Some advice for the COVIDiots
To the COVIDiots out there: Common sense is obviously not your strong point. Given that we are told to stay two metres away from others, please:
• Don’t walk in the middle of the sidewalk. Stay as far as possible to one side as it may be impossible for me to keep a two-metre distance from you if there’s no doorway to retreat to, and standing in the middle of the street is not an option.
• If you see a lineup of people standing two metres apart in front of a store, it means that they are waiting to go in. Don’t push your way in front of them to see if the door is unlocked.
• If you are shopping in a store, pay attention to your surroundings instead of walking around aimlessly. Keep your distance and don’t reach in front of me to grab whatever it is you want.
• If you need assistance while shopping, ask a staff member. I’m not there to analyze the properties of a certain vitamin or food product for you as you hover over me.
To those who are kind and considerate, thank you for protecting your health and mine.
A way to ensure everyone gets groceries
While awaiting my delayed food delivery from Metro, I realized how fortunate we are that the groceries are coming. I thought about the food bank and all the people who have lost their jobs and who will wonder and worry about where the next meal is coming from.
The grocery stores and staff are doing a wonderful job, so maybe they could go one extra step. I am willing to add money to my grocery-list delivery to have the store gather goods and deliver to the Ottawa Food Bank, perhaps on a weekly basis.
The grocery store website could easily be adjusted to include/add a donation for the food bank.
The volume of foods donated would certainly be increased substantially, as adding $1 to a delivery order (many would give more) is easier than shopping for items and dropping them off, especially in this unpredictable time.
Georgina Ukrintz, Ottawa
How about grocery stores that are express pick-up only?
This week, for the first time, we used the online order and express pick-up service from our grocery store to limit our exposure to COVID-19. We did the same at our drug store. An express pick-up service seems a safer and more efficient way to order and receive essential goods than shopping in-store.
Perhaps to limit exposure for shoppers and store employees, this type of service could be expanded so that some stores in each community are designated exclusively for express pick-up. Perhaps an order and drive-through improvisation similar to fast food restaurants could help as well at some grocery and other essential service stores for certain products.
Mike Rushton, Orléans
Our thanks to a wonderful medical team
I am a patient being treated for pancreatic cancer for almost a year-and-a-half at the Irving Greenberg Cancer Centre. Normally I am accompanied by my husband for my chemotherapy, and we are impressed by the professionalism and caring of each nurse who has treated me.
Last Monday, due to COVID-19, my husband could no longer sit with me for the more-than-four-hour treatment. The nurses made this transition smoothly. They administered the chemo per usual while being reassuring and caring to all patients. We wish to say thanks to them and to doctors Vickers and Gaudet who make this journey a little easier.
Phyllis and Weldon Cleiman, Ottawa
We mustn’t postpone breast cancer surgery
I was appalled to read that some breast cancer surgeries in Ottawa are being postponed for a least a month because of novel coronavirus. As a breast cancer survivor, I know firsthand how important it is to take action as quickly as possible; timeliness is critical to stop progression of this life-threatening disease.
After my cancer diagnosis, I was extremely grateful that my lumpectomy surgery was scheduled within a few weeks. In a terrifying time, the speed with which my tumour was removed gave me peace of mind. My heart goes out to those women facing their diagnoses with mounting fear from postponed surgeries.
While necessary to stop the spread of the coronavirus in our current pandemic, I have to question the lack of priority given to people who have cancer, a known, life-threatening disease. Considering any cancer surgery as one that can be “safely” postponed is more than a misnomer; it’s atrocious.
The cure for this novel coronavirus may be becoming worse than the disease.
Sylvia Goodeve, Ottawa
Think about Spavor and Kovrig during self-isolation
For anyone who is singing the blues about having to self-isolate for 14 days or more, think about this:
Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig have been in forced isolation for 475 days now on what are widely believed to be trumped-up charges. They can’t even interact with family.
