Letters June 24: Rights of anti-vaxxers; Langford’s tunnel vision

It’s common sense, not discrimination

Re: “Discrimination over vaccinations,” letter, June 22.

It is my understanding that being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 does not completely ensure that the vaccinated person cannot contract the virus, but that if infected, it should result in a milder case and greatly reduce the chances of fatality.

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It is also my understanding that fully vaccinated persons are still able to pass COVID-19 on to other unvaccinated people, including those in whom vaccinations are contradicted by medical conditions.

The golfer who has opted not to be ­vaccinated is not the only one placed at risk by her own decision.

She should not expect other people, including friends, who may see it as their responsibility to protect not only themselves but others more vulnerable, to respect her own views to the possible ­detriment of the health of those others.

This is not a case of discrimination, but one of common sense and courtesy.

Kathleen Worth
Saanich

Anti-vaxxers benefit from all the rest

Re: “Discrimination over vaccinations,” letter, June 22.

Like many of us, I believe we all have the right to exercise free choice, within the limits of the law, including the choice to get vaccinated or not.

I ask people who don’t get vaccinated to please stay away from my family and friends.

Having said that, making a choice often invokes some degree of risk for the individual exercising their right to choose.

This contributor is correct in ­asserting that those choosing not to get ­vaccinated when in the company of those who are, face a very diminished risk of ­contracting the COVID pathogen.

However, what is not acknowledged is the fact that anti-vaxxers have benefited from the millions of us who have been vaccinated; safe “community immunity” can only be achieved by those who have stepped up to get the jab.

I suspect that those who chose not to get vaccinated and then end up in one of our acute-care hospitals as a consequence might wish they had assessed the risk a little more seriously.

Not to mention the cost, to all of us, for a “free choice” decision undertaken with negative ramifications well beyond that of the individual who made it.

But then 10 per cent of the population often causes challenges and problems for the remaining 90 per cent of us to sort out and deal with.

John Stevenson
Victoria

Personal decisions about vaccines

Re: “Discrimination over vaccinations,” letter, June 22.

The letter argued that vaccination decisions are personal, not to be judged by others and ought not to lead to the social exclusion of those choosing not to be ­vaccinated. But the logic of the argument is not apparent to me.

Those who choose not to be vaccinated claim to do so in order to reduce their own perceived risks: they believe that the vaccine itself is problematic. They also believe such choice is a right granted them by the Charter.

Why, then, would my choice to not associate with the unvaccinated person be any less a decision, given that my ­decision is based upon the same principle: the reduction of risk.

Vaccination does not equal 100 per cent protection. Nor does it guarantee that I am incapable of transmitting the virus to others.

An unvaccinated friend is at much higher risk of infection. By not associating with her, I show concern for us both.

I can see no reason for discomfort in telling her that her choice will result in exclusion from my circle.

I might even be tempted to suggest that she “get a life,” or, in this instance, a vaccine.

Al Rathbone
Victoria

Be responsible, get vaccinated

Re: “Discrimination over vaccinations,” letter, June 22.

For the past year and a half, my liberties have been seriously curtailed as I have joined hands with millions of Canadians to protect my countrymen/women.

It is my responsibility as both a Canadian and global citizen to bring an end to the horrific suffering this virus has caused around the world.

My rights or your rights are not at issue here. Caring for others in the midst of a global crisis is what is critical.

Please do the responsible thing and get vaccinated.

Wendy Ewing
Sidney

Sidewalks, paved roads are dangerous when hot

A veterinarian once told me that if a dog owner can comfortably place his/her palm on the sidewalk on a hot day, then it is safe to walk your dog on the sidewalk.

Sidewalks are scorching hot and it actually burns the pads on the dog’s feet. I’ve seen so many people walking their dogs at noon, when the temperature is approaching 25 degrees or higher.

Dogs and other animals don’t show they are in pain because it’s an instinct they are born with. To show weakness or pain might mean they become easy prey.

Keep your dog in the shade as much as possible and you can walk your dog on the grass on a boulevard, or take it to a park or walk your pet in the morning and ­evening when it’s not so hot.

Test the sidewalk temperature first if the temperature is still high. By placing your palm on the sidewalk you will be amazed at how hot it can get and you can save your pet from unnecessary suffering.

If your dog gets overheated, stand it in cool water, as it cools through its feet, and by panting, of course.

Jeanette Aubin
Victoria

Langford a sad legacy to tunnel vision

The moonscape formerly known as Langford is a testament to greed, lack of thoughtful planning and uneducated, unthinking and uncaring respect for our environment. It is a sad legacy due to the tunnel-vision ambition of that ­municipality’s leadership.

Jocelyn Skrlac
Victoria

Warn potential tourists about our gas prices

Once again, gas prices in the Victoria area have jumped up, and many stations are now above $1.60 per litre, much higher than most of the rest of the country.

The tourist sector would like to see a return of tourists to this area, but frankly the tourist bureau or similar organization have to give advanced warning to any potential visitors, that if they do visit once COVID restrictions are relaxed, they will be gouged at the pumps by prices of perhaps 40 to 50 cents per litre above those found in most other parts of Canada.

The greed of the gas retailers will certainly dampen any tourism revival.

Roel Hurkens
Victoria

Truth, reconciliation and hope for healing

The week of revelations from Kamloops of the burial site of 215 children at Canada’s largest residential school seemed like a national awakening and hard look in the mirror of history.

Wrestling with feelings of sorrow, shame, shock and fear, I offered to step down as celebrant at a wedding on a First Nation reserve that Saturday. Contacting the groom, I acknowledged that a white priest in the midst of such national ­scandal might not serve their community well.

Graciously, he declined and said: “Father, we need to be on this journey of healing together.”

In spite of wanting to crawl under a rock, I drove to the territory and while celebrating the marriage with joy, we also solemnly prayed for the lost children.

During the day, a man asked for a private chat as we walked along a forest road. He disclosed that he’d attended residential school and that it was hard to even talk about it.

I offered my sincere regret for harms inflicted and apologized for his losses. As we chatted he suddenly surprised me with “Father, can I have a hug?” We hugged. And at that moment, I sensed a miracle of truth, reconciliation, and ­healing for both of us.

While more can be done to be sure, I hope miracles of healing continue.

Fr. Dean N. Henderson
Pastor St. Rose of Lima, Sooke
Our Lady of the Rosary, Langford

Silly rules mean the store will close

I am full of sadness over Jack Knox’s column re garding the owner of Fan Tan Trading Post, Grathy Li.

Not sure what is worse. The silly rules regarding her situation with the ­government that only seems to know how to break rules for their friends and the connected? Or that she will lose her business that obviously she loves and had special meaning?

I am a local and I always shopped there for all kinds of neat things like sun umbrellas, slippers, dishes.

Guests of my home enjoyed the lovely slippers I offered to stay cosy as I bought a variety of sizes; I took the sun umbrellas with me as I travelled the world and the umbrellas were always a hit from Istanbul to Rome.

I will make sure to go and say goodbye.

Just another insensitive immigration issue!

Dorothy Pearson
Cordova Bay

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