Canada Today's letters: Vaccinate health-care heroes now

15:40  08 may  2021
15:40  08 may  2021 Source:   ottawacitizen.com

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Get these health-care heroes vaccinated now

a man standing in front of a brick wall: Dr. Michael Herman is an emergency physician at Queensway Carleton Hospital who, like many front-line heath care workers, has not received his second dose of vaccine. © Provided by Ottawa Citizen Dr. Michael Herman is an emergency physician at Queensway Carleton Hospital who, like many front-line heath care workers, has not received his second dose of vaccine.

Re: Partially vaccinated, working in ER: Calls grow to give second doses to front-line health workers, May 5.

I was shocked to read that ER doctors have not received a second

vaccination. All that empty talk about our “front line heroes,” stories

of how they have separated themselves from family to avoid spreading the

virus, the stress and PTSD from the exceptional conditions they face — and

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they are not given priority for an optimum vaccine protocol?

We are importing health-care workers from Newfoundland because ours are burning out, and the number of COVID patients is increasing. It seems completely counterintuitive that we are not giving maximum protection to the workers who are keeping our system functioning in extreme circumstances. It should be top priority to get these doctors and nurses fully vaccinated now.

Elaine Petermann, Nepean

These workers should be top priority

What are we missing here? All ER personnel and nursing home staff should have been at the top of the priority list for full vaccinations. If they are not protected fully, the system collapses. The government responses at all levels have been questionable; the time to get something right has long gone.

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Ron Rollo, Kanata

Making them wait for a second shot is criminal

Why should anyone working with COVID-positive patients, from doctors to janitors, have to wait to be fully vaccinated? They should be top of the list.

Whoever makes the rules, for God’s sake wake up. Making these people wait for a second shot is criminal.

Linda Henderson, Orléans

Nurses need that second vaccine quickly

Re: ‘We are scared’: Nurses plead to be fully vaccinated, May 3.

There are no words to describe what I felt reading this story, in which a nurse warns, “We will start dropping like flies.”  I feel shock, dismay, incredulity, bewilderment and shame that our provincial government is ignoring our front-line health workers’ pleas in such a dismissive manner.

Nurses, of all people, should all have received their second doses of vaccine by now; it is a question of life and death, not only for them but for all their colleagues,  patients, families and anyone with whom they come into contact.

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Unknown at this time are the effects of the stress, extreme fatigue and the distress of witnessing suffering and agonizing deaths, etc. Are the nurses offered, at this time, psychological, moral and physical support? It is, without doubt, the least we could offer them, they who do so much for all of us.

Nicole Perron, Ottawa

I can wait for my second vaccine

What is wrong with this picture? Front-line health-care workers — those doctors, nurses and paramedics putting their lives on the line every day, staring down the risk of COVID to provide treatment and comfort to the stricken — are pleading for their second vaccine.

They are the heroes. And here I sit, three weeks after my first Moderna shot, safely isolated in my home, venturing out, masked, only as necessary — and that’s my sole contribution to this pandemic effort.

So many wrong decisions have occurred as we all struggle through this unknown. Let’s get this one critical decision right.  All health-care heroes should promptly march to the front of the line and get their full immunization before putting their lives at risk one more day.

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I can wait for my second vaccination until this happens.

Mary Lou Fisher, Ottawa

Retired nurses can still give a needle

I nursed in mental health the  last 20 years of my career, so in April of 2020, I sent Volunteer Ottawa and Volunteer Ontario my qualifications. Since I was over 70, I wanted to volunteer for a virtual position: perhaps answering mental health calls or making calls. I worked for the Crisis Team at the Ottawa Hospital for years, so I imagined that my “people skills” were of benefit.

For the last year, I have had emails from the aforementioned organizations but they were all about delivering groceries to seniors.

As I sit in lockdown, I think about what a waste it is, of retired nurses who could be put to use in a virtual way. Now, with one vaccination under our belt, we could be of use in an even more productive manner — perhaps giving our fellow nurses time for a breather. We are older, but we can still give a needle.

