Don't follow America's COVID lead
I read David McIlwain's ("Lockdown bigger threat than virus") and David Corbett's ("Test only those with symptoms") July 16 letters, and I wanted to warn you where that leads.
We opened up over this side of the pond in late May. Governors lifted lockdowns as fast as they could. Masks were mandatory in some towns, optional in others, even frowned upon in some places. People thought "no symptoms" meant "no risk". And now: California alone reported 9000 new cases yesterday. People who might not know they were exposed are wandering around spreading the infection. (People who have COVID can spread it even before they develop symptoms.) It's not under control.
This is why I'm in my fourth month of working from home. This is why shops, cafes and restaurants are struggling everywhere along my town's main street. And this is why a thousand Americans a day are dying, even people who were young and healthy, and why hospitals are filled to capacity.
Don't turn Australia into America. Distancing works. Stay six feet away from other people and outside is safer than inside. If you've been exposed, quarantine yourself, even if you feel fine.
If there's a lockdown, stick to it. It's tough, but the alternative is worse. And wear a mask. Masks are considerate. They keep other people safe from you and keep you safe from other people.
Joshua Giersch, San Mateo, California
IN OTHER NEWS:
Chiltern must fight quarry permit
There are some green shoots appearing in Chiltern at last. New faces are appearing as young families discover the obvious benefits, such as open spaces and an unpretentious lifestyle. Unlike Beechworth, Chiltern is centrally placed in the shire and has natural gas, the Hume Freeway and the Melbourne to Sydney railway.
Newcomers probably don't realise that less than 10 years ago, Chiltern was overwhelmingly chosen as the site for the new Indigo Shire offices, however, enraged Beechworth residents stacked the shire council using clever preferential voting and overturned this democratic decision. I believe there is still lingering resentment from our Beechworth friends, as at times Chiltern's treatment from the shire is less than fair. Local residents hope that Chiltern will always retain its unique and historic character but our shire in Beechworth disappoints by routinely renewing the quarry permit held by Holcim Quarries International over Skeleton Hill, the most prominent feature of our beautiful landscape.
Chiltern is in real danger of soon becoming a noisy quarry town if Beechworth continues its long-standing bias towards us. This quarry will be massive and will be blasting seven days a week. The permit comes up again for renewal next year and we should be ready to oppose those who don't care for our town and future.
We could make a start by choosing a new set of councillors.
Graeme Banks, Chiltern
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