While I even have enormous respect for Peter Singer, I disagree with variety of his comments (‘‘The saving and damaging of lives’’, Comment, 9/10).
The degree and severity is predicated on speculative modelling not necessarily on hard facts. Furthermore, although lockdowns may cause undesirable difficulties, i think they’re going to be temporary pending the supply of a secure , effective vaccine. the planet will eventually recover, because it has done from previous disasters. As a medical man , my main concern is health and therefore the preservation of life, not lifestyle. Lockdowns, however unpleasant and unwanted, preserve lives.
Leslie Chester, Brighton
There are many positives to require under consideration
Singer notes the reduction in flu-related premature deaths. Reduced pollution from decreased traffic must even have benefited these vulnerable people, including asthmatics and people with COPD. The lockdown should even have reduced non-respiratory communicable disease and road trauma.
But the most important health impact might result from the demonstration that performing from home and remote learning, and decreasing non-essential travel including commuting, can sharply reduce greenhouse emission emissions. If we remember this lesson after the pandemic, we could slow heating and its potential deleterious health consequences across the world .
. However, it had been almost as if a final few paragraphs went missing, his analysis faded at the top , so i’ll be mistaken, but I wish that rigour and balance had carried through to the top of the piece.
They need both here and every one over the planet , surely Singer can give us an opinion on the size of the trade off?
Andrew Cornell, Parkville
This is not a hypothetical parlor game
You have displayed a concerning fascination lately with treating the lockdowns as a simplistic trolley problem, last with a bit by Peter Singer, who says no analysis of whether lockdowns were the ‘‘right path’’ is complete without taking under consideration flow-on effects of unemployment, reduced standards of living, impacts on education, etc.
This is by now a well-known take, but treating COVID responses as a hypothetical parlor game during which some lives are traded off against others reveals not moral wisdom but rather a poverty of imagination.
These musings ignore the question of why structural and systemic forces mean that the trade-off must be considered in the least . during a year when many jobs were saved by subsidising small businesses with JobKeeper, the JobSeeker rate was raised above the poverty level , funding to psychological state and violence services was enormously boosted, and Melbourne’s homeless population was housed, the more relevant moral question you ought to be posing to ethicists is why any of those things were considered impossible within the past.
Mitchell Edgeworth, St Kilda.
I have some questions for this group. Are your employees full-time or casual? If as a results of their work for you they have to possess a COVID-19 test and self-isolate until a test result’s received, will you pay them sick leave? Will they need their job after isolating?
If they really get COVID-19 will they be paid leave until they recover? Will they need their job once they recover?
Perhaps, supporting other small businesses, they visited the pub, the gym, the hairdresser, etc, and were exposed. What support will you give them then?
You are calling for change, so what’s your alternative plan of action for supporting your workers and therefore the community to take care of a COVID-safe environment going forward?
Lockdowns of business, internal and international borders aren’t a viable medium or long-term solution. Missing from governments and businesses in the least levels is how, within the absence of a vaccine, we manage COVID risks and outbreaks going forward – to the advantage of everyone, including workers.
Wendy Tanner, Footscray
My tolerance is waning
I am, as i think the bulk of the population is, frustrated with and losing tolerance for the minority of Victorians flouting and protesting the present pandemic restrictions.
The full-page advertisement (11/10) placed by but 100 businesses, out of quite 600,000 Victorian small businesses, disputing the present restrictions, is divisive and unhelpful.