Letters May 20: Local businesses; grizzly bears; homework excuses

Encourage support for local businesses

Re: “Why are we being so slow to get people back to work?” Bob Plecas, May 17.

Bob Plecas asks a good question. We have been at “war” with the COVID-19 Virus and thanks to people like Dr. Bonnie Henry we have done a very good job in B.C. of containing the virus.

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The provincial government has set stringent rules and guidelines for businesses like restaurants and retailers to re-open. At the same time, they tell people to stay home. Instead, perhaps they should be encouraging people who are not in the vulnerable category to get out and support local businesses that have been significantly affected by COVID-19 and are now able to open.

If people don’t go out it will be a disaster for all businesses and the economy. The big winners will be the Amazons of the world leaving many British Columbians unemployed and many businesses closed.

I am 78 years old and very concerned about the younger people who are the lifeblood of our economy.

Doug Blair
Cobble Hill

A cultural service to Dutch community

Stimulated by one of the comment pieces written by small-business owners in the business section, I thought of another local business that has been innovative — the Wooden Shoe, a Dutch specialty shop on Quadra Street.

Not only is it a source of income for its owners, but also provides a longstanding cultural service to the large Dutch community of Victoria, at no time valued more than in these May days as the 75th anniversary of the liberation by Canadian soldiers is celebrated, sadly without the usual fervent enthusiasm, thanks to COVID-19.

The Wooden Shoe is where you can buy foodstuffs not easily secured elsewhere, a small selection of gifts and where books can be exchanged or bought.

Nowadays orders can be placed on the internet for pickup at set times on Saturdays.

The customer will find his order in a brown paper bag labelled with his or her name, and placed at the entrance on a table.

Alberdina Roosegaarde Bisschop
Victoria

In pandemic, other health issues forgotten

Some Times Colonist readers think that Dr. Bonnie Henry has done a good job of limiting the numbers of COVID-19 deaths relative to other jurisdictions, and they would be correct if that was the only priority of her job as provincial health officer for B.C.

But does not her job also include the health and welfare of those tens of thousands of people that were kicked off of the elective surgery list?

Can you even imagine the physical pain and mental suffering that these people are enduring?

This is made much worse as they know that there have been 4,700 empty hospital beds available for the past couple of months and only a hundred or so COVID-19 patients in hospitals around the province.

What about the physical and mental health of those women and children subjected to the great increase in domestic violence abuse.?

What about the significant increase in drug overdose deaths and suicides, aren’t these all health issues under her purview?

I could go on about the mental anguish many people are enduring because of lost jobs, lost businesses, etc. but it would make this letter too long to be published.

To sum up, I think she has been too focused on one aspect of the COVID-19 problem and much more consideration should have been given to these other COVID-19 caused health problems when she made the shut down rules.

Al Skiber
Parksville

Simple steps to keep infection numbers low

There’s a reason why B.C. has a low-infection numbers for COVID-19.

It is pretty simple actually.

Do as the experts say: Wear a mask, wash your hands often and thoroughly, and make sure you are careful in keeping at least six feet between yourself and others. These are not onerous.

I don’t blame, and am glad that there have been closures even though I would love to be able to go out.

Instead, I stay home.

I am not 80 years old, as is the letter writer who said he would take his chances.

All well and good, but that is not really looking out for anyone else, just yourself.

We have a duty and responsibility to look out for others.

One of the first things I learned years ago was, “A nation is judged by its least able.”

D.A. Moxley
Saanich

Grizzly bears on Vancouver Island

Re: “In rare sighting for Island, at least seven grizzly bears spotted near Sayward,” May 14.

I find it strange that people are wondering why grizzly bears are arriving on the northern end of Vancouver Island. With bear-viewing in Knight Inlet and anywhere there is a grizzly-bear population, and the resultant survival rate of cubs from these groups, there will be more.

Traditionally, most grizzly bear cubs do not survive to grow into adults. Large males, boars, usually kill the cubs to bring the mother back into heat and initiate breeding. Females, sows, have discovered that their cubs are safer around viewing areas as boars tend to be more solitary. That means more cubs needing more habitat.

Lots to eat on Vancouver Island: black bears, fish, deer, grasses and herbage — it is a good choice for new up and comers.

Bear encounters will increase and with that, the inevitable shooting of bears. Where are you going to relocate a trouble grizzly bear? Gold River or Winter Harbour? If they are relocated to an already used habitat, someone is going to die. Either the original or the relocated. That is the way it works.

Whatever is done to an ecosystem has results. This is the result of too many bears in too little space on the mainland.

Robert Tritschler
Parksville

Homework excuses in computer age

I conducted a parent/teacher interview with myself. It was a bit tense.

I struggled to find positive and encouraging things to say. So I went for a walk with the dog to clear my head.

On the walk, I came up with the obvious and classic solution to the problem. I need to get a bigger dog. My Shih Tzu is never going to be able to eat that computer.

Wanda Erikson
Nanaimo

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