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A realtor's sign outside a house in Mississauga, Ont. on Mar 11 2021.Fred Lum/the Globe and Mail

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Re Age Isn’t Just A Number – It’s The Best Way To Prioritize Vaccines (March 10): The quandary of who should be vaccinated after front-line workers is being confronted worldwide. Columnist Gary Mason asks if it makes sense to vaccinate the young, such as teachers and police, ahead of a 70-year-old grandmother. He says no, I say yes.

Let’s pose the question thus: If a family of four was allocated two doses only, a situation of scarcity that exists today, would it be better to protect oneself or vaccinate the employed who are sustaining our economy and the youth who represent the future? And I’m over 70.

Ken Mackenzie Calgary

It seems to matter in which part of a province one lives. I am 91 and live at home. I was made aware of those over 90 being registered for inoculation on March 4. I filled out the form and sent it by e-mail.

On March 5, I received a phone call confirming my registration with a time and place for a Pfizer shot. On March 9, I received the shot.

Zig Berzins Sarnia, Ont.

Take care

Re André Picard’s New Book Examines The Disorganization Of Eldercare In Canada (Arts & Pursuits, March 6): My father’s care leads me to the conclusion that most interactions are transactional and provider-centric.

As Vincent Lam points out in his review of André Picard’s new book, this approach is fine when our needs are not complex. Once our needs become more acute, we need a professional who can co-ordinate and advocate for us. This is difficult even for family to do.

So my father sits in his room waiting for one transaction after another, without someone looking after him as a human being. He is not always easy to talk to because it takes him a while to understand what people are saying. But even though he is 98, he is still lucid and has preferences and opinions about his care.

Mostly the staff can’t afford the time to listen. Most days, he feels like his life has been long enough. I can understand why.

Frank van Nie Toronto

In 2000, I held power of attorney for a 92-year-old friend in Ottawa. She had a stroke the following year and I had no alternative but to put her in a nursing home. Living in Kingston, I did not see it first; it was suggested by community care.

When I finally visited, I was appalled at the conditions. Patients were screaming and crying. Many of them, including my friend, sat in wheelchairs in the dining room, where they had been since breakfast, waiting for lunch with a television blaring. I went to her room and discovered half the clothes in the closet did not belong to her.

Needless to say, I had her transferred within a week to a home I trusted in Kingston.

Surely relatives must be aware of such conditions in certain homes. They should speak up.

Sheila Barnum Kingston

Trickle down

Re Strong E-commerce Growth Contributes To Increase In Empire’s Earnings, Sales (Report on Business, March 11): Remember the “heroes?” I see nothing about employees sharing in this increased profit. Their work and risk on the front line is part of this. What are they getting out of it?

Craig Proulx Fredericton

Hot in here

Re More Or Less (Letters, March 5): A letter-writer blames cheap money as a cause of high housing prices.

I find more sinister forces at work.

People buy gold not so much to use, but because its value is expected to increase; the same thing seems to be happening to residential property. Lots of condos are being built, but how many are used as real homes?

Failure to address this issue can only result in severe social unrest.

Brian Swinney Burlington, Ont.

Re When A Well-qualified Millennial Home Seeker Throws Up His Hands (Report on Business, March 5): I think that when Greg sold his condo in 2019 for a significant profit, he should have purchased a house then. My guess is that he thought he would outsmart the market and wait for prices to come down.

Everybody thinks they can time the market better than anyone else, but unfortunately no one can time the market perfectly.

I also see a generation of people who want to skip steps on the property ladder. Why not purchase a semi-detached house, then in five to seven years, move up to a detached?

We’d all love to own a mansion in a tony neighbourhood, but we can’t all afford to, so instead we buy a smaller home elsewhere.

As I see it, the only fate that awaits Greg now is higher, more unaffordable prices. Buyers should forget about timing the market and think about time in the market instead.

Davelle Morrison Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage; Toronto

Re Rate Policy Could Further Heat Housing Market: Experts (Report on Business, March 11): How long is a fragile economy fragile? Our economy has been so since the global financial crisis of 2008.

Then came the pandemic.

By keeping a chokehold on interest rates, I believe the Bank of Canada has contributed to an overheated housing market and eliminated the opportunity to gain nothing but miniscule returns on guaranteed investments. First-time home buyers are practically shut out of the market in major cities or casting caution to the wind and taking on burdensome mortgages.

Wouldn’t a more rational approach be to raise interest rates moderately, thereby partly restraining the skyrocketing price of housing? This approach would have enabled seniors, and others, modest gains from their investments.

Instead, the authorities allow housing markets to ride this blistering rocket of inflated prices to wherever it takes us.

Shaun Markey Ottawa

The other half

Re Gender Equality Starts At Home – And With Men (March 8): I am a lifelong feminist, now at the age of 89. On almost a daily basis, I confront my husband or other men in my family with the need to give more than lip service to women’s rights. They could be better informed, write letters, speak up in discussions or actually get out and protest.

Most of them (or so I believe) have a lot of respect for women’s intelligence, resourcefulness and steadfastness, and give gender equality tacit support. However, few of them use their voice in society to advance the causes of women.

Men make up half the human race. Gender equality needs their active participation with more than a nod of the head. To borrow a phrase from the military, we need their boots on the ground alongside ours!

Shirley Daventry French Victoria

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