Letters to the editor.

This week’s mailbox: the northern lights, vaccine mandates and restrictions

Dear Editor:

My wife and I have been visiting Whitehorse for four nights, our first visit to Yukon in the hope that we might see the Aurora Borealis. We were so fortunate to arrive on Wednesday last week and to have a tour with Northern Tales, when there was the most amazing display of the Northern Lights. Our guide was superb and with the few photos I myself took and those taken by him, we will have great memories of this brief vacation, and for sure, will return in the future.

Everyone we met, whether on the street or walking on the Trans Canada Trail, or personnel in the different attractions we visited was extremely helpful and kind. You Yukoners are a special breed of people, but one couple stand out.

One evening we enjoyed dinner at the 506 Grill on Main Street, and when the waitress brought our meals she told us that a couple who’d just finished their meal and left had paid for our dinner and drinks. She knew only that his name was Gary. Fortunately, as we had had to sign in a notebook as we entered the restaurant, we checked on the way back to our hotel, and found the name Gary, as well as a phone number. Back at the hotel we phoned and thanked them for their generosity – such a welcome to Yukon, unlike anything that we’ve ever experienced, and hopefully when we come back we’ll be able to reciprocate that kindness.


Robert Mason

A perspective on mandates

The rules about Covid vaccines are like the rules about driving a car.

As a first example, there are speed limits. Even though you might be an excellent driver with quick reflexes, you don’t insist that you have the right to drive whatever speed you want. You know that it’s a question of everyone’s safety and maintaining a level of trust between drivers and pedestrians and bikers.

Just so with Covid vaccines. Even if you are in excellent health and have a strong immune system, you know that being vaccinated contributes to everyone’s safety as well as a sense of trust and well-being in the community.

Then, there’s the rule about wearing a seatbelt. It took me a while to get on board with that law myself. The argument that convinced me was that the health care system could easily handle cuts, bruises, and broken collarbones but couldn’t handle, on an ongoing basis, mangled bodies, traumatic brain injuries, and lifelong disabilities.

Again, there’s a Covid parallel. The health care system can deal with some light Covid cases, but not waves of serious life-threatening cases – not in addition to all the other valuable work they do.

And then there’s the driver’s license to consider. You learn the rules of the road, take a test, get your eyes checked, maybe get a medical, get a photo taken, pay some money, and you receive a card showing you have the right to drive.

The proof-of-vaccination card is easier to get. Two quick jabs, for free, and you have the right to certain kinds of travel and entrance to specified public spaces.

We’ve had a century or so to get used to driving rules, and we see following them as part of our civic responsibility. Getting used to pandemic rules is new to everyone and might feel like an imposition on freedoms.

But we already make numerous adjustments each and every day of our lives to demonstrate that we care about, and are responsible to, the communities we live in. Getting the Covid vaccine is just one more small adjustment.

Dianne Homan


To the Cabinet:

I have been asking for increased restrictions (mainly masking and physical distancing) since July. I wrote four letters to the Premier outlining why this was needed and 2 months after the fact received a mealy-mouthed response that did not answer any of the issues I raised.

I am totally furious with this government allowing this situation to get out of control when even I, with the limited data available to me, could see where this was headed in July. I am particularly concerned about the number of children affected. This was a no-brainer with no masking required in classrooms.

After all the work done by health professionals (I had my booster today) to get as many as possible protected in the fastest time, how could the government allow this to happen. I am particularly furious about the cavalier attitude displayed and the lack of any rationale for the so-called “forging ahead.” A government owes explanations to the public, not just, “it’s time.”

What is the modeling telling you now — and why aren’t we being told? What ages groups are represented in the current case counts? How many people require medical treatment for Covid? What has this latest surge done to normal hospital procedures? It is time for Sandy Silver to address the public and to lay out a plan of action. It is also time to treat the public as grown-ups and to provide the thinking behind decisions being made.

In haste and in anger,

Janet Webster

Letters to the editor