I was staggered to read the article "Tougher measures as Canberrans ignored advice" (March 23, page 4).
The people interviewed, including visitors from Sydney, had the reckless attitude of not caring if they were infected with coronavirus.
They claimed it didn't matter if they caught the virus as they were not in the at risk group.
It does matter if they passed it on to someone else in an "at risk " group however.
It does matter that they could be placing even more stress on an overloaded health system.
Janet Reynolds, Greenleigh, NSW
I was appalled by the cavalier and selfish attitudes of some diners at Kingston Foreshore on Sunday "Tougher measures as Canberrans ignored advice" (March 23, page 4).
They said that they were young, so not at risk, and that even if they contracted the virus it was just like getting the flu and "you're done with it".
There was no thought about passing it on to people who are not young or healthy.
Some history is relevant here. Australia was comparatively lightly affected by the Spanish flu in 1919. That said, out of a population of five million about 1.7 million caught it. Of these some 13,000 died.
Scale that up to today's population and you get 65,000 deaths. Some of those would be young and otherwise healthy but unable to access medical support such as ventilators because the number of cases would overwhelm the system.
The only way to avoid that, pending the arrival of a vaccine, is to take every precaution against catching and spreading the virus, no matter how personally inconvenient this might be.
Allen Mawer, Acton
Keep health insurance
At a time when our hospitals and medical services are under enormous strain, it is critical for people to keep up their private health insurance.
Given the precarious economic circumstances in which the country finds itself, what better time for health insurance companies to defer the proposed premium increase on April 1?
Any benefit derived from increased government financial support would be negated by the increased cost of premiums.
As the Prime Minister has frequently observed: "We are all in this together".
Angela Kueter-Luks, Bruce
Is super at risk?
I received a COVID-19 update from the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation.
It included five commitments, the second of which was to continue to pay pensions on time. The need for such a commitment rang alarm bells given I assumed the process was automated and only required usual e-maintenance.
Is there any doubt about the timing of the payment of commonwealth superannuation pensions? Maybe our federal parliamentary representatives, including Senator Gallagher and Andrew Leigh MHR, can seek answers from the CSC on behalf of a large group of their constituents.
Secondly, those such as myself with PSSap accumulated funds will already have seen a reduction in their super balances from the loss of value in the stock market from the Covid19 crisis. I lost five per cent up to March 9. I assume there are more losses to come.
Promised access to superannuation for those affected will be too late for some.
Rohan Goyne, Evatt
Tend your garden
For the past year I have been transforming my couch infected yard into a productive food forest.
We have fruit trees, perennial vegetables, herbs, berries,annual crops, pumpkins, potatoes, native foods and more.
Given the present situation of panic food hoarding, now is the ideal time for people to grow their own organic backyard supermarket.Alice Jackson, Watson
Given the present situation of panic food hoarding, now is the ideal time for people to grow their own organic backyard supermarket. Not only will we be more self sufficient but growing a diversity of plants in our suburbs will help maintain bee numbers.
Other benefits from growing your own food and working in the garden include improved mental health and regular exercise.
Alice Jackson, Watson
Momo did well
A mate and I had breakfast on Saturday morning at Café Momo in Bruce. We wanted to continue to support a local business we have regularly frequented over many years.
We sat outside on the back deck. I was impressed with the way the café implemented the new social distancing rules - inside and out; particularly, with the way staff spoke with patrons about what was going on and why.
Enhanced service standards were in evidence.
The café was by no means empty with a number of young families dining. Well done Café Momo.
Don Sephton, Greenway
Don't get personal
I am dismayed by the distraction of the debate about the personae of the principal sources of advice to the public about the COVID-19 virus.
I don't doubt that Professor Murphy is an experienced and balanced health administrator who speaks with the full authority and knowledge of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.
Nor do I doubt that the ABC's Dr Swan is a highly-experienced medical/science professional commentator and "explainer".
However, there seems to be a social media campaign to denigrate either one or the other (or both) of them.
Personally, I would have preferred that the official spokesman was a specialist in the fields of epidemiology/virology/immunology or a related specialist area of expertise, the better to field ad-hoc or unscripted questions.
David Nolan, Holder
Cheer us up please
How depressing to read Steve Evans on social isolation.
Please swap him for Ian Warden, or for someone who is doing something with their isolation.
That could include cooking a feast a la Heston, having a romantic spa weekend with their partner, chatting on the phone with lonely co-isolators, crafting beautiful written letters, getting board games out with the kids, or painting the spare room they never got around to doing.
