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Week of May 13

Point Edward vaccination clinic model of efficiency Sir: For decades, local communities have been organizing large projects and implementing them with efficiency and flawless attention to detail. I saw it myself recently.
Letters to the editor

Point Edward vaccination clinic model of efficiency

Sir: For decades, local communities have been organizing large projects and implementing them with efficiency and flawless attention to detail. I saw it myself recently.

The COVID-19 clinic at the Point Edward Arena is one of the most efficiently run efforts I have ever seen, a statement everyone else who has been there will back up. Just ask them.

More than 50 volunteers had to be inside directing visitors from place to place, EMTs visibly present, with a separate room for those needing extra care, small cubicles to sit in with attached timer set to 15 minutes, nurses and their trollies “shooting” person after person, then volunteers cleaning each cubicle after the timers go off.

Outside, more volunteers direct you, first to parking spots, then to a temporary “roadway” built across previously green lawn and out to St. Clair Avenue when done.

As is my want, I joked with the volunteers saying there had to be a woman involved in the planning of such a smooth-running operation and we all chuckled.

My sincerest thanks to everyone who works and volunteers at the Point Edward Arena with the goal of making what could be a difficult, stressful, and confusing time a most relaxing and awe-inspiring visit. And sincerest thanks to the organizers.

Now that I’ve had this experience, I have to believe Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is right - big government should get out of the way and let us get on with it.

Marg Johnson


Healthcare workers dealing with stress and exhaustion

Sir: “If we do not learn from SARS and we do not make the government fix the problems that remain, we will pay a terrible price in the next pandemic.”

So said Justice Archie Campbell in 2006 as he finished the SARS commission final report.

Campbell went on to say, “When facing a new pathogen with unknown transmission - err on the side of safety and protect healthcare workers at the highest levels with airborne precautions including N95 respirators.”

The commission report released April 30, 2021 details what happened during COVID-19 in long-term care settings. A persistent finding of the nurses surveyed was a widespread failure of employers to listen to, and act upon, the concerns and recommendations of nursing staff.

Healthcare workers are overworked and understaffed, while putting their physical and mental health at risk. They face unprecedented challenges and exhaustion as they continue to work amidst fear, uncertainty and a slow vaccine roll out.

The news that tens of thousands of nursing jobs are unfulfilled across Canada should come as no surprise. The nursing shortage has been the subject of much thumbsucking for decades.

The quality of care can only ever be as good as the work environment of those who provide the care. Poor working conditions translate into patients suffering from neglect, as we saw graphically play out in long-term care homes.

The critical lack of staff in long-term care makes it difficult to use the 6,000 empty long-term beds as an offset for hospitals struggling with an influx of patients.

The COVID-19 pandemic has stressed hospitals and nursing homes to the breaking point, but that pales in comparison to what a severe nursing shortage will do.

The physically demanding and mentally punishing work for nurses is not for the faint of heart. People following public health guidelines will help bring this pandemic under control and show the most respect to nurses and healthcare professionals.

For all the healthcare workers out there, whether you are a PSW, or RPN, or an RN, please have a safe nurses week this year.

G.C. Lester


Don’t allow Humane Society to expand on parkland

Sir: I am a huge animal lover, and all of my pets over the years have been rescues.

I totally support a new Humane Society building, BUT am appalled that city council would consider allowing the shelter to use more prime Centennial parkland on the waterfront.

The pandemic has shown us how important it is to have parks and recreational areas. Parkland and trails should be protected.

I will donate to a new building, but not at the cost of losing parkland. A new shelter can be built anywhere.

Trina Smith

Bright’s Grove

Innocent looking backyard plant actually an alien invader

Sir: I recently moved to the Sarnia area and for the first time ever now have a backyard.

Garlic mustard in flower

Recently I noticed a plant growing there, and after some research learned it’s called garlic mustard.

I had never heard of garlic mustard before, and it looks pretty innocent. But the plant spreads rapidly, is one of the most invasive species in Ontario, especially in forested areas.

It is very detrimental because it disperses chemicals that hurt fungus and root systems and prevent other plants and grasses from growing.

I’ve noticed that my neighbour’s yard is heavily infested with it, and I’m anxious about that. I’m wondering how many people in Sarnia are affected and don’t even know it?

I’ve learned garlic mustard is best managed if the plants are pulled in their first year or two, before they can drop their seed.

It’s also edible. I actually made an awesome salsa from the plants that grow in my backyard.

I hope this reaches at least one person that will now benefit from being able to identify, remove, or even eat garlic mustard if it shows up in their yard. There is a lot of good information about it online.

Not controlling garlic mustard in your yard can impact all the other yards around you, as well as the rest of the environment.

Kelsey Edwards

Point Edward

Cycling helmet and lights can save a life

Sir: With the arrival of spring and the nicer temperatures the onset of cyclist young and old is upon us (and that is a good thing).

I am a rider myself and especially enjoy jumping on the bike during the evening hours. There is less traffic, less people on paths and less wind.

But I am amazed at the number of cyclists I see who don’t have a front or back light attached to their two-wheeler. Most appear to be in their early to late teens, and most are not wearing helmets.

I feel they are just asking for a tragic event to occur.

Recently, a man was found unconscious on the ground beside a bicycle and taken to hospital at 4 a.m. Obviously, it would have been dark, and photos clearly showed the bike had no lights.

Hopefully this person, who suffered a head injury, was wearing a helmet.

Many of the bikes I have seen are “higher end” and likely cost more than $500 to buy. What are another $20 for lights and $30 to 40 for a helmet? Pretty small price to avoid a collision or serious head injury.

I would also add that if you ride at night without a light you could be fined up to $500. Those under 18 not wearing a helmet are subject to a fine of $75. A helmet is cheaper.

Have fun on your bicycle this summer but please BE SAFE AS WELL.

Bill Renaud


Stay positive, be friendly, and smile under that mask

Sir: I really believe the constant pandemic media coverage is adding to depression, fear of the unknown, and fear of vaccines.

The news at 10 a.m., noon, 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. is sufficient. We don’t need to know how many vaccines are given out coast to coast. It’s COVID morning to night. Even popular TV shows show people on ventilators, expected to die.

We need more happiness and getting minds on something positive, believing things will get better and that together we can beat this.

I feel badly that greeting cards in stores are often roped off. To someone living alone, a card can bring joy and let them know someone cares.

We all have our downer days, but we need to stop and count our blessings. Stay safe, remain positive and support each other by connecting on the phone, checking on an elderly neighbour, or dropping a treat off on a porch.

We need to hope and pray and believe better days are ahead, hopefully sooner than later. Dress in bright colours, listen to cheery music, talk and laugh with a friend on the phone.

And when possible, get out and walk, feel the sun, suck in some fresh air and enjoy nature’s beauty.

So have a good day. We still have a lot to be thankful for, and every day is a gift.

Marie Cebulski


United Way says thanks for community support

Sir: On behalf of the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton Board of Directors and its funded agencies, we would like to extend heartfelt thanks to all the United Way donors, staff and volunteers for their collective effort to reach $1.753 million in 2020.

Their dedication and relentless determination were significant in light of the challenges we faced due to COVID-19.

Without the support of individuals, businesses, organized labour we could never meet the critical needs in our community.

Fundraising for the 2021 campaign is well underway and we can expect it to be another challenging year to reach the Needs Target.

Thank you again to all those who have supported United Way, allowing us to make positive and impactful change in Sarnia-Lambton.

Jason Killingsworth

President, United Way of Sarnia-Lambton

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