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A couple wearing protective face masks walk past the boarded up shops along Robson Street in downtown Vancouver, on May 4, 2020.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/The Canadian Press

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Peer pressure

Re Dear America: You’re Sick. Don’t Visit Us (Editorial, May 9): One thing not referred to in The Globe and Mail’s editorial is the pressure that will likely increase for those Canadian companies tightly integrated in American “just in time” manufacturing processes.

It’s been reported that Mexico will be opening its auto plants soon; much of the rationale behind this is seemingly the United States bringing pressure on Mexico. I have no doubt once Americans return to their factories, Canada would be pressed to support U.S. desires to open its economy.

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Elsewhere, contributor Nik Nanos finds that only 1 in 20 Canadians is in a hurry to remove safety restrictions associated with COVID-19 (The ‘Yahoo Minority,’ A Dire Outlook And Changes In Consumerism: Where We Stand On COVID-19 – Opinion, May 9). We can only hope our political leaders stick with what Canadians want, not what the money-grubbing rabble from south of the border demand.

Dan Hewitt Ottawa

You can’t handle the truth?

Re British PM’s Plan For Easing Virus Lockdown Under Fire (May 11): Jurisdictions worldwide are starting to open up despite persistent infections and deaths. Few governments seem willing to admit it, but we are in essence adopting a variation of the Swedish model, where large numbers of people will die – “culling the herd” – in the hope of achieving some form of “herd immunity.”

I’m fine with that. The virus seems unbeatable right now and we should move on. But surely our leaders should admit this strategic shift and emphasize that it will be more or less every woman and man for themselves. Your death or mine, viewed as tragic a few weeks ago, would be regarded more like a statistic.

Relaxing one’s guard could risk culling – a tawdry way to go.

Wayne Yetman Toronto

Long-term solutions

Re Value Of Life (Letters, May 11): Perhaps a letter writer should confer with her mother before speaking on her behalf. Surely the only choices should not be loneliness or death. Having helped to look after my late 104-year-old mother, I can attest that, without human contact, she would have had no quality of life as her faculties continuously deteriorated.

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Surely if we have learned nothing else from COVID-19, we have at least learned the importance of and yearning for interaction with friends and loved ones. To permanently disallow visitors to long-term care homes would be “horrifying.”

Frankly, were I in a long-term care home and given those two choices, I’d choose the latter rather than the former.

Ann Sullivan Peterborough, Ont.


Re Labour Congress Pushes For Reform Of Seniors Care (May 9) and The Case For Putting Seniors’ Care Under The Canada Health Act (May 9): If a grocery store sells a product with salmonella or if a restaurant is closed down because it is unsanitary, we don’t expect government to take over.

After COVID-19 outbreaks at meat plants in Alberta, there were no calls to nationalize that industry.

Furthermore, our health care system ranked only ninth of 11 developed countries in a 2017 study by the Commonwealth Fund.

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So why would we think that the public sector could do any better than private companies in managing long-term care facilities?

The solution, regardless of a facility’s ownership, should be to substantially beef up required standards of care, including adequate staffing levels and a minimum wage for personal support workers, increased inspections to ensure full compliance and large fines for non-compliance.

If stringent regulation can ensure that a facility adheres to top-notch standards, then its legal status should become irrelevant.

Adam Plackett Toronto


Re We Must Care More For Family Caregivers In The Time Of COVID-19 (May 8): Whether in-home or in long-term care, legions of families caring for seniors continue to be sidelined in attempts to engage various levels of government on much-needed change. Family caregivers do not place loved ones into long-term care only to forget them – our voices should be heard.

Governments should consult with family members, who have been sounding the alarm on long-term care for years, not only as observers, but also as unpaid health care assistants who participate in the broad cycle of senior care. We can help identify many of the necessary changes. I believe our input is vital to the success of such an initiative. We see the future – many of us may soon be in need of that care ourselves.

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Marian Kingsmill Hamilton

Get outta town

Re Cottage Country… (Editorial Cartoon, May 11): I believe this editorial cartoon will serve only to increase already irrational fears about those of us who “come from away.”

We built and enjoyed our cottage for 45 years, supporting local merchants, festivals and fundraising efforts of various kinds, including for the local hospital. We have been blessed with good neighbours, many of whom are permanent residents. We have been good citizens.

We have not been to our cottage yet this year. When we do, we’ll take our own supplies for our short visit and follow accepted guidelines as we do at home. Trust is essential and it should work both ways. The long weekend approaches; I hope that, given time, mutual trust and connections will return.

D. L. Bach Toronto


The best editorial cartoon in a long time. I, for one, do not want my health and safety compromised by the value of a cottage in Muskoka.

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Morley Brown Mulmur, Ont.

Armchair sports

Re Future Of Live Sports Looks Exclusive And Unentertaining and Swearing Athletes! Robot Cameras! Broadcasters Grapple With The Pitfalls Of Sports With No Fans (Sports, May 9): Both columnist Cathal Kelly and reporter Simon Houpt seem to suggest that television audiences would be somehow incapable of enjoying a game with few or no fans. But think of televised hockey out of Sunrise, Fla., or Glendale, Ariz. Do we really need people in seats or, as Mr. Kelly suggests, seats at all?

Gerard Gumpinger Kelowna, B.C.

Back to the future

Re Canadian Tire Predicts Permanent Shift In Online Shopping Habits (Report on Business, May 8): Back in the leisurely 1950s, long before the advent of Amazon and online shopping, instead of having to go to the store in our village to buy groceries, a gentleman would come by the house on his bicycle. Dressed in plus fours and a peaked cap, he would partake of a cup of tea and take our order, which would then be delivered the following day.

Seventy years later, it has taken a pandemic for home deliveries to come back in vogue.

Ian Savidge Toronto

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