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A sign indicating that there are no more COVID-19 vaccines available outside University Pharmacy in Vancouver, on April 1, 2021.

DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

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Priorities and communication

Re A Spring Pandemic Is In Full Bloom (Editorial, April 1): There seems to be a point where the desire to distribute vaccines equitably with a provincewide strategy gets in the way of effective public-health protection. The socioeconomic and demographic realities of different communities should mean that priority populations are going to vary.

If the government reopens businesses and forces employees back to work, then they should be vaccinated first without so much worry over retired people with the means to stay home.

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We have also prioritized care workers who are paid, but what about the ones who aren’t? Maybe we need to have a goal of one million moms vaccinated by Mother’s Day.

Emily Ames Pickering, Ont.


Re AstraZeneca, Vaccines And The Trust Issue (Editorial, March 31): “Canada’s health experts are doing their job.” I disagree.

A part of the job is to create confidence in vaccines. Health Canada and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization should be co-ordinating statements. That way, we wouldn’t have two different experts repeatedly contradicting each other. Now some people are rejecting the AstraZeneca vaccine.

This is sad, since the recommended period between AstraZeneca doses is up to three months, and more suited to a situation where second doses are hard to come by.

Andrew Chong Toronto

Worst case

Re Covid-19′s Toll On Canadians With Other Illnesses (March 27): My father, in his late 70s, was told to expect his hip surgery 12 months after meeting with a surgeon. The effect of COVID-19 was to extend this a further 12 months, to December, 2021.

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His hip has deteriorated significantly and he has mobility difficulties. No sympathy from the surgeon’s office and no helpful advice regarding pain management.

With recent increases in cases and hospitalizations, not to mention variants, I believe we are heading into a third wave and, yes, suspension of elective surgeries again. My father may be looking at another year of waiting for December, 2022.

This is unacceptable, so our family agreed to assist in financing his hip surgery in Phoenix in May. The cost, US$44,000, is worth it to restore my father’s quality of life.

Paul Douglas Calgary

Time to grow

Re It’s Time To Focus On Expanding Our Population (March 31): A national fertility strategy could grow more babies and future generations of taxpayers to support what already is a very strained system.

In Canada, one in six opposite-sex couples suffer from fertility challenges and many seek medical help, typically in-vitro fertilization that costs about $20,000, with no guarantee of success. A national fertility strategy could increase access to assisted reproductive treatment, reduce urban-rural disparities and assure equitable services for all Canadians regardless of relationship status, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or income.

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This could be a win-win for everyone: for the thousands of Canadians facing barriers to treatment, and for the rest of Canada that would pay a heavy freight if our population continues to dwindle.

Natalie Dimitra Montgomery Ottawa

Caught

Re Catalyst Offered Up To $11-million To Israeli Firm That Launched Sting On Judge (Report on Business, March 27): I want to thank reporter Tim Kiladze for exposing Black Cube and its client Catalyst Capital Group.

In Catch and Kill, journalist Ronan Farrow documented how sexual predator Harvey Weinstein recruited Black Cube agents to intimidate, deceive and silence victims of sexual abuse. In the case of Catalyst, simply because they were not happy with Justice Frank Newbould’s decision, they resorted to paying $11-million to smear him as “a racist, a depraved anti-Semite.”

I am grateful that Justice Cary Boswell did not give in to legal pressure and allowed these details to be in the public record. Corruption, lies and character assassinations should be exposed for any hope of such behaviour to stop.

Grace Batchoun Montreal

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In the room

Re The Final Hour (Opinion, March 27): I am a social worker in a hospital and we see many people who meet the criteria for medical assistance in dying – but their family will not let them go.

The patient is fully capable, demonstrating understanding and appreciation, and wants to die. Some family members expend huge amounts of energy talking to them and their medical team to explain why they should be denied their right to self-determination.

It creates such heartache for the patient coping with illness, pain and often imposed dependency, and now they have to manage their vocal families, who want them to live in a state that no longer meets their personal values.

I’ve had patients tell me that their family is “being selfish” in the fight to stop MAID from occurring. It does not contribute to a peaceful death.

Janna DiPinto Mississauga

Waving through a window

Re Making Waves (Opinion, March 27): Here in Manitoba, there were two brothers from Brokenhead Ojibway Nation who took it upon themselves to wave to motorists. The Starr brothers were a happy sight by Highway 59, a major route to Lake Winnipeg beaches, waving to passersby for years and years. They inspired me, along with the song Somebody Might Wave Back by The Waterboys, to engage in freestyle waving whenever I can.

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My favourite experience happened in Saskatoon. I had ridden my bicycle there from Winnipeg and was waiting for my wife to arrive by car. I sat in a park on 8th Street all afternoon, waving to drivers and passengers and pedestrians.

Maybe a quarter of the folks who noticed me waved back. Best of all was the fellow who returned, parked his car and walked up with an iced coffee, just bought at Tim Hortons as a thank-you to me!

Timothy Brandt Winnipeg


My French-Canadian father spoke English fluently but, like many people in a second language, he’d sometimes unintentionally create a rough literal translation. For instance, he’d say, “Je lui ai fait signe” (“I waved to him”), which he’d translate as “I made him a sign.”

Contributor David Macfarlane’s narrative about maritime and terrestrial wavers omits one point: Ontarians, on the whole, are polite and warm. When I see my Ontario friends at a distance, I always make them a sign.

Mel Simoneau Gatineau

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Pun-dendum

Re Pun To Spare (Letters, March 27): “A dose! A dose! My kingdom for a dose!”

Jeffrey Peckitt Oakville, Ont.


Allow me to finish the “pun-demic” chorus on a hopeful note. While we understand and welcome witty words of wisdom, needles to say, we get the point.

Ken DeLuca Arnprior, Ont.


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