Letters Sept. 21: Can we learn from a stressful pandemic?; loss of handicapped access

Find healthy ways to cope with stress

Kindness. Remember that word? It hasn’t appeared much on these pages in the last several months. The stress and tension of the pandemic is taking its toll on all of us — some more than others.

The answer to coping with that anxiety, though, doesn’t lie in spewing hatred and rage at people who have a different point of view. The reality is every one of us has a different point of view. No two people are alike.

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The answer to one’s anxiety and stress is to point the finger back at ourselves and deal with our own personal issues and fears.

Blaming others for our own anger, rage and circumstances is pointless because what does it serve? Are other people likely to change because you are angry? No. All it does is fuel your own energy field with destructive and life-depleting energies. This is how disease happens.

As a society, we are being given an opportunity to grow up. The pandemic has made all of us look at the issue of death, our own and those who we care about.

Our own raw feelings can be uncomfortable, but the only way out is to find healthy ways to cope with them. Seeking professional help, taking care of your own body with an adequate amount of exercise, healthy eating choices, and some kind of a calming mind discipline like yoga, meditation, or t’ai chi can help diffuse and/or reduce ­considerably the outpouring of strong emotional ­imbalances.

Learn to feel good about yourself and your life instead of pointing fingers at others, who you have no power to change. The answer lies inside of you, not ­outside of you. You are the only one you can change.

John Lennon once said: “Life is what happens when you’ve made other plans.” The pandemic has proven him true. The question is, do we have what it takes to grow and evolve into a greater possibility for ourselves?

Lia Fraser

Making life harder during the pandemic

I went to meet my family for lunch. The parking spot close to the restaurant, formerly designated for those with ­disabilities, was occupied with seating for restaurant patrons as per a previous provincial mandate that ordered outdoor dining only.

I parked in a “normal” spot and had a heck of a time trying to get myself and my walker over the parking blocks.

Last week I had to go to Sidney, only to find a space previously designated for those with handicaps now reserved for those with electric vehicles.

I could not find a space near the store, so I just went home not wanting to expend the herculean effort it would take for me to use my walker for several blocks.

I think it’s fantastic that restaurants adapted their service to accommodate both the law and their customers. I think is wonderful that municipalities reward those who choose to have less of a footprint on our planet.

But I think it is so unfortunate that a demographic that already struggles to navigate an able-bodied world pays the price.

I don’t want the next crisis/progressive technology to take away more small things that make my life a smidgen easier. I hope that future forward thinking makes the community more inclusive, not less.

Sara Hansen
Brentwood Bay

We should have helped the province next door

Shame on our provincial government for refusing to help our sister province, Alberta, with their COVID crisis in ­hospitals.

I wonder what help Alberta will ­provide the next time we have an ­emergency with forest fires.

It is during this critical time we should stand together.

Trudy Aldridge

Make Sept. 30 a meaningful day

I am in full agreement with the recent letter: The Day for Truth and Reconciliation is an opportunity to help children learn what is sadly missing from our history lessons!

A day off is just a day off. The significance of what it is for will probably not have much of an impact, if at all.

What the children bring home from a school day of learning and experiencing by participation, will filter up to parents. Truth and reconciliation are only achievable by learning, and by interacting, not by closing schools for the day.

I hope the governments will reconsider the “holiday,” and declare Sept. 30 to be Truth and Reconciliation Day, and ­support a full program in the schools on that day that will include Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants.

We all need to be educated to make truth and reconciliation a reality. Please make this an education day, not a ­meaningless day off.

Perhaps federal workers who might get this day off could agree to ­volunteer to be a part of the school program. I would hate to see this day becoming just another long weekend to head off ­somewhere.

Linda Jones

Emergency sirens are not bad habits

Re: “Stop using sirens, try tinkling a bell,” letter, Sept. 18.

The writer errs twice.

Firstly, accusing emergency responders of “a bad habit of those in power to make themselves heard.”

Secondly, demanding that “city ­governance ban the use of sirens once and for all.”

The B.C. Motor Vehicle Act, {122 (1)} permits drivers of specified emergency vehicles to exceed the speed limit, ­proceed past a red traffic control signal or stop sign without stopping, disregard rules and traffic control devices only if {122 (2)} they act in accordance with the Emergency Vehicle Driving Regulation 5 (1) (i) which requires an emergency light and siren.

Using a siren while in a high-speed emergency response is not a “bad habit by those in power,” it is compliance with the law.

A municipal bylaw cannot supersede provincial legislation, so emergency sirens cannot be banned by the city.

If sirens disturb you, don’t blame the responders and don’t blame the ­municipality. Lobby your MLA to amend provincial law.

Perhaps one may take comfort knowing the responders are complying with the law when they are rapidly responding to the emergency at your house.

G.D. Calder, fire chief (ret’d)

Don’t expect the U.S. to help with cruise ships

Imploring U.S. governments to not repeal an antiquated law, requiring a foreign port stop between stops at American ports, will be a waste of effort. Look how well that worked for the Keystone ­pipeline.

We were rude to Alaskans in the manner in which we implemented the ban, so don’t expect sympathy from them.

