Letters Sept. 24: Respect for Bonnie Henry; too difficult to get a COVID-19 test

Huge respect for Dr. Bonnie Henry

My wife and I stop everything and listen to Dr. Bonnie Henry when she is on the news. Why? Because she is trustworthy, intelligent and empathetic. She exudes a soft and gentle kindness that accompanies her straightforward delivery of full and relevant information.

She is a gem deserving respect and enormous gratitude.

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John Lang
Victoria

We are Canadians, so act like it

Dr. Bonnie Henry has given her heart and soul, as well as her professional expertise, to help us cope with COVID-19. The response she receives from some people is beyond shocking: verbal abuse and even death threats! The pandemic seems to have turned ordinary Canadians into monsters.

C.J. Crow
Brentwood Bay

It’s time to be calm, kind and safe

It is absolutely appalling that Dr. Bonnie Henry is receiving death threats. It is unacceptable!

You might not like what she says, that is your privilege, but it is not your privilege to threaten her, cause her to need protection in her home or to send nasty notes to her staff.

She, with the help of Adrian Dix, have kept COVID numbers in British Columbia very low. We are the envy of the rest of Canada.

And just maybe she has prevented someone you love from getting COVID or dying from COVID, by just following what she has asked us to do.

So listen up … be calm, be kind and be safe!

W.E. Morrison
Victoria

Island Health failing in its COVID response

It is unbelievable how ill-prepared Island Health is in testing for COVID-19. Dr. Bonnie Henry has been preparing us since the start that in all probability there will be a second surge of cases in the fall.

Was Island Health not listening or are the people in charge just incompetent?

Why were employees not recruited in advance to be ready in case more testing was needed?

People should not have to phone for three days to get through and then wait two more days to be tested. This makes me wonder how many new cases we will have while people are unsure because there is no contact tracing until they get tested.

Island Health gets an F from me.

Eileen Cannon
Victoria

Make it easier to get COVID test

This is as puzzling as it is dangerous. My husband came down with fever, chills, blistering headache and weakness in his limbs two days ago. It lasted for barely 12 hours. He feels fine today.

Doing due diligence, he called 811, the COVID-19 line, answered all the questions and was told that he should be tested and should call 844‑901-8442 for an appointment.

We have been trying to connect with a live person at that number every 20 minutes or so since yesterday morning, and the recorded message each time indicates we should call back later, before disconnecting.

My husband finally drove to the Cook Street testing centre where the guard at the gate indicated that there could be no testing without an appointment.

And there was hardly anyone there in the lineup. No wonder the cases on Vancouver Island are so low – it’s impossible to get tested!

Jan Jeffers
Victoria

No masks? Then they should pay a fine

I find it interesting, and encouraging to hear these students were fined for partying with no social distancing.

However, according to the Centre of Disease Control, our biggest weapon against this virus is wearing masks. A small price to pay to help in the fight.

Why not fines for not wearing masks?

As a second wave is predicted, and is indeed already happening in Ontario and Quebec, why are masks not mandatory? What are we waiting for?

Wilma Sayer
Courtenay

Premier’s election call is opportunism

Premier John Horgan’s reasoning for calling an election during the raging pandemic is completely unconvincing at best. The decision smacks of rank opportunism and shakes our trust in his sincerity. It is similar to some one selling a roll of toilet paper for $10 at a roadside stand and calling it public service.

I guess hypocrisy is not the sole prerogative of Republican politicians in the United States.

Surinder Kumar
Victoria

There’s no need for costly election

I have never been happier with a provincial government than I am now. I voted for a four-year term and there are no controversial issues.

There is no need for a costly election. I shall stay home.

Michael Rogers
Nanaimo

Just say no to a commuter ferry

A commuter ferry between Colwood and downtown is a terrible idea. Let me count the ways:

1. Only one-third of the commuter trips from the West Shore end up downtown. The rest travel to the hospitals, post-secondary schools and any number of locations. Such a service is useless to two-thirds of West Shore commuters.

2. Travelling to Royal Bay is a major detour for most West Shore commuters. A massive supply of parking would be needed in Royal Bay, something not called for in current plans. Travellers would also need to be transported from their downtown harbour drop-off to their final destination.

3. Such a ferry would travel at reduced speeds for much of the voyage. The exposure to the open ocean would make for a very uncomfortable ride on windy days.

The budget for such a project would be much better spent completing a rapid transit route from downtown to Langford via Uptown, the Trans-Canada Highway and the Island Highway.

Edward Pullman
Saanich

Save money, just amalgamate

Here’s a thought about Victoria council’s idea of recuperating costs incurred when there department assists Esquimalt and Oak Bay fire departments:

City of Victoria amalgamates with both these municipalities, eliminating two mayors and councils. With the savings, this should cover any future costs with fire fighting.

Problem solved.

Steve Harvey
Saanich

Plenty of open space at Ogden Point

If camping must be an option for now, then how about those empty parking lots not being used now? How about Ogden Point for example? I don’t expect to see any cruise ships in the immediate future.

The use of our parks, especially Beacon Hill Park, is not a solution.

Helen Goodchild
Victoria

Provide recovery route from addiction

Re: “Harm reduction is harm enablement,” letter, Sept. 22

The letter writer may misunderstand what harm reduction entails including its goals. Harm reduction aims to keep addicts or other drug users alive so that they can get “treatment” as recommended by the writer. Obviously treatment has to be applied to living addicts or drug users.

The need for harm reduction was advocated by addicts and a group of mainly young women on Vancouver Island.

If it were fully implemented, B.C. would not record more deaths from drug overdose than from COVID-19 as happened last month.

What it provides is a safe site for addicts to inject opioids or cocaine. Street drugs frequently contain unknown amounts of highly potent opioids like fentanyl.

Injections of unexpected very potent opioids when addicts are alone were the main cause of fatalities.

In a safe injection site, nurses are present and can reverse opioid overdose with naloxone, an opioid antagonist.

An auxiliary way to prevent opioid overdose is to provide addicts with a safe dose of an opioid, often not a potent drug like fentanyl. This is the first step to treatment. And that is what harm reduction aims to do.

Keep addicts alive and provide a route to recovery from addiction. Obviously, not every addict responds to harm reduction with treatment and recovery, but he/she will remain alive for another chance.

As a recovered addict to nicotine in cigarettes, I know how hard it is to overcome addiction and I appreciate the need for giving opioid addicts a chance to live and eventually recover.

Dr. Edwin E. Daniel, FRSC
Professor emeritus of pharmacology University of Alberta and McMaster University
Victoria

Yes to electric cars, but no to hydrogen cars

The City of Victoria is to be commended for installing six charge stations for electric vehicles on Broad Street.

Not only are electric vehicles more efficient than gasoline-powered vehicles, they produce no greenhouse gasses or other air pollutants. Moreover, charging stations do not cost a million dollars each as will the 10 hydrogen fueling stations the province has approved for installation across B.C.

While hydrogen fuel cells themselves do not produce greenhouse gasses or other air pollutants, the production of hydrogen for fuel cells produces as much greenhouse gas as would the burning of methane.

The reason is because hydrogen for fuel cells is produced by compressing methane gas with water and a catalyst at a high temperature. One molecule of carbon dioxide is produced for every molecule of hydrogen used in a fuel cell. An additional amount of carbon dioxide is produced in heating the reactants to create the hydrogen.

Climate scientists agree that the principal cause of the wildfires in California, Oregon, and Washington (could British Columbia be next?) is global warming due to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide.

So why is the province financing hydrogen fueling stations? Is it just another way to subsidize the fossil fuel industry?

Harvey Williams
Victoria

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