Exempt vaccinated people
Re: Province bans most private gatherings in attempt to ‘dampen’ third wave (April 27)
We have more than 50,000 Manitobans who have received their two Pfizer or Moderna shots. They are 95 per cent safe. So when orders for shutdown come out, why are these people not exempt?
They should not have to be susceptible to the same rules governing COVID-19 as the rest of us. Why can’t they visit others who have been vaccinated?
People who have received one shot should also also be exempt from some of the restrictions, and perhaps subject to less stringent rules. But instead, the government just shuts everyone down. It’s easier for the government, but it’s not fair.
James W. Thacker, Steinbach
Bus shelters superspreaders
It’s Saturday, approximately 7 a.m. As I drive past Portage Place, I am shocked to see more than 20 people crammed into the bus shack, chatting away. There is no social distancing or mask wearing. Even more worrying, there is no enforcement. Police drive past the location with only a glance.
So when these people disperse throughout the morning, how do you think they leave? You got it: buses. They ride the buses to move in every direction, travelling to all corners of the city. Some would call it a superspreader.
Even if one or two of the 20 people are infected and are not practicing social distancing and can’t access personal cleaning products such as hand sanitizer, the chances of spreading the virus are unacceptable.
This pandemic will never end when such violations continue to be ignored. Now is the time to enforce the restrictions that should apply to all.
Paul Peters, Winnipeg
Anti-maskers endanger kids
Re: As virus rallies, so do deniers (April 26)
I was appalled when I saw the Free Press photo that showed a number of children at the anti-mask demonstration at The Forks last Sunday. Parents were doing things we normally do to protect our children; cradling toddlers and infants in their arms, standing at their side and holding hands. But there was nothing normal about what these parents were doing: they were purposefully exposing their children to a potentially deadly virus to help underscore their own political views.
In my day, we used to call this child endangerment, and the consequences for the guilty was severe. Now it’s nothing more than a small fine, and for only two of the offenders at that.
Randy Clinch, Winnipeg
The premier stated better enforcement of restrictions is needed. Really? We are more than 13 months into COVID-19 and the protest on Sunday resulted in two fines for a group of hundreds of people. Surely, law enforcement and private contractors are capable of either preventing these types of gatherings or issuing fines to almost all participants. What are we paying for?
The latest health orders did nothing to enhance my confidence in things improving. The rules for single households are simply mean, and the rules for private outdoor visits are not backed by science.
People need to feel they are being treated fairly. The latest events indicate the government isn’t even striving for the appearance of fairness. The premier has lost the room.
Michelle Burdz, Winnipeg
After more than a year of doing my best to follow a myriad of ever-changing COVID-19 protocols, the recent event at The Forks at which hundreds of unmasked attendees mingled while listening to nonsense mocking the seriousness of COVID-19 has popped my bubble. I will continue to wear a mask, socially distance and follow other reasonable guidelines, but the lack of enforcement at this purposely staged public event is infuriating.
Robert Shaw, Winnipeg
View from a retailer
Re: Mayor calls for tougher restrictions to curb COVID spread (April 27)
We are a locally owned retail store dealing in so-called non-essentials. We have implemented all protocols and have been inspected at least twice and received very positive comments.
Yet columnist Dan Lett, whose opinions are based largely upon hindsight, Mayor Brian Bowman and many others, whose livelihoods are not impacted financially, continue to call for full lockdowns. I wonder whether their positions would change if they also had their incomes removed.
Ernest Epp, Winnipeg
Kumar not in charge
Re: Strict lockdown needed (Letter, April 27)
Could letter writer Lawrence Deane give us background on why he firmly believes Dr. Anand Kumar over Dr. Brent Roussin, whose job is to direct Manitoba through this terrible pandemic? One would think that if Kumar was so well qualified, he would have applied for and gotten Roussin’s job and been the one leading our response.
James Roberts, Winnipeg
Put politicians in the field
Premier Brian Pallister, on an all-too-frequent basis, reminds us that he was once a teacher. He must know how to plan field trips.
Health Minister Heather Stefanson could spend a 12-hour shift on an intensive care ward at Health Sciences Centre. Justice Minister Cameron Friesen could spend his 12-hour shift on a ride-along with Winnipeg police officers. Mental Health Minister Audrey Gordon could meet outside at a park with people who fear going to work because of the pandemic. Education Minister Cliff Cullen could spend a day at a school in one of the hardest-hit COVID-19 areas. Pallister could have his own field trip working at a homeless shelter in downtown Winnipeg.
The ministers could end their day sharing their experiences while having dinner at an outdoor patio. This would send a message that, as Pallister likes to say, "we’re all in this together."
Walt Roberts, Winnipeg
Enjoys the Doug House
Re: Rise of machines may mean we’re toast (Column, April 28)
Thank goodness for columnist Doug Speirs. The best medicine to get us through this (bad word) pandemic is a vaccine and Doug’s column. I’ve had one and I read the other religiously. Thanks, Doug!
Wanda McConnell, Winnipeg
Pull the goalie
Re: Don’t blame Hellebuyck for Jets’ defensive woes (April 28)
The Jets quoted in Jeff Hamilton’s story are way off on goaltender Connor Hellebucyk not being at fault for losses. When a team member lets the group down early on soft goals, team morale is affected. Hellebucyk has made more puck-handling gaffes than any other player in the league, and when that happens early, the team sags.
Stop calling Laurent Broissoit a backup goaltender and give him a run. The team plays better in front of Broissoit because they trust him. Too bad coach Paul Maurice has not picked up on that.
John Zaplitny, Carman
I believe there is trouble in the henhouse. With coach Paul Maurice attempting to make an example of the lack of effort by Mark Scheifele by benching him, the subsequent 6-1 beating by the Oilers showed Maurice his team has major issues in the locker room. The team is probably questioning the ice time for Maurice’s buddy, captain Blake Wheeler, who is minus-21 in the plus/minus category, while Scheifele is a minus-9.
Greg Steeves, Brandon