Do we let people drive while drunk? No, they are putting the lives of others at risk. Not wearing a mask puts other people’s lives at risk.

John Miller

Vehicle-free scene enlivens downtown

I haven’t been downtown much since COVID-19, but I wandered down to Government Street last weekend.

I absolutely loved seeing the street closed to vehicle traffic and all the pubs and coffee shops with patios.

Vehicle-free streets are common in many cities in Europe and other parts of the world. I fell in love with Istanbul’s beautifully-lit streets and alleys as the city’s café culture came alive at night.

Canada often strives for functionality over fashion, and this idea filters into infrastructure and city planning.

I would love to see a permanent car-free area on Government Street and possibly Douglas Street, too.

I understand the concern with parking and businesses potentially losing money. It could require some alternate thinking for parking squares.

However, creating an atmosphere where pedestrians can shop and linger at a pub or café means they’re spending more time and money in the area.

When I wandered down to Government last weekend, I was met with the sounds of a standup bass musician and saxophonist. They played to audiences on the patios of Earls Kitchen + Bar, Murchie’s Tea & Coffee, the Irish Times Pub, the Bard & Banker, The Churchill and more.

Let’s turn Government Street (and possibly beyond) into a year-round vibrant patio and vehicle-free area. Resist the Canadian function-over-fashion default and consider what could be.

Liz Brown

Get on with Meng’s extradition case

Re: “Supreme Court issues pointed reminder against ‘interminable delays’ in system,” July 17.

I read with interest the article regarding the delays in our court system.

I only wish that the same principle could be applied to the extradition case of Meng Wanzhou.

Whether she is to be released or extradited, we need to bring this case to a close.

Paul Longtin

Let’s eat those invasive green crabs

Re: “Invasion of the green crab: Intruder gobbles key species in Island waters,” July 19.

After reading the article about the invasive European green crabs, it got me thinking Fisheries and Oceans Canada should put out a notice that fishing for green crabs is free and unlimited.

I believe that would certainly make a dent in this problem.

Also, our local chefs should be encouraged to send in recipes using green crabs to the Times Colonist and post them on Facebook for the public to try out.

I know these crabs are tiny and most people won’t be interested in eating them but wouldn’t it be fun to find a delicious dish just for these?

My family would certainly enjoy creating a variety of dishes out of these crabs.

R.J. Piper

Carriage protesters doing nothing wrong

Re: “Who finances carriage protests?” letter, July 21.

According to the letter-writer, having a presence close by without verbally intervening to protest animal exploitation is now “harassment.”

The horse-drawn carriage industry agrees. That is why they have repeatedly called the police with false allegations of interfering with business and of harassment. In response, the police have repeatedly told us we are allowed to be there and are doing nothing wrong.

The writer also claims the horses are content to perform, but ignores the inhumane working conditions as well as the numerous documented safety incidents.

The writer also forgets to mention that every sitting city councillor, except for one, has said they would support a ban of the horse-drawn carriages.

Additionally, the writer worries it is stressful for the carriage drivers to have protesters nearby but ignores the stress of the horses working in traffic.

Protesting is never about the individual drivers; it’s about stopping the horse-drawn carriage industry.

As for campaigns, let’s not forget the combined $150,000 horse-drawn carriage fundraisers for horses who reportedly would not be working all year, even though they went back to work after about two months. Our signs cost about $2 each.

So, if you want to know who finances the carriage protests, look no further than those who support the industry.

As long as people are exploiting animals for profit, there will be people opposed to this vestige of a bygone era.

Jordan Reichert
Victoria Horse Alliance

Victoria is most definitely a safe city

Re: “How many businesses vandalized in Victoria?” letter, July 21.

The idea that Victoria is not a safe city is, to be frank, ludicrous.

Of course, no one should have to suffer being groped in public places or witnessing someone masturbating on the bus.

The root causes of those issues are toxic masculinity, dominance culture and mental illness.

I have lived in more than 10 different cities in North America, and I have never felt safer than in Victoria.

Lauren DeGaine

Install shore power before ships return

Re: “Time to rethink cruise-ship industry,” letter, July 21.

Wouldn’t this be an opportune and timely moment to install shore power for cruise ships at Ogden Point so we need never again live through those carcinogenic springs, summers and autumns that have become so natural to our seasons and deadly to our lungs?

Ulla Ressner and John Fry

Don’t raise parking fees in downtown Victoria

Re: “Victoria eyes raising parking fees, as spaces become harder to find,” July 21.

With downtown Victoria declining due to the effects of the pandemic and a lack of tourism, raising parking rates would be ridiculous.

How about cleaning up the literal filth at the parkades first?

While at a Centennial Square parkade with our grandchildren, a rude security guard swore at us, we stepped over several used needles in the stairwell, avoided human feces in Centennial Square by the elevator, and were then accosted by campers and clouds of dope.

The mayor and council seem to revel in the demise of our great city, and their facile attempts at governing are an embarrassment on the global stage.

Derek Sanderson

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