Thank you for your excellent editorial ("Silence on COVID deaths is hard to explain", canberratimes.com.au, May 12) reminding us that COVID-19 is a serious disease, that the pandemic is far from over, and that we should not forget simple measures to reduce our chances of contracting the disease.
COVID-19 may be mild for some, but can cause serious illness and death for others. The debilitating effects of long COVID will only become known as the years progress.
I am amazed that people do not understand the difference between droplets and aerosols. Droplets land on surfaces, aerosols do not. Aerosols remain suspended in the air for minutes to hours. Aerosols are present in air exhaled from a person during normal breathing, so if that person is infected with COVID-19 those aerosols will contain virus.
Aerosols are known to be the main mode of transmission of this virus. This simple message is being forgotten.
We should be continually reminded that N95 masks trap aerosols and viral particles and are a simple measure to limit COVID-19 transmission. We should also be reminded that domestic air purifiers (that many of us purchased to remove bushfire smoke) remove particles less than five microns in size and so are effective in removing viruses in household settings.
I write in support of David Turbayne's excellent letter questioning the lack of a more aggressive public health response to the increasing threats of COVID-19 (Letters, May 13).
It is instructive to view The New York Times' country-by-country COVID-19 tracker, including cases per 100,000 residents in the last seven days.
On the day that the letter was published Australia had the world's sixth highest number of daily cases per head of population (179 per 100 000 people).
The COVID-19 map clearly shows Australia is a world COVID-19 "hot spot".
Frank McKone ("Voter Confusion", Letters, May 13) correctly states that "the Australian Electoral Commission insists, in its practice voting pages, that above the line we must number at least six boxes".
He then goes on to ask: "Is it correct for us to number at least two boxes above the line?"
The answer is "yes" because the AEC is required by law to count as a formal vote the expression of a single first preference for a party above the line.
However, voters going to the AEC website will not get the correct answer. They will get instead this false statement: "Your vote would not be counted. Above the line. You need to number at least six boxes consecutively in the order of your choice above the line."
By making that false statement the AEC has created the confusion to which McKone refers.
Any voter wanting to know the truth should consult me, not the AEC.
Frank McKone (Letters, May 13) , is confused about how to vote on the ACT Senate ballot paper. He is not the only one. I believe the voting instructions given are highly deceptive as they do not mention that other formal choices are available to voters.
The Electoral Commission's website states that for above-the-line voting "voters may consecutively number fewer than six boxes (including only one box with a first preference), and for below-the-line voting, a minimum of six consecutive numbers.
Both are considered as valid votes. For the sake of a democratic outcome I sincerely hope that scrutineers have been made aware of this discrepancy in voting advice.
As we approach the end of this pre-election lead up I just want to say what a pleasure it has been to meet up with candidates in local coffee shops rather than seeing them showing up in hi-vis vests in mock manufacturing poses.
These more humble candidates show a genuine desire to listen to our ideas for the future of this country.
Alicia Payne and Kim Rubenstein have both patiently lubricated thoughtful discussions with all comers at our local coffee shop, spreading a palpable and very welcome feel of democracy into the atmosphere.
Usually any eavesdropping in such a place reveals chat concerning comparisons of house prices which only make one feel distressed with the greed which underlies it all.
I wonder if candidates could promise to continue some high profile coffee shop visibility to provoke some ongoing concern with political strategies outside election campaigns.
The provision of our recently boosted local and regional papers on our coffee tables would perhaps promote such consideration of politics in public places.
In addition I would argue that we might need to educate each other with careful conversation in order to compensate for the underfunding of our public schools by $6.5 billion dollars (Jenna Price "If only education came in hi-vis", May 13).
I was moved by the Prime Minister's change of heart on Friday when he said he hadn't always done everything right, had been "a bit of a bulldozer", had learnt from his mistakes and that he would change. It was a lot like what a jilted spouse might say to the angry partner they had neglected and abused when they came home to find the contents of their wardrobe thrown out the window, their whisky poured down the sink and the windows of the Porsche smashed in. I'm channelling that excellent movie The War of the Roses here. I suspect Mr Morrison's plea to the voters to take him back one more time is just as sincere as Michael Douglas's was to his wife in that film.
K MacMillan (Letters, May 9) thinks that it is pointless to stop selling coal when customers can just buy it from elsewhere if we do. There is a similar argument that it is pointless to take strong action on emissions because we are a small emitter in global terms.
I suspect MacMillan does not realise the urgency and the seriousness of the situation of climate disruption, or does not accept it at all. These free rider arguments are an excuse for doing nothing and if every country adopted them, there is a catastrophic future waiting for all of us.
We would also have no moral sway to try and urge the big emitters, such as India, China and the US, to take urgent action if we do not. We have the opportunity to show the way with our plentiful renewable resources and excellent scientific research capabilities.
That's if the Morrison government doesn't get the chance to ignore the former and destroy the latter further.
When the Prime Minister is backing Katherine Deves' right to free speech as she uses her public profile to make false, hurtful and vile comments about trans people does he never think of his wife's advice during a similar crisis some time ago: "Think of this like a father. How would you feel if it was your daughter?"
How do Deves' comments impact on a parent trying to assist their trans child making life changing decisions, wanting to give all the support they can, not really sure what are the best steps forward or where to seek the best advice?
Scott, think like a parent or a man with a loving heart, not a politician .
It is easy to see why so many Australian electors want to support candidates independent of two major parties.
As shown in the "debate" on Sunday, the best these parties can produce is two middle-aged white men in suits who can only snarl and spit abuse and distorted and deceptive economic statistics at each other.
They studiously ignored the main issues which include dramatic and damaging changes in our environment, the huge increase in inequality across Australia and the erosion of faith in our democratic institutions. Unless we change the composition of our federal parliament the USA's dysfunctional two party model seems inevitable here.
ACT Senate voters have an opportunity to start the change by electing an independent in 2022.
G Gillespie (Letters, May 11) mounts an ad-hominem attack on I C Dillon for his concise and accurate summation of the many failings of the Coalition government over the last three years. G Gillespie should put pen to paper documenting the policy vision and achievements of this government which, presumably, they see as a model for how you want our country to be run. I would enjoy reading it, if only for the dark humour it would inject into this dreary campaign.
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