While we complain, our nurses help to save lives

Credit:Illustration: Andrew Dyson

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HEALTHCARE WORKERS

While we complain, our nurses help to save lives

We must stop and take stock of how this pandemic has affected not only ourselves, the mental health of our children and grandchildren, businesses and the economy but also the dreams of young people working as health professionals.

The article by a young nurse who works in the emergency department at a major Melbourne hospital (Opinion, 2/9) brings a stark reality to being on the front line in full personal protective equipment, being verbally and physically abused, and feeling burnt out, exhausted and disappointed in a career that she had chosen for life.

The early years of nursing should be stimulating and rewarding, with new paths to follow in a profession that will bring respect and appreciation from patients and families for nurses’ care and concern. But in this COVID-19 environment, this young nurse is questioning her career choice.
Those who complain about wearing a mask for short periods, or have myriad other lockdown grumbles, need to stop and remember those young nurses, doctors and other health professionals who are on the front line, protecting the community and actually saving lives in this pandemic.
Margie Isom, Barwon Heads

The workers that the public can’t live without

Thank you, Anonymous, for explaining the difficulties you face in your nursing work. I have a daughter who is a nurse and has to carry out many tasks that I could not do. She tells me that she was born to nurse and I think that is fantastic. The plight of nurses has always been difficult but one thing is certain: we cannot live without them. And I often wonder if remuneration might be a bit better if many more males joined the profession. Anyway, keep up the good work (I have no doubt you will) and rest assured, the public is on your side.
Andrew Barnes, Ringwood

We need to lobby MPs for better pay for nurses

I was saddened to read the article by the young nurse about her experiences caring for COVID-19 patients. I was disgusted by her description of “angry people coming to emergency to film us on their phones because we told them they had to wear a mask”. I also agree with her sentiments about how underpaid nurses are, despite all the empty words of politicians about how much their services are valued.

If I had a message for her it would be that the vast majority of people appreciate what she is doing. We need to demand better remuneration for nurses from our politicians. There has never been a more appropriate time to lobby for that.
David Fry, Moonee Ponds

As my immunity wanes, how will I be protected?

Scott Morrison, as a “1a” healthcare worker who received the Pfizer vaccination in March, I wonder what your plan is to rollout booster shots. In the coming months, as my immunity wanes, conversely the number of patients with COVID-19 requiring hospital care is expected to rise, along with the risk of exposure for healthcare workers. Please reassure us that we will be adequately protected.Dr
Christie Little, Clifton Hill

Lockdown? Things could be very much worse

As we all feel despondent about the current restrictions, it is perhaps helpful to look at our predicament on a scale of possible scenarios, beginning with the most tolerable:

No restrictions. Mild lockdown restrictions. Hard lockdown restrictions. Home quarantine. Mild COVID-19 and home quarantine. Severe COVID-19 and home quarantine. COVID-19 and hospitalised. COVID-19 and intensive care. COVID-19 and ventilator. Dead.

Currently we in Victoria are at the third stage (hard lockdown restrictions). Maybe keeping things in perspective can help our current mood.
Dr Tarquin Oehr, Richmond

THE FORUM

Battling for vaccines

Chip Le Grand’s opinion piece – “A harsh awakening, now let the children play” (The Age, 2/9) – says the state government and public-health team, in dealing with COVID-19, were “straitjacketed by an aversion to risk and their past decisions” and could have tried “less draconian and damaging restrictions”.

Surely they were constrained by the lack of tools at their disposal, principally the lack of vaccine supply, due to federal bungling – a fact that was not mentioned in Le Grand’s piece. Now that more vaccines have finally become available, months after it should have happened, we can focus on vaccination rates, not case numbers.
Diana Scambler, Sandy Point

Making their own fun

As children, during and after WWII, in a little bush town in Gippsland, then named The Brown Coal Mine, one of our favourite places to play was in an empty, concrete, gun emplacement. On rainy days there was no more joyful fun than to slide down the sloping surface, and on dry days our imagination set us free to invent many adventures. Thank you, Dugald Jellie, for the memory – “Nature still the best playground for kids” (Opinion 3/9).
Pat Anderson, Airport West

The issue of borders

What is it with these Coalition politicians and, in particular, Scott Morrison? They are now demanding that states need to open their borders, yet they still refuse entry to Australia to thousands of its own citizens. This double standard is now purely political.
Grant Kentell, Bulleen

A lack of true leaders

Does anyone else feel we are in a “spring of despair”? So many people highlight the problems, yet do not offer solutions. In previous crises, Australia’s political leaders came together to inspire us. Today they bicker and play games of oneupmanship. Like so many Australians, I desperately want reassurance that we are all in this together. But who will lead the way? Sadly, there is no one on the horizon.
Sally Davis, Malvern East

Proving vaccination

I have two credit cards, a Medicare card, a myki card, a Seniors card, a driver’s licence, a fishing licence, a boat licence, a private health insurance card, two loyalty cards, an organ donor card, a Working With Children card, and keyless entry card in my wallet and there is still room for a password-protected, vaccination-status card. Come on, Health Minister Greg Hunt, catch up. It is 2021 and we are all in this together.
Barry Greer, Balnarring

Just one visitor, please

There is a substantial scattering of old people who have had both vaccinations and live alone. Last year we had “bubble buddies”. This year we have bare walls to look at. When the next mini-bout of small easings of restrictions is announced, it would be good to let us almost invisible, careful people visit each other for the benefit of our health and sanity.
Viki Wright, Ringwood East

Take a bow, Victorians

A positive message and well said, Aisha Dow (The Age, 3/9). Victoria’s lockdowns have saved thousands of lives and the current one has already prevented an estimated 6000 local cases. Despite the fact that the virus most likely will not be eliminated, the lockdowns have brought us time to get vaccinated and prevented hospitals and health workers from being overwhelmed with cases. I agree, we Victorians should thank ourselves for this effort.
Leigh Ackland, Deepdene

Biased – or balanced?