Better to market Victoria to the cruise lines based on its own merits. Or, perhaps kill two birds with one stone and entice them with free shore power.

Richard Savard

Cruise ship choices all about business

While the loss of revenue from cruise ships not stopping at Ogden Point is ­certainly very significant, the way we go about rectifying it seems laughable.

We have no “cruise ship industry,” as the participants claim. We have only been riding the coattail of an old U.S. law for ships travelling between the U.S. mainland and Alaska, that mandates their ­stopping in Victoria (or Vancouver) for our significant financial benefits.

Is it the best we can do to cry foul and attempt to change the minds of American lawmakers to keep the old system?How about making stops in Victoria so ­attractive to the cruise ship companies that they will come here, even if not required by maritime law?

How about approaching those companies directly and engage in dialogue? Perhaps we would have to cut back on some of the negative commentary about pollution and traffic, and come up with incentives to sweeten the pot.

We could also play hardball and threaten to close the Inside Passage between the mainland and Vancouver Island to cruise ships. We are talking about business and economics; it would be best not to involve politics.

George Zador

Assault of police chief not civilized behaviour

Saturday’s assault on Victoria Police Chief Del Manak is one more demonstration of an ever-growing population of our citizens who don’t give one twit about civilized behaviour.

Add this bunch of hooligans to anti-maskers, homeless park invaders and those who like to run red lights. What a disgusting lot we are becoming.

And what then does our eminent ­judicial system do to impress both the attackers and general population to at least behave themselves? It releases them, within hours of their arrest, on their own recognizance of course because surely those who would assault a police chief are not a risk to the public.

What hogwash.

Michael Poyntz
Mayne Island

The smartest ones will be survivors

In 1864, Herbert Spencer used the term “survival of the fittest.” In his day that meant the strongest would survive.

I suggest the term now means the ­fittest are the ones who are the smartest and the ones who don’t see a conspiracy with all the science that we are seeing with COVID-19.

In a world where we can’t get two countries to agree about anything, all of a sudden every medical professional, every scientist and all governments around the world are talking about COVID.

Isn’t it amazing that all these people in all these different fields and countries have all agreed to lie to the people of the world. Amazing.

I personally feel that the human race is a failure on this planet we live on. Let the birds and animals have it, we are not worthy.

Carol Dunsmuir

They have freedom, they have consequences

The passport protesters and anti-vaxxers complaining about the loss of freedom seem to have their moral choices ass backwards.

They do have freedom not to get vaccinated and congregate among themselves; however, the 85 per cent of the the rest of us have the right not to associate with or suffer COVID due to their choices. They elected not to get the vaccine and should not complain or be surprised if they are shunned.

I suspect most if not all have had measles, chicken pox, polio and whooping cough shots in the past. The health of society is the greater good, not the protestations of an uninformed minority.

Chris Sheldon

Contempt of court has lost its meaning

It wasn’t too many years ago that ­contempt of court meant something.

In my lifetime, when loggers and sawmill workers were off the job on a legal strike, it wasn’t long before the police arrived and arrested anyone blocking the road to logging camps and in front of the gates of the sawmills.

They were taken away and put in the lock-up for a few hours before being brought before a judge. There was no catch-and-release in those days. The judge, in no uncertain terms, told the offenders not to block company access again. If they did it again, justice was swifter, jail again, this time longer and then up before the judge.

This is where contempt of court meant something. Judges don’t like to be insulted because it defied the dignity of judges, the courts, its officers and the legal system.

Society and the law needed to be protected from the likes of these lawless strikers. Besides having an angered lecture from a judge, it also might mean automatic jail time and a fine that worker on a legal strike often could not pay.

There was no Facebook begging for donations or professional fundraising in those days, getting instant freedom.

Now, however, the courts are so ­lenient the lawbreakers go back and break the law, and contempt of court, again and again knowing those three words is ­meaningless.

Not only do they ignore the courts and law, they add to the work load to police trying to uphold the law.

So why is it that some years ago the term contempt of court meant more to the judges and prosecutors than it does today? Maybe, because we were seen as commie-pinko-radicals halting the wheels of industry.

Now it seems, the let’s-save-a-tree ­people are children and grannies from very good families and need to be treated differently. I hope not.

Ken McEwan

We must stop logging at Fairy Creek

At Fairy Creek, Premier John Horgan claims, no logging is happening now. How I wish that were true. In fact, extensive logging and road-building continue.

In his last election, Horgan promised to stop cutting old growth. So much for promises. After this summer’s heat dome and the fires that have ravaged central B.C. — drive the Coquihalla if you want to see for yourself — Horgan’s promises don’t mean much.

Horgan asks protesters to go home. Does he not understand the protesters’ deep commitment to protect Vancouver Island’s last old growth?

Current research shows that old growth trees are the very best carbon sink we have. And that’s what we’re ­losing at Fairy Creek.

The horrific heat will only get worse if we don’t turn this ship around, if we don’t stop logging Fairy Creek, if we don’t stop the logging of our almost-gone old growth.

Dorothy Field


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