Heather Cameron Pettipas, Kanata

Boomers signed up for AstraZeneca in droves

Re: Let’s clear up the confusion over talk of a ‘preferred’ vaccine, May 5.

I have great respect for the opinions of Raywat Deonandan. But as a baby-boomer, I was thus all the more disappointed to see him repeat a complaint tweeted to him that “it’s like the Boomers made GenX accept all the risks while keeping the ‘good stuff’ for themselves.”

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This is just not true. Initially the AstraZeneca vaccine was limited to adults 55 and older. This was to protect younger cohorts while the safety of the vaccine was being evaluated. Given that the youngest members of the boomer cohort were born in 1965, making them now around 56, AstraZeneca was aimed squarely at them, and they responded by signing up in droves.

Lots of my friends and family members in this age group have received this vaccine eagerly. One friend even took part in the initial trials in Britain.

Repeating this misinformation about boomers feeds into a narrative of grievance against a whole segment of the population and will increase the existing resentment against older adults. Members of the general public have no say in the recommendations of NACI or the design of the vaccine rollout.

Louise D. Stephens, Gloucester

Too bad our political leaders don’t get it

Re: COVID-19 — How Ontario fell into the myth of the balanced response, April 28.

Many thanks to Raywat Deonandan for his insightful and useful article last Saturday. Such a shame that the “minds” in the Ontario cabinet couldn’t grasp this advice and these truths when they were presented to them. Ontario would be in far better shape right now had the advice been followed.

Mary Rosebrugh, Nepean

Blockade Pearson Airport, Premier Ford

Re: COVID-19: Ford repeats calls for tighter borders, April 30.

Premier Doug Ford is right to demand that Pearson Airport be closed. Why are people allowed to come visit family here when we residents are supposed to stay home? I know travellers come for other reasons also but none should be allowed as our health care struggles.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government controls Pearson but to close it now would be to admit this should have been done 14 months ago. Trudeau has never taken responsibility for any errors.

So is Ford powerless? No: Trudeau controls Pearson but Ford controls all the roads that connect to it. All he has to do is blockade them and allow only freight in or out.

William Vanveen, Kemptville

He cares about the airlines more than us

So on the one hand, the prime minister wants us all to vaccinate, calling it “the best way to end the pandemic.” On the other hand, he has steadfastly refused the call to shut down international airports, which have been flooding the country with infectees since Day One. That would have been “the best way to prevent the pandemic.”

Doesn’t that sound to you like he cares a lot more about the airlines than he cares about you and me?

Jack Pyl, Ottawa

Let these women and their children come home

Re: Canada must repatriate women and children from prison camps, May 3 .

Whatever people think of women (usually very young women) leaving Canada to go fight with ISIL, think also of what it was like to be young.

There is a reason that our justice system deals with under-age people more forgivingly than adults. Young people do stupid, thoughtless things. Should they, and their children, have to suffer forever for a stupid mistake made at age 16 or 17?

The women described in this article could come back to Canada and be surveilled carefully to make sure that they pose no danger. Their children could go to school here and be productive, normal Canadian kids. In contrast, bad influences in the camps, where they are surrounded by terrorists from Iraq and Syria, will only produce a new generation of terrorists, who can claim Canadian citizenship.

Remember what it was like to be young and stupid; forgive these women their trespasses against the West and let them, and their children, come home.

NHL's COVID protocol-related absences for May 14, 2021

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Valerie Burton, Ottawa

Biden has advantages over some presidents

Re: Biden has a big agenda, but very little room to manoeuvre, May 5.

I always read with much delight Andrew Cohen’s articles on U.S. politics, including his superb review of the obstacles faced by Joe Biden in implementing his agenda.

