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The Rogers Communications building at 333 Bloor Street East in Toronto on March 15, 2021.

Melissa Tait/The Globe and Mail

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Pandemic perspectives

Re Provincial Pace (Letters, March 16): I am at an age where, statistically, I have less than 20 per cent of my life left. Even though I am quite healthy, I am not getting any younger. I find the public-health response to COVID-19 has been to increase the quantity of my life with complete disregard for the quality.

I have lost the best year of the rest of my life because of restrictions designed to protect me. I am never going to get this past year back.

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Given that death is inevitable, I would rather risk dying from COVID-19 to maintain the quality of my life than spend my best years left hiding in imposed isolation.

David Barker Whitby, Ont.

As an 82-year-old, I was shocked and infuriated to receive a call just two days before my appointment for the second Pfizer shot. It is now postponed to July 2 – a dose interval of four months and one week.

Why is government making such a decision when it keeps boasting about all the millions and millions of doses that are coming to the country?

Hazel Joffe Thornhill, Ont.

Re U.S. Will Not Release Stored AstraZeneca Shots To Other Countries: White House (March 13): And the United States is an ally?

Bruce Craig Hamilton

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Re COVID-19 Will Cast A Long Shadow Over Future Generations (March 15): I don’t think so. I was born in Canada many years ago and enjoyed interacting with various elders, some of whom were in the high-risk cohort of young adults during the Spanish flu. They had things to say about the First World War, but I don’t remember anyone saying anything about the Spanish flu.

The Roaring Twenties must have done much to expunge the memory, as of course the Great Depression and the Second World War also likely did. The lesson of the 1920s should be that society is remarkably resilient. The lesson of the following calamitous decades should be that we may well soon confront challenges that eclipse the lingering but fading effect of COVID-19.

Jim Davies London, Ont.

Re Separating News From Noise On Vaccines (March 16): I am an experienced physician who was on one of the working groups of Ontario’s vaccine task force. Despite my “inside” knowledge, I find that I learn something new every time I read André Picard’s column; if not important facts, ways to impart them.

He is truly a national treasure.

Barry Goldlist Professor of medicine (geriatrics), University of Toronto

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We say

Re Politics Led To WE’s Fall, Kielburgers Say (March 16): I would say that much of the “politics” blamed for the downfall of WE Charity is of the Kielburgers’ own making. I would rather see the Canada Revenue Agency investigate whether WE is meeting its obligations as a registered charity. This would reassure donors and supporters that the funds received are managed and disbursed properly.

Marguarite Keeley Ottawa

WE Charity is not perfect, but its effect in rural Kenya has been very positive over the years. If fewer girls can go to school, should this not feature in Canadian discussions?

The investigation into the charity is continuing and it might be better to wait until facts are fully established before drawing conclusions. But in the process, let us not forget the effect on the ultimate beneficiaries of the charity’s actions.

D.R.F. Taylor Ottawa

Make rent

Re We Need To Change Our Negative Perception Of Renting (Report on Business, March 12): The cultural perception of renting as a temporary step has its roots in government decisions over the past 70 years to encourage homeownership. The Canadian government still makes considerable efforts to promote this, including through the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive.

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However, some research suggests that the actual effect on personal finances of owning versus renting depends mostly on relevant policies, not on any inherent economic logic of either approach. One wonders what could be achieved if government decided to promote high-quality rental housing as a stable option for all Canadians.

For the moment, I am at least content that my housing costs are predictable for the rest of my lease, that I can easily move for better opportunities, that I will not have to pay a plumber if my pipes burst.

Jody Zink Quebec

Incredible inequality

Re The Other Half (Letters, March 12): The older I get – I’m 76 – the more I am appalled by the misogyny I see pervading every aspect of Canadian society, and frequently highlighted by stories in this and other papers.

“Few [men] use their voice in society to advance the causes of women,” an 89-year-old letter-writer recently lamented. Unfortunately, I agree. Unless significant numbers of men break that silence, I believe all men will continue to be complicit in the perpetuation of gender inequality and all the horrors it entails.

Ray Jones Toronto

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Re How Companies Plan To Lure Employees Back To The Office (Report on Business, March 16): Fitness centres, yoga rooms, social hubs – all wonderful ideas. But don’t forget to leave space for on-site child care and nursing facilities if employers don’t want to risk being tone deaf about the inequalities of the pandemic-related “she-cession.”

Maureen Pennington Calgary

Heavenly calls

Re Rogers To Buy Shaw In $20.4-billion Deal (Report on Business, March 16): In the movie Wall Street, Gordon Gekko declares that “greed … is good.” In Canada it seems that monopolies and now oligopolies are more than good, they’re great – at least for companies such as Rogers and Shaw with what I see as near-exclusive government licences.

Consumers will likely continue to pay higher prices and suffer from more stifled innovation than their counterparts in countries where vigorous competition is encouraged.

George Horhota Former president and Royal Bank of Canada representative, Canadian Business Telecommunications Alliance; Toronto

The Globe and Mail’s front-page image of the Milan Cathedral (Italy Back In Lockdown As Cases Rise Again – March 16), juxtaposed with the Rogers bid of $20.4-billion for Shaw, is an inventory of the soul for the 21st century.

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What matters: a shrine that took more than 500 years to build, or illusions transmitted and bounced back from toys in orbit? How much would we agree to pay for better cellphone service? How much would we agree to pay for Milan’s duomo? Forget it. We often can’t even pay minimum wage to the armies of workers who sweep the floors in these architectural masterpieces.

We have changed.

Hugh McKechnie Newmarket, Ont.

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