Letters July 9: U.S. licence plates; bike lanes are good idea; virus stats

Reason to be concerned about Americans

Re: “I just moved here and have U.S. plates: Stop looking for COVID scapegoats,” comment, July 8.

I agree it’s not fair to lump all Americans together as scofflaws. It is always better to wait for the facts before jumping to conclusions, especially in a crisis when emotions are running high.

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On the other hand, let’s not lose sight of the reasons for concern. There have been reports of Americans ignoring our rules and coming to B.C. for vacations, or exploiting the Alaska loophole and making extended stops along the way. All while the U.S. is a hotbed of COVID-19 transmission.

The measures we have taken in B.C. have been reasonably successful in controlling the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, not all Americans support our approach. A significant portion of people in the U.S. seem to believe that they have a constitutional right to share with others any virus they have picked up.

Collectively, British Columbians have made sacrifices intended to avoid the spread of the virus. We do not wish to risk emulating the U.S. experience.

The best answer may be to issue a sticker that can be attached to a vehicle confirming that the owner is in Canada legally, and has observed proper safeguards relating to the spread of the virus.

David Lyon

Newcomer should get new licence plates

Re: “I just moved here and have U.S. plates: Stop looking for COVID scapegoats,” comment, July 8.

A message to the unidentified person who has recently moved here from California:

Welcome to Canada. We are glad to have you folks. I’m sure you will enjoy living here.

Now that you’re here, B.C. law requires that you re-register your vehicle and obtain B.C. plates. As soon as you do that, well, your problem is solved.

Premier John Horgan and other folks in B.C. have, for very good reason, spoken out about their concern over seeing American licence plates here, because of the out-of-control spread of COVID-19 in that country.

We, as Canadians, are known to be polite. But amid this pandemic, we are understandably concerned about dying from a scary disease. That’s all.

John Walker
Cobble Hill

Thank you to Police Chief Del Manak

You have to thank Victoria Police Chief Del Manak for his handling of the matters around safety, and serving the citizens of Victoria and Esquimalt.

Let’s hope that various levels of government now following an aggressive Housing First model will also step up with stronger supports to make this model work in helping those needing help.

The leadership Manak is showing in dealing with our social issues especially under the current pandemic or not, should receive as much support as possible.

Rob Reid

Thanks to all at Royal Jubilee cardiac ward

I was admitted to Royal Jubilee Hospital through emergency for 24 hours and then transferred to the cardiac ward, where I have been for seven days.

During my stay here, I have been attended by many doctors, nurses, aides and technicians and, without exception, they have been marvellous and cheerful, despite what must be exhausting conditions in these difficult times.

I would like to send special thanks to my emergency room nurses Dave and Sarah, and in the cardiac ward, Melissa, Dallas, Catherine, Genevieve, Matt and Leah, and aides Tammy and Rob as well as my cardiac doctors Dr. Walzak and Dr. Franco and their residents — especially for their patience in answering my many chemistry questions. Thanks also to the techs that take blood, run ECGs and X-rays etc., and the aides that got me to each place, brought food and cleaned. Royal Jubilee Hospital is one huge, well-oiled machine.

As a retired chemistry professor who taught chemistry to thousands of students over the four decades I was there, it gave me great pleasure when at least a dozen of those who attended to me at the hospital either recognized me from their student days, or I recognized them. Nothing gives a teacher greater pleasure than seeing their students succeed in their lives. Thank you all.

Reg Mitchell (aka. Dr Zonk)
Retired chemistry professor

That mystery sidewalk on May Street

I agree that we will always disagree about how the city allocates its budget — for example, bike lanes vs. road repairs.

What I cannot understand is why a new sidewalk and rock wall were built on the north side of May Street near Memorial Crescent.

I have lived in the area for more than 30 years and found that one sidewalk on May has been more than sufficient for the amount of foot traffic it receives. I am sure the new project must have cost a great deal for no apparent need.

Alanna Wrean

Bike lanes improve quality of life

Why do people who complain about the cost of bike lanes not also complain about the money spent on projects for cars, like the McKenzie interchange, the widening of the Malahat highway and the Keating Cross overpass?

Funding for those projects might come from different pots of money, but it’s a lot of money for projects that are only going to end up adding more cars to our roads.

Bike lanes cost a pittance by comparison, but do much to improve quality of life in the city.

Ed Janicki

Release specifics on B.C. virus stats

I am sure everyone agrees that information is a valuable tool in any crisis, particularly a pandemic.

It is perplexing that British Columbia, unlike other jurisdictions, chooses to withhold the numbers of COVID-19 cases in specific towns and cities.

Ontario breaks down the statistics by city, town, gender and age. I fully understand and agree with the right to patient confidentiality.

No one wants to know names or any other pertinent identifying information about COVID patients. But, if 100 cases out of the 133 cases in the Vancouver Island Health Authority are in Victoria, we have a right to know that. The same should hold true for all regional health authorities.

The public should be informed where high clusters of cases exist so they can determine whether to avoid the area.

For example, if I lived in Brentwood Bay and I knew that 45 of 50 cases in the region were in Sidney, it would add another layer in making a measured decision concerning my health.

Information concerning COVID-19 should not be shrouded in secrecy.

Jay Jarman

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