So break out the old board games, put away the iPhone, talk to the person next to you and relearn togetherness. Support each other. If you are alone, then reach out to others by phone, (much better to hear a voice than receive a text), or use Skype or FaceTime, but stay in touch however you can.
And think of the two Michaels when you do get down. If we all do our part, we will get through this.
Brian Clark, Barrhaven
Silver lining for the light-rail system
With the widespread and all-consuming media coverage on COVID-19, Ottawa’s ongoing trials and tribulations with our troubled light-rail transit system seem to have all but disappeared. There’s always a silver lining if you look hard enough.
Jenn Moore, Ottawa
We once had a day of rest for the planet
Re: Letter, Mother Earth, March 26:
The writer suggested that perhaps we could help slow down carbon emissions by stopping all work, businesses, schools and so on for one day a month. I remember the “olden days” when cities stopped virtually everything – most work, shops, banks etc. It was called Sunday.
Ginger Corbett, Ottawa
So much for that extended car trip
The price of gas is at multi-year lows, making car travel an incredible bargain. However,a low price is not of muchvaluewhen,due to COVID-19,weareallnow living by the words of theMeatloaf song “All revved up with no place to go.”
Les Shinder, Ottawa
Let’s cheer on the COVID researchers
The list of R&D projects targeting COVID-19 funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research makes an encouraging read. A wealth of scientific experience and ingenuity is being applied, in Ottawa, in Canada and around the world, to develop fast, simple-to-use, low-cost but highly accurate tests to identify those who are infected.
Availability of such tests is half the battle in overcoming the virus. Let’s cheer on the teams and hope for quick success.
F. David King, Ottawa
Don’t stop taking legal tender
This morning, I stopped at a drive-thru Tim Horton’s and they would not accept cash. I drove off without purchasing anything. The day retailers refuse to accept legal tender in Canada is the day I stop doing business with them, permanently.
Dave Pinard, Ottawa
The comfort of the daily newspaper
We have had the Citizen delivered daily since we came to Ottawa 40 years ago. In this challenging time of the COVID-19 pandemic, I find it reassuring and comforting to get my Ottawa Citizen every day and read a wide range of news. At least there is one thing in our world that has not been up-ended.
Jacqueline Sitwell, Nepean
Spanish Flu shows we can get through this
As I contemplate the course and damage of COVID-19, I think about of my family’s historical experience with the Spanish Flu.
The grandparents of my wife and me were young married adults raising families during the Spanish Flu epidemic. My paternal grandfather was serving with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War. He arrived in Europe in 1917, and was at the front lines through France, Belgium and Germany from August 1918 to May 1919; he returned to Canada in 1919.
Our parents ranged in age from newborn in 1922 to pre-schoolers at the height of the Spanish Flu Epidemic, born between 1914 and 1917. There are many people alive today who have the same family experience. So, I believe, there is cause for hope if we all behave in a responsible manner.
Bill Reid, Ottawa
What was City Hall thinking?
On page A5 of the March 20 Ottawa Citizen, their were five “Notices of Intent” from the City of Ottawa. They each announced the city’s plan to designate five old city buildings as heritage sites. I have a couple of comments on the timing and method of communication in the notices.
When the main interest of most people at the present time is the how to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus, is it really the best time to bring up what is really a trivial matter? Could it not have waited until people had time and interest to study such things?
The notices give only one option for communicating objections or questions to the city authorities: by letter. The letters must be either sent by registered mail or hand-delivered. If either of these options is selected, it means that someone must go out to a post office or city hall, thus breaching the many pleas to self-isolate or stay away from potentially busy places. In this age of technology, are there not better ways to communicate?
Gordon Forbes, Orléans
Just wait until December …
With many people self-isolating due to COVID-19, can we expect a “baby boom” in December? To that effect, the best advice is perhaps that which was provided to the population of England 80 years ago during the Second World War: “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
Ed Storey, Nepean