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Tourists wear masks as they bike along the beach in Miami, Florida, on Dec. 20, 2020, amid the Coronavirus pandemic.


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Blame game

Re ‘Good Enough’ Should Not Be Good Enough (Editorial, Feb. 5): We seem to have discovered a clever new pastime to get us through the pandemic: Pin the blame on the target.

We can blame the federal government for too few vaccines. But we can also blame it for hogging vaccines for us over more needy people.

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We can blame provincial governments for failing to lock down and causing more deaths. But we can also blame them for locking down the economy and hurting financially strapped small businesses.

We can blame Americans for destroying the planet with poor environmental policies. But we can also blame them for putting Canadians out of work by cancelling pipelines.

This game is fantastic. We can’t lose. Or can we?

Marcel Chiera Guelph, Ont.

Opposition parties getting up the nose of Liberals on vaccine orders stalled or not shipped will likely not help this erratic game plan. Those demanding to see contract details only foment fear and turmoil for citizens.

Get used to the ugly truth: Big Pharma, no matter a dire global pandemic, is still out to make profit, protect patents and play politics. At least transparency in research is a good reveal, so drugs such as vaccines can be fast tracked safely.

Yet who has not contracted a renovation without delays, haggles or cost overruns? Relax. We have over-ordered, vaccines will come. In the meantime, let’s build a national health care plan and capable homegrown pharmaceutical manufacturing.

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Marian Kingsmill Hamilton


Re Canadian Experts Warm To Mix-and-match Vaccine Scenarios (Feb. 8): I just got a vaccine. It was my turn for one of these precious doses simply because of where I live. Yukon’s small population means the wait for healthy 64-year-olds is over. But I gladly would have given mine up to my 96-year-old father living alone in Toronto.

Having been a good naval seaman in the Second World War, he has done his duty by just getting on with life, all while uplifting the flagging spirits of family feeling the hardship of jobs lost, studies interrupted. He tells everyone he is fine. But he has been on his own for months. COVID-19 has meant a shrinking inward of his daily life.

I am thankful for my poke, but I question why I had a place ahead of my father and others such as him. The pandemic lens magnifies and summons us to address the privileges and inequities throughout our world.

Gillian McKee Whitehorse

I’m a widow, 81, living in my own home. I see my daughter and family for an hour or two, about two or three times a week. Otherwise, I’m alone and have been since the pandemic started.

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Like many seniors in the same situation, I have been hoping for a vaccine. We were supposed to be next after long-term care and essential medical workers, except there seems to be no end to that category. Is there a definite timeline for receiving the vaccine, or are we going to be continually pushed aside because we are “non-essential?”

Mentally, I am struggling. I know I am only one of many others in the same situation.

Janet Veitch Perth, Ont.

Bon voyage

Re Costs Of Quarantine, U.S. Taxes Weigh On Snowbirds (Report on Business, Feb.5): It is disturbing to me, to say the least, when I hear of Canadian snowbirds obsessing over new regulations.

They are among the fortunate few who have resources to travel south and avoid frigid winter temperatures. They were well aware of the uncertainty as to how long this virus would be uncontrolled. They can hardly blame the government for taking evolving measures to contain a terrifying pandemic.

They should enjoy their time in the sun and quietly absorb any extra costs associated with their return to Canada. They should consider it their contribution to keeping the rest of us a little safer.

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Laura Hunt Guelph, Ont.

Stop dumping on snowbirds.

When they left in early November, there were no lockdowns and no second wave. The government recommended against travelling, but recommendations aren’t law. The government recommends many things that many of us ignore; think health guidelines.

I believe snowbirds have actually done us a great favour by removing their need for Canadian medical services. Think of all the broken hips, heart attacks and strokes our hard-pressed hospitals haven’t had to deal with. They still pay for our health care and many are coming back vaccinated – a real bonus, given the struggle to vaccinate even our most needy.

Last November, the government should have encouraged as many snowbirds to leave as possible, saving our health care system thousands of dollars and freeing thousands of vaccines for the rest of us.

Margaret Almack Pefferlaw, Ont.

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Brushes with Plummer

Re Actor Shone on Stage and Screen in the Shadow of Sound of Music (Obituary, Feb. 6): When I went to the Stratford Festival for the first time, I sat in an aisle seat. Or rather, I sprawled in it with my leg stuck out in the aisle. I had no idea that, at times, actors ran down these aisles and onto the stage.

Suddenly, one came down yelling his lines. This gave me time to get my leg back, just avoiding tripping this young actor with possibly disastrous results. That actor? Christopher Plummer.

I never again stretched my leg in an aisle.

James Regan Hamilton

My first experience of Christopher Plummer’s great talent was on my family’s first visit to the Stratford Festival during its heady early years. The trip was memorable for two reasons: My father had forgotten our tickets at home in Ottawa, resulting in a minor fuss at the box office. The other was that Mr. Plummer had recently broken his ankle, returning to Hamlet in a cast.

I can still remember him, while delivering a soliloquy, jumping up on a ledge as if he were buoyed by a balloon, rather than weighted by a hunk of plaster. Body spirited by soul.

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Robert Swain Kingston

I hold a very faint but tangible thread to Christopher Plummer. Actually, it’s a collection of threads in the form of a sock.

Our move to Stratford, Ont., in 1996 coincided with Mr. Plummer’s final Barrymore performance of that highly successful season, and we happened to rent the grand furnished Victorian house he had just vacated. The only trace of the previous inhabitant was a sock found under the bed. I washed the relic and put it away. There was no proof, but I knew it was his.

This sock is one entirely appropriate to a refined thespian playing a demanding role on his feet for many hours, night after night. I do not think it is betraying too much to let on that it is a knee-high, tan support sock.

Thanks to The Globe and Mail, then, for the tribute to Christopher Plummer and the wonderful photo of him from 2008. I now have proof that the sock peeking out from his sharp jeans is an exact match.

I just wonder what he was wearing on the other foot.

Susan Hudson Toronto

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