At the outset, I wish to say I am in sympathy with the closure of Sharon Raczkowski's Tattoo Xtreme parlour in Fyshwick ("Tatts all there is", March 26, p3).
It is terrible so many businesses are being forced to close because of COVID-19. However, I disagree with Ms Raczkowski's view that "it's unfair that hairdressers are still trading with the same amount of physical contact that we do".
With the rapid spread of the virus, the government and state ministers had to make difficult decisions on which businesses involving people contact could or could not remain open.
Everyone at some stage needs to get a haircut, or their hair done. It's either to keep up appearances or for grooming and hygiene reasons in relation to the jobs they do. That is particularly so in hospitals and health centres.
Tattoos, on the other hand, are not a necessity. People get them for aesthetic and other personal reasons.
In saying this, my preference would be for tattoo parlours to remain open with appropriate spacing and hygiene practices in place. But the service they provide cannot be compared to the service provided by hairdressers and barbers.
Sebastian Cole, Ngunnawal
Costco's Thursday fail
While Costco could not have expected the numbers in the store on Thursday, the ACT health authorities and the police should have been contacted by local management.
There were hundreds of people in the store around 10 am. I did not see any count of the numbers at the store entrance. I found social distancing impossible, despite the best efforts of many customers.
In my opinion Costco's decision making was at fault. Numbers should have been restricted. While this may have inconvenienced the many seniors who came, the truth is their lives were at risk given the conditions in the store.
Howard Brady, Casey
Closing parliament until August is not acceptable.
We are a democracy and Scott Morrison is the Prime Minister, not the president or monarch.
All his actions, from "on-water-matters" to the Gaetjens inquiry, are those of a man who believes himself above suspicion and accountable to no-one.
He says: "Let me be clear". The only thing that's clear is his contempt for scrutiny.
Trevor Hulcup, Carwoola, NSW
Who is lecturing whom?
Make no mistake, this coronavirus crisis is a wake-up call and challenge to our oft-quoted Australian character and mateship.
Reports of inexplicable panic buying of toilet paper, for what is a respiratory virus, and defiance of our top professional medical experts, and elected leaders, defies logic.
I believe that behind these "sad me, sad me" attitudes, and flouting of urgent preventative measures, the mostly unreported majority are doing the right thing.Len Goodman, Belconnen
Thankfully, I believe that behind these "sad me, sad me" attitudes, and flouting of urgent preventative measures, the mostly unreported majority are doing the right thing.
So, well said Frank Bolton (Letters, March 25) for calling out Jenna Price for yet another vitriolic attack on our Prime Minister on March 20.
At a time when national unity and confidence in our national leadership is vital, we can do without another of Ms Price's negative lectures.
Then Nicholas Stuart, ("The big problem with flattening the curve", March 25, p21) weighs in with, I suspect, little expertise, personal opinions and the results of his web-surfing endeavours.
He blithely concludes: "So, [do you] still think our public health officials are doing all they can?
Perhaps we should stop the self-satisfied preening and start paying attention".
This after trying to make direct comparisons between Australia and Taiwan and Singapore.
He ignores the fact those countries can act unilaterally without having six Australian sovereign states and two territories either agreeing or choosing to do their own thing.
Why, in the midst of this chronic health crisis, are we burdened by such personal and negative journalism, which serves only to scare people and foster a lack of trust in the health professionals and the Prime Minister?
Len Goodman, Belconnen
Concern is admirable
Scott Morrison's concern for the recently unemployed is well placed and admirable, but he has had no qualms putting public servants out of work nor losing valuable public service experience and expertise.
We now have a pared back bureaucracy left to manage and implement policy on the run.
Neither has he, nor I expect will he, apologise to the ALP for his smug derogatory, and until recently, ongoing criticism of their (rapid) response to the GFC.
One wonders what excuses he will come up with when the Coalition, in whatever measure, is to be found short ...
Patricia Ramsay, Ainslie
Identity card needed
If ever there was a time to introduce an Australian identity card it is now. That is blindingly obvious given what we have seen with the bushfires and the coronavirus.
Such a card could track a person's whereabouts and their condition; place limits on shopping items; ensure bushfire grants are issued properly; bring out and expose unlawful aliens in Australia; prevent fraud and misappropriation of both emergency funds and Centrelink payments, and ensure medical care is provided.
It would help enormously. Most people wouldn't mind this. It is only those who are trying to hide something that worry about it.
Michael Collins, Banks ACT
Nicholas Stuart ("The big problem with flattening the curve", March 25, p21) rightly criticises the Morrison government for not having a clear plan dealing with this health crisis.