Biden has advantages that probably other presidents did not have: unassailable strength gained from unbelievable personal family tragedies; in-depth knowledge of the congressional forces at play gained from long experience; a more diversified U.S. population likely to view policy benefits as untouchable, and — not least but so powerful — age, which gives old-timers like Biden a “go for it” attitude, a last chance to make a difference.

Thank you for keeping us up to date on our neighbour, Mr. Cohen.

Lucie Laliberté, Ottawa

The spectre of Trump still looms large

Andrew Cohen’s otherwise sound analysis of President Joe Biden’s agenda contains one major flaw and at least one important omission. The flaw lies in his use of life expectancy at birth (78). A 78-year-old U.S. male today has an average life expectancy of 88. At any rate, should the president become incapacitated or die, a very capable vice-president, Kamala Harris, would become president.

The omission is how Donald Trump, who lost the presidency and the Senate for the Republicans, continues to dominate their party. I believe it’s fear that radical left-wing Democrats will drive Biden’s agenda. The president should steer a moderate course to ensure that Trumpism does not make a comeback.

Tony Manera, Kanata

NCC just wants a tourist trolley

Re: So far, the NCC’s doing a better planning job than Ottawa Council, April 27.

Randall Denley’s praise for NCC planning leaves out the most important point: public consultation.

The city of Ottawa has a committee system that gives residents a chance to participate. The NCC “puppet” board is told what to do. Blocking off Wellington Street may be good for the NCC but what about access for seniors? No more drive-by views of the Peace Tower or Christmas lights? Is the front lawn not big enough for the public?

Be honest. The intent is to establish a trolley system for tourists. That is fine, but Gatineau residents need rapid transit. How about we redesign the NCC governance model instead?

Peter Harris, Ottawa former Ottawa city councillor

How will NCC make Ottawa River more accessible?

Re: City branding guru brings tough love to municipal summit, April 30.

I would be very interested to hear more about NCC CEO Tobi Nussbaum’s “goal of making the shorelines more accessible, especially along the Ottawa River.”

I regularly walk along the Ottawa River from the Ottawa New Edinburgh Club to where Green’s Creek empties into the river and would have to agree with the assessment of inaccessibility. Over this approximately 10-km route, only two locations offer safe access to the water: Blair Road launch site (free) or the Rockcliffe Yacht Club.

Furthermore, many parking lots along the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway serve to access the bike path and the river path. Those hoping to launch a canoe, paddle board or kayak from any of these lots would need to be part-mountain goat to get over the large rocks that edge the shoreline.

Mark Shulist, Gloucester

Atlantic battle should have been mentioned

Re: Kap’yong — What Canada learned from the first hot battle of the Cold War, April 24.

It was surprising to see that the Citizen, on the first weekend of May which is set aside to commemorate the Battle of the Atlantic, chose to ignore one of the most important battles of the Second World War in favour of a story on the Korean War. Without detracting from the conflict in Korea, the Atlantic battle, the longest fought during the war, certainly deserves at least a passing mention.

The battle began on the first day of the war, Sept. 3, 1939, with the sinking of the Donaldson passenger liner Athenia en route to Montreal, and ended on the last day of the war, May 8, 1945 when a German aircraft was fired upon by HMS Dido.

During the battle, 36,200 Royal Navy sailors and 32,000 British and Allied merchant seamen died. Canadian and Newfoundland losses were 2,000 men of the Royal Canadian Navy, 1,600 merchant seamen and 752 Royal Canadian Air Force aircrew. A total of 3,500 merchant ships and 175 naval vessels were sunk, while on the opposing side, 783 German submarines were sunk and out of the 40,000 sailors of the U-Boat service, a staggering 30, 000 perished.

Winston Churchill declared the Battle of the Atlantic to be the only battle, which if lost, would have resulted in total allied defeat. Battle of Atlantic Day surely warrants acknowledgment.

Charles Morton, Manotick

NHL's COVID protocol-related absences for May 14, 2021 .
Players in the COVID protocol are: St. Louis' Jake Walman and Nathan Walker, and Washington's Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilya Samsonov.St.

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