Ian has the right idea; embrace it.
T Henderson, Holder
Price is wrong
As an elderly Australian, I dispute Jenna Price's misandrist diatribe against Prime Minister Scott Morrison ("I will not be lectured by this man", canberratimes.com.au, March 20").
Her statements; "I will not. And Australians must never be lectured to about their identity by this man. Not now, not ever." And: "I cannot tell you how furious I was, watching him (Prime Minister Scott Morrison) tell Australians how to behave". (When he referred to the disgusting scenes of thuggish behaviour in the aisle of a supermarket). And: "The absolute cheek of the man as if he is an example, with his raft of employees and his two houses."; are prime examples of how to engender hatred of anyone.
Morrison is the Prime Minister of a democratically elected government voted in by a majority of the electorate.
What has his "raft of employees and two houses" got to do with telling people to cool it?
If these statements are a true indication of the mindset of an academic at a Sydney university, heaven help the students. They won't be getting a balanced education.
Frank Bolton MBE, Page
I'll pay my dues
I don't like Canberra's high rates, especially as I live in a unit affected by Mr Barr's unfair new system.
On the other hand, I have a secure income and my expenses are likely to go down during the COVID-19 pandemic due to no travel and limited entertainment spending. I don't need, or want, the rates rebate announced by Mr Barr. I'd prefer the money be spent on necessary services, including health services.
I urge the ACT government to allow people to forgo the rebate and pay their normal rates bill if they wish.
Rod Manns, Belconnen
After years of chasing budget surpluses and cutting back spending on social services, hospitals and education, the Barr government's chooks have come home to roost.
With underfunded, understaffed and undersupplied hospitals, those at the front line are faced with difficult decisions on who to treat or not. Italy has reportedly made a decision not to treat 80-year-olds.
Maybe the Barr government should have thought about excessive spending on a tram which diverted funds from more important areas, such as health.
With limited ICU beds available, if the choice came down to treating me, an 81 year old, or my children or grandchildren, I would expect them to take preference over me.
My closing act would be to vent my spleen in another letter to my MPs and local newspaper about the budget cuts to essential services.
Dave Roberts, MSc, PhD, Belconnen
TO THE POINT
Whether by accident or design, China has proved a world leader in testing the distribution of biological agents (possibly for military use). The coronavirus is immensely effective. We have to be vigilant.
Peter McLeod, Waramanga
NEWSTART FOR MPs
Given we are now working with a skeleton parliament the time has come to lay off 50 per cent of all Senators and MPs. They should be moved onto the now doubled Newstart allowance of $600 a week for the duration. We may then see more compassion when we "reach the other side".
M Moore, Bonython
Note to self (and all coronavirus advice websites). Stop using cash. Paid with a $50 note the other day and watched the gloveless shop assistant handle every note and coin counting out my change. Every piece of that change had its own history.
Lew Rushbrook, Weston
TIME TO GET REAL
Young people could hardly be expected to take social distancing rules seriously while the schools remained open.
Keith Hill, Isaacs
I was chatting with my daughters about this bad virus and informed them of the 1.5 metre separation (before the school closure). Their response was: "you must be joking, in our maths class we are close to touching elbows".
Bruce Phillips, Watson
HIGH RISK ACTIVITY
Does standing in a supermarket queue for more than 20 minutes next to several hundred other shoppers obviate the need to apply the 1.5 metre exclusion zone guideline?
Colin Rickard, Deakin
YOU CAN'T EAT PAPER
To paraphrase a wise man; "It is only when you have exhausted all the food in your pantry that you realise you cannot live on toilet paper alone".
Peter Edsor, Bungendore, NSW
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK
My thanks, admiration and praise to the merry band of climate action campaigners who set up opposite The Lodge every morning our hapless leader decides to grace us with his presence. Your enthusiasm is compelling in a world where maintaining hope is increasingly under strain.
Phil Schubert, Curtin
ADDRESS THE CAUSE
When this is over will the world address the cause of the virus, namely the filthy habit of eating wild animals? Or will we just find a cure and allow the ugly practice to continue? That's where ebola came from too.
Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla
HIT RESTART NOW
Can we just cancel the next 18 months and then begin normal life again?
Ian Morison, Forrest
Maybe, regarding coronavirus, that old saying may be new again: "cleanliness is next to Godliness".
Michael Calkovics, Lyons
Coronavirus is a good reason to quarantine Trump so he can't do more harm.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
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