Letters Oct. 22: Cruise ship problems; great health care; public toilets

Cruise ships bring many problems

Again the cruise ships, all 315 dockings, are planning their arrival on the shores of Victoria Breakwater District for the 2021 season.

Some will welcome them with joy, seeing the so-called economic value.

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Will the economic value only benefit a few, and instead leave behind a huge health debt to our city and province?

What will they leave behind for our us to deal with?

These ships are not safe to protect passengers from getting COVID-19. They seem to be floating petri dishes. It doesn’t matter how many times they clean the ships, the virus still survives and thrives. This virus knows no borders and spreads faster than countries can keep up.

When a proposed million passengers come ashore, will they leave behind more than just money?

Will our hospitals be able to handle the outbreaks that may occur from over a million cruise ship visitors from other countries landing on our shore?

Will the cost of treating sick Victoria residents that get infected from foreign visitors out weigh the economic value?

Will there be value to our city to unload all their foreign garbage that we have been processing from these ships, even though none of it originates from here?

Until these questions are answered, we must weigh if it is reasonable to welcome these cruise ships to our area.

Linda Klein
Victoria

Great health care — and at the end, no bill

I fell and fractured my hip Sept. 11. View Royal paramedics whisked me to Victoria General Hospital where we joined others in seven ambulances waiting for care in order of seriousness. On admittance I was given pain medication to make me comfortable, had X-rays taken and surgery scheduled for the next morning.

Due to complications I was in hospital until Sept. 30. During my stay I observed the army of health workers necessary to care for the many hospital patients — cleaning staff, food services, aids, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists and doctors.

There were X-rays and CT scans. Staff work masked and gloved with smiles and words of encouragement. I left hospital glad to be going home, armed with instructions and an appointment with a physiotherapist.

One thing I didn’t get was a bill! Thank you B.C. Medical – and thank you health care workers.

Audrey Langen
Saanich

A great need, but no place to go

Whoever’s job it is to ensure that all citizens in the Capital Regional District have “a place to go” should get a move on. Now is the time to ensure there are more clean, conveniently located public toilets in the community accessible to all.

After all, toilets are needed by young and old. And now more than ever, it’s near impossible to locate convenient public bathroom facilities.

Why are public bathrooms important?

Well, how about to take care of our basic bodily functions. The ­average person goes to the bathroom six to eight times a day. That’s a lot of pit stops per day.

Another reason is to support the local economy. How many people make decisions to shop or not based on toilet availability? Lots.

And what about mental health? We crave and seek social contact now more than ever. Yet it’s often hit and miss finding a bathroom when out for coffee.

It costs cities more to not have bathrooms. The stats are there. Yet, we’ve gotten so used to not having public bathrooms, we’ve become apathetic. We expect it. How very sad!

Perhaps a bathroom revolution is in order. We need bathroom justice for all.

Bathrooms are not a convenience! They are a necessity!

The CRD or whoever would like to sponsor public washrooms for everyone, take note of the best, innovative public toilets around: Stockholm, Zurich, Shanghai, Tokyo. It’s time for a movement!

Sandra Jacobsen
Victoria

Question politicians and demand better

News of ongoing forestry protests and blockades sparked some reflections:

Killing a people is genocide. Forbidding their language and customs is cultural genocide.

So, why would clearcutting more than 97 per cent of the large old-growth trees in Vancouver Island’s valleys be considered “business as usual”?

Reconciliation with First Nations cannot fully ­succeed without reconciliation with our treatment of the natural environment. The two are inextricably linked.

Truly sustainable alternatives to clearcutting exist: community-based eco-forestry of second growth can employ more people than cutting down non-renewable ancient forests ever will.

Question your politicians and demand better.

Question the investments of your pension funds, financial institutions, charities, post-secondary institutions, etc.

If enough of us question them, they’ll start questioning themselves or become irrelevant.

It’s time for a transition … time for life to flourish, not perish, on the island we call home.

Angus Argyle
Saanich

 

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