Cut them some slack

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Cut them some slack

Workforce burnout and staff shortages in Victorian hospitals as outlined in your front page article (“Strained hospitals bracing for virus wave”, The Age, 4/9) are of concern.

Frontline workforce burnout and PTSD have been a major issue in European countries. Ideally, we need this workforce to be in the best possible physical and mental health to protect us in the months and perhaps years ahead. I believe they could safely be cut some slack from the heavy lockdown restrictions.

Provided they are vaccinated I don’t think allowing them to pursue some of their leisure and exercise activities would be an unacceptable risk to the community.

A country drive, golf, a weekend away in the regions or socialising with family and friends in a safe environment for instance could be considered allowable.
Dr Lawrence O’Halloran, Balwyn North

Crisis exposes safety net
Your story “Flatlining” (Insight, 4/9) highlights the effects of a phenomenon I’ve been concerned with for many years: the chronic underfunding of essential community services.

Governments are keen to advertise tax cuts but less enamoured of letting us know where this money could have been spent. I call it the “look, over there” trick.

As a taxpayer, one assumes that seldom-used government services, such as hospitals, will be available when you need them but, thanks to the continual cutting of tax to buy votes, it’s not until a crisis emerges that one realises the safety net is full of holes.

It’s as if P.T. Barnum runs the government.
Angus McLeod, Cremorne

No one’s expecting that
Let’s not split hairs (“Tell him he’s dreaming”, Letters, The Sunday Age, 29/8). No one expects 100 per cent of Victorians to follow rules – either traffic rules or COVID rules.

But the lockdown will certainly be extended while there is rampant non-compliance in broad daylight. Disconcertingly, the police seem to have lost interest in cracking down on lockdown breaches.
Joan Reilly, Surrey Hills

Switch at the border
Why do truck drivers have to cross borders? It would be much safer if there was a system of trailer exchange at the border. With modern technology surely this would be easy.

Such a system would overcome the problem of COVID-19 being introduced by interstate truck drivers and at the same time keep freight moving across Australia.
Paul Chivers, Box Hill North

Telling comments
State opposition transport spokesman David Davis’ reported comments about Jeroen Weimar (“Weimar in public”, The Sunday Age, 29/8) say so much about the Victorian opposition: cringe-worthy carping, playing the man, giving no credit, offering nothing positive and nothing relevant. No shot is too cheap.

Perhaps the Liberals might consider that if their NSW counterparts had a Jeroen Weimar fronting at Gladys Berejiklian’s daily media conferences, straightforward, detailed, comprehensive, authoritative and direct communication might have greatly assisted the more rapid and widespread community realisation of dangers faced. Instead, there’s been weeks of lame messaging, weak pleas and shameful dog-whistling.

Victoria should be proud to have people who, by and large, tell it as it is.
Dale Crisp, Brighton

But what about your job?
Recently, I received a 12-page catalogue from Australia Post. No longer is it tempting you to buy small items such as books, puzzles and soft toys, etc as you line up, very patiently, waiting to post a letter or parcel, perform banking or pay an account.

This catalogue has everything – business equipment, televisions, beauty products, garden equipment, kitchen appliances and many other miscellaneous items. Funnily, there is no mention of postage services.

Oh, I just remembered – they are not accepting e-commerce parcels for a few days as they are overloaded.I wonder why.
Nola Cordell, Hoppers Crossing

The water isn’t ‘wasted’
Your correspondent (“Wasting beautiful water”, Letters, 4/9) considers the water that flows down the Murray River and out to sea to have been “wasted” because it hasn’t been used by farmers.

What about the non-agricultural rest of the environment? Perhaps this will be a chance for plants and animals in the catchment to finally get a recharge instead of only getting the paltry leftovers after agribusiness and other users have had their go.

Farmers do a great job of producing food for humans, but humans are only a small part of the living world. We are entirely dependent on the whole system functioning well in order to sustain life on the planet. Water returned to the environment is a win for all of us.
Patricia Barry, Kangaroo Flat

Neo-liberalism fails us
The need to review infrastructure priorities as stated in your editorial (“Planning for altered future is critical”, The Age, 4/9) is right on target.

Likewise, I suggest that our politicians’ commitment to uncontrolled and poorly regulated neo-liberalism economics has resulted in a lack of capacity to respond to the pandemic.

The pandemic has shown clearly the lack of public resourcing of our hospital services and a lack of planning in a range of community and mental health programs.

While private enterprise may have a role, the community has a right of access to essential services and should not be limited by their own financial resources.
Ray Cleary, Camberwell

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