Morrison, from the start, has given mixed messages on going to the footy and what is an essential job. The economy is quickly going into recession. We have had thousands of people standing in long Centrelink queues or on the phone to them, desperate for help.
The government has directed billions of dollars to business with no guarantee it will help workers in those businesses. The government is now considering a wage subsidy. But can we afford to subsidise high wages when others are struggling or have no wage at all?
Another option is a basic income given to every adult immediately, with no application or conditions, with top-ups for those, eg: with disabilities, who need extra help. The tax system can get that income back from people with a reasonable wage.
We also need mortgage, debt and rent moratoriums for those who have no income, apart from the basic income payment, until they are back in work.
Kathryn Kelly, Chifley
What is the rationale for shutting down parliament for five months but saying schools should remain open?
Only the government would think the current lot of politicians are more important in this crisis than teachers. The schools could benefit equally well by having the next five months off. The students would probably benefit too. They certainly won't be harmed by a longer break.
W Book, Hackett
Takeaways but no gym
While the authorities permit us to gather around takeaway outlets, they have applied irrational bans to exercise facilities.
The squash and tennis courts, and the small gym, at my cousin's building in Civic have all been closed.
These facilities, which I don't think involve any danger, provide an important outlet for the mostly elderly residents, who are now faced with a bleak winter of inactivity.
Chris Smith, Kingston
A clever ploy
Just when we are in the middle of a health crisis the NCA and the ACT Government have managed to come to an arrangement for a land swap, giving the green light for the disaster at West Basin to go ahead.
While the public is trying to come to terms with the COVID-19 virus, a lockdown, and looking after friends, family and neighbours, our governing bodies have more important issues to attend to.
Were they hoping that we would be otherwise distracted and wouldn't notice?
Although the Lake Burley Griffin Guardians have been having regular meetings with the NCA about this issue they didn't have the decency to ring one of us before they made the announcement.
So much for diplomacy.
The CEO of the City Renewal Authority said there was a high level of community support for the Acton Waterfront Project. But there has never been proper consultation with the wider Canberra community.
Spending money on infilling the lake and taking public park area for private development at West Basin is not what is needed at this time.
Penny Moyes, Hughes
TO THE POINT
BARR BARRED FROM BARRE
COVID-19 is keeping our Chief Minister very busy and specialist heath studios closed. So, in other words, there is a bar on Andrew Barr at barre.
John Howarth, Weston
Given what must be the government's despair at having lost their beloved surplus, will they now make sure the multinationals, big businesses, the super-rich and churches all pay their fair share of the national tax burden?
Fred Pilcher, Kaleen
WE'RE NOT RACIST BUT...
Australia is not racist. But why did authorities quarantine Chinese Australians returning from China on Christmas Island for 14 days and then allow passengers returning from Europe (including Italy and Spain) to roam around Sydney last week?
R F Bollen, Torrens
SINK THE SUBS
A fantastic way to partially solve our present financial crisis would be to scrap the plans for the $80 billion submarines to be supplied by France in about 30 years time. It was an idiotic plan made by a very unwise PM. Let's pay what we owe, get out of the deal and use the savings on immediate and future requirements.
Trevor Willis, Hughes
BE IN THE MOMENT
In these times of gloom and doom there are still moments of brightness. On the morning walk with my two four-legged friends we were stopped in our tracks by the glorious, uplifting carolling of a magpie family. Magical.
Mike Lynch, Isaacs
We may yet to have fully achieved the paperless office, but we are close to achieving the paperless toilet.
James Gralton, Garran
BAN SMOKING NOW
Maybe the PM and the chief minister can ban smoking completely. The exhaled smoke particles from a smoker would be ideal carriers for the virus. Exhaled smoke can be smelt 20 to 30 metres away and more. So ban smoking.
Guy Swifte, Garran
Thank you to the Canberra and John James Hospitals, and the ACT Health Service, for your good care over several episodes of ill health since late 2019. We have the greatest gratitude for the care that was received from all the front-line workers. God bless you all.
Hugh Davies, Deakin
Oh that we, like our US friends, could have a self-proclaimed very stable genius as our leader. If we did all our coronavirus problems could also be under control by Easter.
Michael Duffy, Curtin
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
The far-too-late step of immediately quarantining arrivals from overseas is equivalent to acting after the horse has bolted and then gone on to win the Melbourne Cup.
Sue Dyer, Downer
PAIR OF CLOWNS
Anthony Albanese and Chris Bowen are the the Laurel and Hardy of the ALP. They lost the unlosable election last year because their ideas were rubbish. They still are.
Mark Sproat, Lyons
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