Letters March 20: Nurses’ vital roles; parks are to be enjoyed, not avoided

Nurses are vital at vaccinations

Re: “What to expect at your vaccination appointment,” March 13.

The COVID-19 vaccine clinic ­article was informative and helpful in the description of the vaccination process.

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However, I was surprised to read absolutely no mention of the people involved, in other words, the nurses, along with other allied health-care professionals.

You will not just receive your vaccination from a “vaccination station,” you will probably receive it from a nurse.

Public health nurses are also the leads in the daily ­co-ordination and logistics of the clinics, from supplies to staff scheduling to the flow of people through the clinic.

At the vaccine clinic, the ­immunizing nurse will provide a comprehensive screening assessment, which includes ­relevant questions about any health ­conditions and allergies.

The nurse will answer your questions and any concerns, immunize you, enter your vaccine information into the database and give you your vaccine card.

In the article, there is a reference to monitoring by “medical staff” after the immunization.

Typically, it is a nurse who will be monitoring people and who will provide expert care if needed for any adverse side effects, which are rare.

This is an important ­distinction as “medical” is not synonymous with ­“nursing,” and to use the two words ­interchangeably makes the contribution of nursing largely invisible in the public eye.

Nursing knowledge and ­expertise contributes to every aspect of the mass vaccination clinic experience.

Nurses are real and ­visible in the process, so please ­acknowledge our presence and value!

Patricia R. Woods, MSN, RN
Qualicum Beach

Like Rip Van Winkle, everything changed

Friday, March 13, 2020, was a normal working day that turned abnormal.

Sick that night, needed emergency surgery. Eight days later released from hospital.

I felt like Rip van Winkle waking to a different planet. No cars, no shops, no aeroplanes.

It won’t be forgotten.

Peter Houghton

Optional compliance is not the answer

On March 7, there were 21 tents situated in the environmentally sensitive area around the public washroom at the south end of Cook Street.

Since then, four commercial dumpsters have been dropped off at this location, loaded and removed. Yet today there are 26 tents, even though we are being told the people are moving into housing.

At the last Victoria city ­council meeting, 24/7 camping was extended to the end of April. What we find worrisome is that a number of councillors clearly expressed they would support the motion only if we continue the practice of ­asking people to leave the park and not forcing them to leave.

“We do not to want cause any additional stress in their lives,” was what I heard one councillor say.

Regular fights, swear words yelled out 24/7, break-ins, ­property damage and theft of property. Now, how often are the police outside in a day?

Yet the people in the camp can openly drink, smoke and take their drugs. Get their meals ­delivered to their tents, laundry pickup and fresh coffee and donuts 24/7. Exempt from bylaws and other laws as well.

Why would they want things to change or leave? This is not wise compassion or helping vulnerable people. What we are saying is, we hope you are enjoying our park and we are here to support you.

Voluntary compliance doesn’t work. Parks are to be enjoyed, not avoided. The province needs to intervene. Why isn’t council following the Official Community Plan?

Wayne Hollohan

Time for scooter lanes on sidewalks

I am an aging casual mobility scooter rider becoming more and more aware of the numbers of pedestrians using sidewalks. Alarming to say the least.

Furthermore, many dawdle along almost completely oblivious to scooter riders. One day there could be a serious accident ­causing personal injury.

Mayor Lisa Helps and ­Victoria city council are pushing for more and more bike lanes. Might I ­suggest that equal consideration be given to creating mobility scooter lanes on city sidewalks?

Graeme Roberts
Brentwood Bay

Alternative routes all have problems

A map shows that Richardson Street is the logical main artery for much of Fairfield and Oak Bay to get to downtown for cars and bikes. Residents need council to keep this functional, and the current plans do not do that.

The city planners state bike lanes will work “by diverting cars to nearby streets.” Fairfield Road with the plaza congestion, two schools and a traffic light is such a nearby street.

Another nearby route is Fort Street and Oak Bay Avenue, though already busy. Another nearby street is Gonzales Avenue, but it is to be closed to cars, so another direct route to downtown will be blocked.

I see many walkers and joggers on the Gonzales hill but never a bike, too steep, and yet no sidewalks. Why block this side street too? What problem is being solved?

Why do council and planners support more cul-de-sacs by design and force more traffic onto few and fewer roads while aggressively approving higher density and logically accelerating traffic to gridlock?

Perhaps if enough of the soon-to-be-inconvenienced citizens of Fairfield and Oak Bay residents write to Victoria city councillors and ask them to put the plan on hold, something more workable will emerge. Councillors might use more common sense, hit the pause button and actually consult — and we all will get a better plan than that now approved.

Mike Fenger
Foul Bay Road


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