Eliminate fire pits, hookahs
As president of the Lung Association, Manitoba, and writing on behalf of the one in five Manitobans with lung-health concerns, I applaud Winnipeg city council’s decision to explore ways to improve air quality.
Taking the step to explore "clean air shelters" is an innovative move. Looking at increasing the number of air-quality monitors is also an important action.
Further, as the city is researching possible policy changes that could set guidelines for when the city should shut services that are riskier when air quality is poor, the following additional actions should be considered:
1) Eliminate residential recreational fire pits, or restrict their use to the new "smoke-less" ones, or propane fire pits as a harm-reduction approach.
2) Eliminate hookah use in public spaces such as lounges and their patios.
3) Further regulate vaping, cannabis smoking and tobacco smoking to reduce exposure in public spaces.
Pill rules hard to swallow
Re: COVID-19 pill used to treat 83 Manitobans (Feb. 10)
Let me get this straight: if I am over 40, am triple vaccinated and have followed all public-health protocols but somehow still have contracted COVID-19, I cannot get the anti-viral drugs or the new anti-COVID medication even if I fear severe symptoms or long-term effects from the infection.
On the other hand, if I am over 18, unvaccinated and smoke (or simply over 40 and unvaccinated) and I have objected to and refused to follow public-health orders and have come down with COVID-19, I am assured of receiving these life-saving medications. How is this possibly fair?
Invitation to premier
Re: Province lifting slew of public-health orders (Feb. 11)
In another life chapter, I worked on the front lines of health care. One shift, a provincial politician visited the emergency department and sat with a patient for several hours. As they left, they pulled me aside and said: "You can’t truly understand what you haven’t seen first-hand. I had no idea how strained our hospitals are nor how hard health-care staff work. I have a new perspective now that’ll inform my decision-making going forward." That was before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When the premier admitted last week that she hadn’t stepped into a hospital since being sworn in, I had a flashback to this encounter. This might be a wild fantasy, but wouldn’t it be impressive if Heather Stefanson volunteered to "job shadow" a doctor, nurse, or health-care aide in a hospital emergency department or intensive care unit for an afternoon?
Identify the protesters
Re: City mulls court action on anti-mandate protest (Feb. 10)
May I respectfully request that your newspaper post the personal names, company affiliations, telephone numbers and addresses of the protesters who are occupying downtown Winnipeg?
This would not be a violation of their privacy, as it is often written freely upon their vehicles.
By doing so, prospective customers will have the opportunity to decide if these individuals are those with whom they may wish to do business in future.
We are experiencing growing mob rule from a lack of government action. If there is no longer any consequence to illegal behaviour, the bullies are empowered, much like unruly children. This is not a political statement, but human behaviour.
Governments are elected to provide service and action, which has dwindled for fear of upsetting fringe groups. Please show these groups they are not in charge.
Bergen not a peacemaker
Re: Tories put faith in peacemaker MP (Feb. 4)
Please retract this headline as it was misguided to suggest interim Conservative leader Candice Bergen is a "peacemaker." She is an opportunist who jumped on the protesters’ bandwagon to take advantage of political attacks on the prime minister.
Where was this MP when COVID-19 was raging and people in her riding in southern Manitoba refused to get vaccinated? Where was she when our hospitals were overflowing with unvaccinated patients from southern Manitoba?
We in Manitoba know her, and know she has demonstrated the worst kind of political leadership.
Drug injection sites misguided
City councillor Sherri Rollins continues to push for a safe consumption site for Winnipeg even though the province, not the city, has jurisdiction over health services, and the science on whether these places actually save lives and move users into recovery and treatment is limited and inconclusive.
This is nothing but a feel-good bandage solution that brings addicts out of the bus shacks and dark alleys but does nothing to help them. What it does do is encourage and enable drug use and other high-risk behaviours, and bring crime into the surrounding area. It does nothing to fight homelessness and mental illness that many addicts suffer from.
How about getting them real help instead of keeping them chained to their addiction, allowing them to harm themselves one injection at a time at sites that let them inject illegal and lethal substances such as fentanyl and meth with free needles manned by nurses, all paid for by the taxpayer?
How is this compassionate when you are actually promoting drug use? The act of saving lives is a worthy goal, but this is not a solution and it makes the "war on drugs" more of a joke.
Coverage of trustee salacious
I was rather dismayed to see this headline and an article and pictures that took up half of a page. Seems to be extreme overkill.
I really feel for trustee Cindy Murdoch. Perhaps there are emotional or mental-health issues affecting this woman. Since when do such intimate details need to be in the public domain?
I am not saying the board should ignore what happened, but this salacious reporting could help destroy a person’s life.
Appreciates editor’s ‘gems’
Re: Editor’s COVID-19 newsletters
This is the first and perhaps the last time I will write the Free Press but, after reading each and every "blurb" editor Paul Samyn has written since the COVID-19 crisis began, and now covering the trucker convoy protest, I wanted to compliment him in the most sincere way possible. I always look forward to reading his gems of wisdom.
Wary of wine’s ‘warm numbness’
Re: Breaking up with a bad habit is hard to do (Feb. 7)
Shelley Cook’s columns are a breath of fresh air! Her words are insightful and usually from a very personal place.
Her reflections on breaking up with bad habits strikes a note close to home for many of us who have made an evening glass of wine an all-to-frequent panacea for this crazy COVID-19 time. A "warm numbness" is something that has been needed over the last two years, to be sure, but Shelley, like many of us, saw this creeping habit for what it is and is working on it.
Be strong, Shelley. There is nothing quite like a good cup of tea, especially when paired with a good book.