Letters Sept. 15: Herd immunity vs. insanity; a holiday based on suffering

Herd immunity? We’re not there yet

At the outbreak of the current pandemic, everybody was encouraged to get vaccinated in order to create what was referred to as “herd immunity.”

Unfortunately, with large groups of placard-waving anti-vaxxers seeking prominence, we have instead created “herd insanity.”

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Danny Daniels

Maureen deserves a break, so let’s help her out

My friend, Maureen, has been a nurse for nearly 60 years. She took her nurse and midwife training in England. She’s worked as a nurse in the U.K., Bermuda, Northern Ontario, the Northwest Territories and British Columbia.

For the last 26 years, Maureen has worked on a Gulf Island in the clinic and doing home-care. Eleven years ago, she decided to retire. But, it can be challenging to fill nursing positions in small communities, so Maureen extended her nursing registration each year to continue to help where needed.

Then the pandemic hit and Maureen extended her nursing registration again to help vaccinate people. She is worried that there are still people who remain unvaccinated.

Maureen can’t stop caring for people. It is in her DNA.

Maureen will be 77 years old next month. Can everyone please get vaccinated so my friend, Maureen, can finally retire? She’s earned it.

Wanda Erikson

Freedoms are being attacked in so many ways

Watching the TV news at noon Monday I saw, yet again, nutbars who refuse to comply with the health minister’s plea to get the vaccine that may save the protesting protester’s life, impeding access to and from a hospital.

If these people are so convinced that the government wishes them harm, why do they not also protest, at fire halls, the need for fire alarms, hydrants and smoke alarms to be installed in commercial buildings and multiple housing units, or protest at cruise ship terminals against the need to attend lifeboat drills when on board as a cruise passenger; or how about at airports to protest against the need to buckle up on board an aircraft?

Seat-belts in vehicles are also designed to restrict movement, ergo, personal freedom also. Why no protest at ICBC offices over that?

Maybe aliens do walk among us!

Fully vaccinated, I may yet become bald from scratching my head trying to fathom their reasoning.

David Smith

Make Canada more equitable

Re: “We need a debate on our health emergency,” commentary, Sept 11.

We are at a pivotal moment and time is running out. If we intend to act on the climate emergency and the crises presently pushing our health-care system and the environment to the point of collapse, we must act now.

Here’s a modest proposal for a plan that is likely to succeed. Because there are many, many individuals, with incomes far greater than that enjoyed by middle class Canadians — e.g. doctors, scientists, celebrities, politicians, authors, environmentalists — that tell us they know what has to be done to save humanity and the environment, our government must make it possible for those individuals to establish, fund and implement much-needed action plans.

These funds, which no doubt would be quite sizable, could help low-income, environmentally concerned individuals purchase zero-emission electric cars; update inefficient, carbon-emitting heating systems; educate and retrain redundant workers for transitioning to eco-friendly jobs; fund health care; settle land claims and provide potable water to all First Nations communities.

Let’s make Canada a more equitable, sustainable and inhabitable place to live. The time for debate is over.

Ken Dwernychuk

A paid holiday based on the suffering of others

I have just read your article on Truth and Reconciliation Day being declared a paid holiday for federal employees and schools.

All of us need to take very seriously the terrible residential-school revelations, and we need to work very hard to gain trust and respect.

I can’t see how giving federal employees and schools a paid day off will help with truth and reconciliation issues. Does anyone really think that the employees will take the day to ponder how they can assist or contribute to reconciliation?

Do we really think that the Indigenous people in Canada will be grateful that a bunch of well-paid, pension-building, benefit-provided employees should benefit from their suffering? Did anyone ask them? How about we take the extra cost of this holiday and put it towards the boots-on-the-ground reconciliation that needs to be done.

Absolutely, let’s keep Sept. 30 as Truth and Reconciliation Day. Make it a day of awareness at your workplace, home and school. Contemplate what you can do.

But let’s not make this some kind of a paid holiday for a chosen few.

Don Beatty
Oak Bay

Some simple rules for travel by ferry

Wouldn’t it be a great and simple solution if ticket agents handed drivers a card with the following instructions:

Turn your car off in the terminal parking area, nobody else needs to be poisioned by the fumes from your car and climate change is an issue.

Open your windows if you’re hot, or wear a jacket if you’re cold. Others’ rights to health are more important.

Turn your car alarm off on the car deck. Take the time in the parking lot to read your owner’s manual to learn how to do this on your car model.

Park within a foot of the car in front on the ferry. Think of the people behind you.

Ken Mawdsley

Age is not meaningful in assessing candidates

While I appreciated the federal candidate-profile supplement “Who’s Running” included in the Thursday edition, I was troubled that, almost without exception, the opening sentence of each profile began with the candidate’s age.

Using age as a factor can perpetuate “age-ism,” stereotyping and erroneous assumptions, with attitudes that tend to discriminate against candidates at both ends of the demographic spectrum, younger and older.

The focus on age can do a disservice to the candidate and to the public.

Let’s please dispense with the pervasive question about age and find more meaningful and relevant characteristics by which to assess a candidate’s ability, qualifications and suitability to serve the public as an elected representative.

Cairine Green

Blue Jays outscore 14 NFL teams

The Toronto Blue Jays accomplished something quite remarkable on Sunday.

They scored 22 runs, outpacing every other major league baseball team on the day. They even outscored 14 of the 28 NFL teams playing that day. Not a feat many other baseball teams can claim.

S.I. Petersen

Can’t someone here handle the phone calls?

I have to share my disbelief at two recent phone interactions.

First, I called to get our vaccine passports processed and was pleased to wait only 10 minutes. I talked to a pleasant fellow and when I asked him where he was located, he said Calgary.

I am calling in B.C. to get my B.C. passport and am dealing with someone in Alberta, where they refuse to mandate vaccine passports and who have a high number of COVID cases mostly in unvaccinated people. Alberta!

Second, two calls came in today, and because the call display showed Ontario I didn’t answer them. A message was left for a member of my family as a reminder of an appointment at our hospital in B.C. for next week. Ontario!

What is wrong with B.C. that we have to contract out services to other provinces or countries? Do we not have people trained to do this work? If not, why not?

D.M. Gustafson, retired RN

They fought for our right to cast ballots

On Labour Day, I went online and requested my mail-in ballot for the upcoming federal election. It took less than a minute to request. My ballot arrived last week. I filled it out and mailed it off before noon. Too easy.

For those who are complaining about the election I say this: Our grandparents literally went to war to protect our right to vote and live in a free democracy.

If voting is too much of an inconvenience, then I recommend moving to Noeth Korea. Then you won’t have to worry about voting ever again.

Patrick Ferguson

Extendable dog leashes and distracted owners

I think it is time that extendable dog leashes are banned. Twice in two days I saw situations with dogs in the road.

The owner of one was walking on the sidewalk looking at her phone and the dog had wandered right into the traffic lane.

A second instance was on Beach Drive. The owner had crossed on a crosswalk, was walking away and the poor dog was still in the middle of the lane.

I and other people have seen such dangerous actions, and it won’t be long before some poor dog will be killed because the owner was walking ahead by a few feet or distracted by something else.

William Jesse


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