On Wednesday, July 15, tired of a persistent mild cold, I decided to test for the dangerous virus, just in case.
The decision was made because, virtually on my front doorstep, the Woden hospital has re-established its pop-up hospital on the Garran School oval.
To my dismay, on a day of biting cold and freezing wind, all "customers" had to queue out of doors; moreover the wait lasted for well over half an hour. Despite several layers of warm woolen clothing, gloves and hat, I was chilled to my shivering bones; as were my fellow queue members. A poor cringing lass in the line behind me was red and runny at nose and eyes. We just stood there, shifting from foot to foot.
Naturally I spent the next three days with an even worse cold, in bed. I waited the three days before phoning for my result. The number was always engaged. On the fourth day it was simply unanswered and rang out.
This letter is intended as both a protest and a warning to prospective "customers".
Suzanne Edgar, Garran
We're to blame
We had to bring in mandatory quarantining in hotels because we couldn't trust people to stay home after returning from overseas.
We then had to bring in security, because we couldn't trust people to stay in those hotels.
We then had to bring in the ADF, because we couldn't trust the security guards not to have sex with those in quarantine in the hotels.
We had to get the police to door knock and check up on people because we couldn't trust those who were meant to be self-isolating to actually stay at home.
We also had to have police and ADF reinforce the metropolitan Melbourne zone and state borders because we can't trust people to follow the restrictions.
We are now being asked to use masks because we cannot trust people to social distance when they are in public.
Through it all our supermarkets have had to introduce shopping restrictions because we couldn't trust people to not to take more than what they needed.
So, we can get as mad as we want at politicians or health officials for imposing restrictions, or the country where the virus originated, but essentially it's our own fault that we find ourselves here.
Selfishness and lack of empathy seem to be as much of a disease as COVID-19 itself.
Warren Fahey, Malua Bay, NSW
Vale Sue Salthouse
I want to express my shock and sadness at the death of my mentor and friend, Sue Salthouse, in a traffic accident on Monday, July 20.
Sue was an extraordinary human being, and it has been such a privilege to know her, work with her and to have her as a friend.
She had strength, compassion and an unquenchable sense of justice. She was constantly advocating for a fair and equal society for all.
Sue and I worked closely together at Advance Personnel, a disability employment service, where she, as chair, and I, as CEO, were engaged in merging the company with a larger one to ensure financial continuity.
It was a difficult time for everyone and I am so glad I had Sue there to provide wisdom and guidance. Sue showed us how to live the highest qualities of our humanity.
Now she is gone and we were only just talking last weekend. Vale Sue Salthouse I will miss you. We will all miss you.
Dr Kate Hamilton, East Lismore, NSW
Other keen news watchers may share my concern about the increasingly repetitive journalism on the ABC. Stories are regurgitated many hours, even days, later and often contain nothing new except for the flick of a few console buttons.
A prime time nadir was reached with the 7.30 Report of July 22 re-hashing the sports rorts hoo-ha. The justification for this non-story was that it would remind others not to do it again in the post-COVID-19 recovery.
What's next? A prime-time story on the sinking of the Titanic which we also don't wish to be repeated? A test pattern would show more respect.
Roy Darling, Canberra
Aged care disgrace
Thanks to David Pope for his excellent cartoon on COVID-19 and nursing homes (July 23). It is an absolute national disgrace that coronavirus has been allowed to infect over 40 nursing homes in Victoria, long after problems with such outbreaks in NSW and internationally were well documented.
It is time the federal and state governments looked long and hard at how nursing homes in Australia are funded and privately run, and not just ignore the findings from the Royal Commission in a "business as usual" manner. The current viral outbreaks expose the national nursing home models as quite unfit for purpose.
Rex Simmons, Mawson
Veterans need different help
There seems to be a disconnect in the government's thought processes when it comes to management of monies allocated for the care of veterans. ("Memorial expansion 'not at veterans' expense' " , July 17, p6).
Senator Zed Seselja says the government will spend about twice the amount they would like to spend ($500 million) on the restructuring of the war memorial on veterans' services and support. They should pull back for a moment to reflect on what the veterans real needs are rather than guessing that they are helping those veterans with the revamp.
There are a few basic needs that the government appears to have overlooked in their rush to develop the "Stokes-Nelson Memorial Fun Park". Things like housing and psychological services seem to be sadly lacking ("Veterans more likely to be homeless and sleeping rough" July 18, p17).
Perhaps the veterans should be asked for their input into the grand design this government has in store for them. In the meantime, spend a few dollars and provide appropriate housing for them all.
W Book, Hackett
Meter is a thief
I have a very treasured parking permit for limited mobility purposes. It is much appreciated until I come to a street in Barton near a medical centre, or to the Brindabella Pathology collection centre in Garran.
There is a parking ticket dispenser at Brindabella which is a money gobbler. It is also very difficult to use as the screen is in direct sunlight. Less savvy, non-computer literate persons have difficulty using it.
I helped the person before me and then decided to use cash, it stole my dollar coin so I used my credit card. Success. It needs a shade and a simpler series of screens. How about doing it right please?
Janet Frommer, Forrest
Policy is confusing
The ACT Liberals have quite a way to go on explaining their "green space guarantee" about more trees and open and green spaces.
A leaflet from the shadow minister for the environment only offered a "long term vision to plant one million trees and preserve precious green space in new suburbs... ".
The Liberals have had plenty of opportunity to study the deficiencies linked to the raft of glossy planning strategies and frameworks issued over the past three years that are already skewing "renewal" in ways that are impacting poorly on the livability of new and existing residents in older suburbs, particularly those abutting busy transit corridors.
Community groups have amassed plenty of evidence of neglect, lost opportunities and unwanted impacts as the Labor/Greens government has focused doggedly on creating little more than a much denser built environment, with more hard surfacing, and more unwelcoming and hotter "cookie-cutter" type spaces for public use.
Many will wonder why the Liberals are making no commitment to address the potential of much neglected and unused public land in and around existing suburbs. These spaces could offer swathes of additional well-designed and accessible parkland.
When will we hear from the Liberals on these critical livability matters?
Sue Dyer, Downer
Raiders sailed the oceans blue
Enough of this nonsense about changing the Raiders' name: it is legitimate and of historic significance. The late, great, Welsh archaeologist, Rhys Jones, of ANU, told us so.
At an important after-dinner address to a meeting of the Meningans Society (another story) at University House, Professor Jones, with photographic evidence, traced the Raiders' heritage from when the Vikings sailed down rivers from Scandinavia, via Rome (where they learnt Latin), across the Americas, down the Pacific to ancient Terra Australis. He even showed us a photograph of statues he said were of Big Mal Meninga's ancestors on Easter island.
The Vikings arrived at the site of what was to become Seiffert Oval via the Queanbeyan River, where there is now a street named in recognition of their knowledge of Latin: Campese Street.
As intended, we all fell about laughing, but not one of the loyal Mighty Raiders' fans at the dinner doubted the great archaeologist.
James Mahoney, McKellar
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