Judging by the outcry (Letters, 3/9) about the editorial (The Age, 2/9), it shows that many readers cannot bear a balanced opinion. If it is not left or favouring Labor, or criticising the Liberals or Scott Morrison, it should not be printed in The Age.
Marvin Cohen, Armadale

My 2021 wish list

Experts are on record as saying that it is in the best interests of our mental health to have something to look forward to.

The Melbourne Cup run and won. Christmas decorations displayed in shops that we are able to visit without restrictions. Local businesses trading freely to make up for lost time. Christmas lunch in person with family. A confirmed Boxing Day Test at a full MCG against the arch enemy. That will do me.
Troy Jones, Wattle Glen

We’re perfectly suited

A message to the wild man of Borneo (Geoff Combe, Letters 2/3) and the particularly hairy woolly mammoth (Rob Wills, 3/9). I feel like the madwoman of Chaillot. Let’s meet up in 2022.
Linda Fisher, Malvern East

When ‘facts’ are guesses

I am a clinical epidemiologist. I have spent 20years modelling various healthcare issues. The output of healthcare models are not facts. They are educated guesses. The better the information going in, the more accurate the guess that comes out, but they are always guesses. Whenever I hear a politician saying a product of a model is a fact, I know that a political point is being made. Nothing more, nothing less.
Professor David Ben-Tovim, Carlton

The Taliban’s hypocrisy

“Australian soldiers violated human rights, say Taliban” (The Age, 2/9). Whilst I do not support violation of human rights by any person or group, Australian or otherwise, are we really giving any credibility to the grossly hypocritical statement from Taliban spin doctor Suhail Shaheen? This from a representative of a group that perpetrates atrocities on innocents while trying to appear legitimate and “squeaky clean”. Talk about the pot calling the kettle…
Colin Wilson-Evered, Forest Hill

The old political line

Spare a thought for poor Josh Frydenberg. Pushing the spin-doctored, party political line on JobKeeper repayments as he did on 7.30 (ABC TV, 1/9) which, as your correspondent quite rightly said, was “insulting and puerile” (Letters, 3/9), must be hard for him when really, deep down he appears to be quite intelligent.
Peter Burton, South Melbourne

Wasting beautiful water

With major dams nearing capacity, government agencies are flooding the Murray River and dumping 22,207 megalitres a day of beautiful, fresh, mountain rainwater out to sea. That is enough water a day to produce 83.2million loaves of bread.

Yet the federal and state governments will only allow NSW farmers 30per cent, and Victorian farmers 52per cent, of their water to irrigate their thirsty crops and pastures that produce our food. At this rate, they will waste the equivalent of Port Phillip Bay in 113 days for no reason. Insanity.
Geoff Kendell, Cohuna

Exploited meat workers

Australia’s indentured foreign workforce (The Age, 1 to 3/9) should not be taken for granted; they are crucial to the lives of ordinary Australians. Quality meat, readily available on supermarket shelves, packaged and presented to the highest food safety standards, is made possible in large part because of foreign workers lured by the promise of permanent residency.

In countless cases, this promise is never kept. The meat industry relies heavily on such workers because of a lack of competence and more shamefully, a lack of will among locals, where in some places unemployment is as high as 30per cent.

Surely, three-and-a-half years of hard labor on a 457 visa, the exorbitant recruitment agent and immigration legal fees and demonstrated loyalty to the Australian people satisfies the conditions of the indentured servitude of foreign workers seeking to contribute and share a place in our communities.
David Chaston, Wagga Wagga

Harness the kids’ energy

If the Victorian government conscripted all the kids who are digging jumping-ramps in the parks and waterways around Melbourne, its excavation problems with the West Gate Tunnel could be solved before the next state election.
Mike Pantzopoulos, Ashburton

AND ANOTHER THING

Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding

Pandemic

Australia could be having doughnuts today if NSW had done its job.
Barbara Lynch, South Yarra

What a bizarre concept. We don’t like this pandemic. It’s boring and expensive. Let’s just stop.
Greg Walsh, Black Rock

I asked my son what he wanted for his birthday. His answer: ″⁣A crowd of 20 at home″⁣.
Craig Tucker, Newport

Learn to live with COVID-19? A bit of an oxymoron.
Helen Schapper, Alphington

Aux armes, citoyens.
Harvey Mitchell, Castlemaine

NSW makes a virtue of COVID spread failure. Orwellian newspeak.
Chris Boon, Wodonga

Children allowed into playgrounds: hooray. Next door, golf practice net padlocked: boo. Age discrimination.
Peter Evans, Bentleigh East

So our plans to eliminate Delta were just pi in the sky.
Kevan Porter, Alphington

India is vaccinating one Australia every three days. Are we really a First World nation?
Kirtana Deshpande, Kew

The Melbourne Cup could be run in Birdsville. Excellent, fast track and plenty of room for a “birdcage”.
Geoff Allen, Mount Eliza

I’ve seen endless TV vision of vaccine vials and needles jabbed into arms. You can stop it now.
John Manfield, Blairgowrie

Furthermore

No one knew how quickly Kabul would fall. The Taliban knew.
John McSweeney, Brighton

The Taliban say Australian soldiers violated human rights (2/9). Well, I’m sure they’re the ones to know.
Peter McGill, Lancefield

Having flattened Nazi Germany, the US brought in the Marshall Plan. Like it or not, this may be the way forward in Afghanistan.
Barry Revill, Moorabbin

You’ve started off well, Luke Sayers. You’ve maintained the tradition of inept management at Carlton.
Peter Randles, Pascoe Vale South

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