This is addressed to the aggressive cyclist who threatened to collide with me, swerving at the last moment, as I was walking on the eastern side of Athllon Drive from Phillip to Mawson at around 7.45 on the morning of Thursday, January 7. I now realise it was because I was walking on the right rather than the left. Walking on the right in such a situation is common practice in the UK, in order to face the oncoming traffic and have warning of its approach.
When there are high volumes of pedestrian traffic, I follow the Canberra convention and walk on the left, accepting that doing otherwise causes confusion. When there are low volumes, I feel it wise to walk on the right.
Walking either on the left or the right presents a hazard to cyclists, but at least both parties are aware of the danger if the walker is on the right and pedestrian volumes are low. I'm hoping the cyclist will remember this the next time we have an encounter.
Nick Michell, Mawson
Test travellers before they leave
Day after day we hear the daily count of COVID-19 cases around the country. The majority of cases are arrivals from overseas, which appear to be the initial cause of infection leading to community spread.
Why can't passengers be checked for the virus before embarkation? The current system is problematic both from economic and public health perspectives. There also seems to be far too much reliance on tracing which obviously has its limitations, hence the worrying "mystery cases".
Is there any reason why testing before embarkation cannot be implemented? Fix the problem at the source.
Anne Davis, Bruce
Over the top
So much can be deduced about the imagination of a militarised mind when a tiny proportion of the population requires talismans so large they require a warehouse costing $500 million to house them.
Civilians, and I suspect lower ranks, do not need to physically see and touch defunct machines to assist their imagination to recall history, the destruction caused by war, or to remember those who have given their lives to such causes noble or otherwise. No doubt the merchants of death who sponsor so many of these offerings get a good hearing from the Australian War Memorial board.
Peter Curtis, Waramanga
Hillary was right on 'deplorables'
During the 2016 US presidential election Hillary Clinton described a group of Donald Trump supporters as "deplorables", a statement that dogged her for the rest of the campaign. Watching the "land of the free" tear itself apart, particularly the recent storming of the Capitol, one can only reach the obvious conclusion; maybe she was right.
R F Bollen, Torrens
Re Bob McDonald (Letters, January 4 and 7) and Vince Patulny (Letters, January 5).
I am delighted to read Douglas Mackenzie every chance I get. I am confident there have been some vacuous writers given space, in one instance possibly a lot of space, given regular appearances over a couple of years.
I do not rate Mackenzie a vacuous writer but then, on the value of letters writer's content I am sure one reader's trash is another reader's treasure.
Douglas Mackenzie is one of my treasures; often read twice. But I enjoy every letter because I place a high premium on the letters pages. Of course we know Dr Douglas Mackenzie has expertise from which to speak and write about climate change.
So even in The Canberra Times letters pages which attract some various expertise, he is a rare qualified writer and far from repetitious as his content is informative and his writing a delight, certainly far from tedious.
Warwick Davis, Isaacs
China's actions inexplicable
China is blocking World Health Organisation investigators from entering the country. Why would this matter now?
It is too late. The Chinese had ample time to reshape Wuhan, remove evidence, reprogram people even.
I think physically visiting Wuhan now is meaningless. It is all clear from day dot that the virus is Chinese. We need to move on.