By Letter to the Editor on June 20, 2020.
I am writing today in response to a letter written by Colette Smithers in the June 16 Medicine Hat News editorial page. Overall the letter is very disrespectful to Gillian and makes a lot of unfounded assumptions about what Gillian had written the week before.
First of all I’d like to point out that having an opinion and participating in dialogue on these pages is healthy and encouraged, however there is no need to be negative and use name calling to get your point across. Whatever happened to getting your point across in a respectful manner without name calling and throwing digs at people like “the complacency and entitlement of Gillian and her ilk,” or “Gillian go flash your crisp $100 bills elsewhere, that don’t impress me much”? This may sound clever to the writer but is simply childish banter.
Gillian is a well respected journalist at the Medicine Hat News and does an excellent job keeping the MHN readers informed about anything health related as well as other topics in the community.
She is probably the person who is “most abreast of our community’s response to Covid-19”! She is always truthful and straight forward and is a very trustworthy member of our community. She deserves everyone’s respect! A word many people nowadays don’t even know the meaning of.
Over the period of this pandemic Gillian has gone out of her way in thanking all those brave workers who are putting themselves in harm’s way looking after others, especially the vulnerable, she even organized a public thank you a couple of months ago for people who could be in harm’s way because of their job. Shame on anyone who could even think that Gillian doesn’t care!
Secondly, I would like to address the reaction of some businesses to the crisis as mentioned in Gillian’s column and the writer’s letter. Most businesses who remained open were very professional and respectful to customer’s needs but as always others overreacted and made unnecessary demands and rules while others seemed to not really care.
This is all because of the uncertainty of the situation for both businesses and individuals. The big thing is it can all be done in a respectful and friendly manner not in negative ways. Many customers seemed oblivious to the dangers and acted as if they could do anything they want. As an example, I’m not so sure why some people don’t understand and obey one way aisles in a store.
There have been a number of medical experts who have said the virus does not spread on money, bills or coins so it seems somewhat strange that certain businesses will not accept money. Could it actually be a push towards getting people to use plastic only? I for one feel I should have the right to pay with cash and, by the way, I am immuno-compromised and at much greater risk than most people.
Lastly I would like to address the CERB payments from the federal government. They have been a godsend to many but they can also be an incentive not to return to work and take the summer off or not work for any other number of excuses.
I have read online that there have been upwards of 200,000 people who have abused the program so let’s be honest about the situation instead of name-calling the person who is being honest.
The real issue is the number of people who will be or are out of jobs or the number of businesses who have closed or will not be able to remain open and the biggest message should be “Try to be positive and respectful of others needs and opinions” Let’s stop the accusations!