Today’s letters: Dropping masks in some health-care settings is followed

Saturday, April 22: Keep those face coverings in hospitals, readers urge. You can write to us too, at [email protected]

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Don’t drop masks in health settings

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Re: Several southwestern Ontario hospitals lift mask mandates, hospitals in Ottawa not yet following suit, April 14.

When it comes to health-care settings, masks should be worn at all times. I understand that the risk of COVID-19 specifically is diminishing as we have more vaccines available; however, that doesn’t mean that we are all fully protected. Keeping the mask mandate inside the hospital protects visitors, staff, and patients.

People who might be carrying infections or bacteria coming in and out of hospitals; there is no real way of knowing whether you are contagious or not. Wearing masks at all times in hospitals would reduce this risk.

In the article, Dr. Michel Haddad, the chief of staff at Bluewater Health, is quoted as saying, “We have to plan to gradually and safely go back to normal, while we continue to focus on mitigating risk to vulnerable patients.” If you wait until there is a risk to take precautions, isn’t it already too late?

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I agree that we eventually have to get back to the way things were, but maybe we should learn to accept new norms as our world changes. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Vanessa Clarke, Ottawa

Keep facemasks in hospitals

I would have thought that if the pandemic had taught anyone, it would be that there is no downside to the use of masks in a hospital.

Once I had become accustomed to masking, it became clear to me that masking in any health care facility by everyone could be nothing but a good thing. Everyone can carry bugs such as the common cold, the flu, MRSA. If the simple process of donating a mask can prevent at least one vulnerable patient from further compromising their health, that is a good thing.

I assumed that masking all people entering health care facilities would have become the norm after the pandemic. I am disappointed at a missed opportunity to make health-care facilities safer for all.

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Melody Andeel, Orléans

Hard to empathize with public servants

Re: Thousands of public servants on the picket lines, April 19.

Why does it seem like most government services are mismanaged or backlogged despite record levels of public spending and size of bureaucracy? Because comfort breeds complacency, and complacency is the cousin of incompetence.

In the private sector, you’re accountable to your employer. If you fail to complete your task, he or she will set you free. In the public sector, accountability is limited. For that reason, incompetence is prevalent everywhere in the public sector: from the lawyers in the Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel to the recruitment agents at the Canadian Armed Forces.

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As a young professional who dreams of paying his student debt, buying a home and starting a family, I understand the cost-of-living crisis. Nevertheless, it’s difficult for taxpayers like me to empathize with striking bureaucrats when we’ve had such negative experiences accessing the government services we fund, and they provide.

George Monastiriakos, Ottawa

Lots of room for gratitude

Re: In the holy month of Ramadan, a few words of gratitude, April 17.

This heartwarming article reminds all of us what a great country we live in. I, too, am very thankful that my grandparents came here over 120 years ago.

I also want to say Dr. Alykhan Abdulla that we are grateful for him being here.

Samuel Fleming, Kanata

Many thanks to a fine doctor

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What a wonderful piece, by a wonderful doctor! As long-time patients, we are grateful (and lucky) that Dr. Alykhan Abdulla’s family immigrated to Canada.

We offer our own “words of thanks” — to Dr Abdulla!

Lloyd and Patricia Younger, Brockville

A most helpful health-care analysis

Dr. Alykhan Abdulla’s writings are an asset to your newspaper and I enjoy them very much — especially the article (few months back) that explained how different decisions in the health-care system, over time, got us to where we are now. It should be reprinted. That informed perspective could change the finger-pointing and the conversation. And lead to some action?

Nicole Beauchamp

CBC is just doing its job

Re: The CBC is dividing Canadians, April 19.

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In a way, isn’t it the CBC’s job to divide the country?

Whatever your point of view is, and whatever your opinion of the CBC is, the CBC offers a different perspective than the cookie-cutter and money-obsessed private networks. Akin to PBS and TVO, CBC stands out from the rest. The CBC divides some Canadians but in doing so it also unites the country, giving it a Canadian identity.

The CBC covers small-town stories and tales that the other networks won’t bother with, because it may not be “good ratings” news. The CBC is publicly funded, yes, and that challenge and stigma could change somewhat. The CBC also has a certain culture and encourages the axiom “Oh, that’s so CBC.” But it is necessary and provides a service to many Canadians that they can’t get from other sources. If there were more sources like the CBC, then you probably wouldn’t need a CBC.

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Douglas Cornish, Ottawa

Canadians are the ones divided

Except for the title and the use of the term “woke,” Tasha Kheiriddin’s article offers a smart and balanced analysis.

A more accurate title would be “Canadians are divided over the CBC” because it is Canadian political parties and the public who are split in their views about the CBC.

While It is reasonable to characterize the typical stance of the CBC as inclusive and progressive, the term “woke” is an ideologically loaded word suitable only for use as a cudgel to bash one’s opponent in a culture war.

Michael Petrunik, Ottawa

Why does CBC bug Poilievre?

I cannot understand Pierre Poilievre’s apparent hatred of the CBC. It’s been around for decades, funded by whatever political party is in power. On a daily basis, it provides factual international and national news. It gives me weather forecasts, local news, sports updates, traffic concerns and other useful information. It offers informative and entertaining programs such as Cross-country Checkup, As It Happens, The Next Chapter, White Coat Black Art, music shows and a host of other stuff.

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What is his problem? Surely it’s not CBC’s fact-based reporting; but I can’t see what else could cause him so much grief.

Peter Tranter, Richmond

No one does what CBC does

I don’t know the percentage of Canadians who watch or listen to the CBC versus other media, but I venture to guess that at least in some demographics it’s overwhelming. A breakdown by age, gender, newcomer status, language and province would be most interesting, but I’m willing to bet the majority of Canadians watch or listen to it.

That’s because it’s respected for its in-depth news coverage and spans the arts and entertainment world better than any other. I don’t think that’s elitist; it’s what an audience should demand from a fully Canadian institution that’s brought reliability to Canadian homes since 1932.

How can it possibly be as divisive as Rebel News or Fox News which are better known for outlandish entertainment than reporting any trustworthy news?

One bet I would bet would be which network even the doubters tune in to in order to get the full picture when there is a calamity or when important information is to be relayed on the health and welfare of Canadians. The CBC is still vital.

Peter Haley, Ottawa

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