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While respecting the rights of people to choose not to be vaccinated, we must also respect the rights of society to enforce conditions that minimize contact with them. The heartfelt and traumatic experiences of COVID described by a nurse manager in Melbourne recently brought to light the real world we now live in. Vaccination is the only way to protect frontline health workers from both the virus and the associated trauma that occurs too late by unvaccinated patients. Two industries have been very quiet during this pandemic. The unvaccinated clearly represent a greater insurance risk, and as such, private health and life insurance providers have the opportunity to show leadership and cancel coverage for those who do. choose this position without medical exemption. This would then give the unvaccinated another choice to get vaccinated and maintain their coverage or risk losing their medical and financial security for themselves and their families. Do providers have the courage to encourage vaccination with this action or will they surreptitiously increase all our premiums to cover the unnecessary and totally avoidable risk imposed by a few? Kevin Brown, Riana I had just left the Spirit of Tasmania on Sunday morning after touring the continent. I have driven over 20,000 km through South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia and in some very remote places, caravan parks, 24 hour road stops and many toilet blocks . It gives me great pleasure to report that the Fossey River washrooms are the dirtiest, ugliest, smelly, and disgusting stop on our trips. Is this how we welcome tourists to Tasmania and the west coast? Laurie Dillon, Zeehan I recently needed surgery at the North West Regional Hospital. The surgeons, operating room staff and all day surgery nurses provided me with excellent care and service. Many thanks to all concerned. Kay Shadbolt, Wynyard In terms of responsible government, Prime Minister Peter Gutwein has acknowledged the guidance of health authorities regarding Covid-19. The constant message that has been sent over the past few months is that Tasmanians must learn to live with the virus. Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff (Adv., October 2), in his commentary post, is right with his message that we should say no to normalizing smoking. His claims are reinforced by findings associated with a study conducted by the University of Oxford (Adv., Oct. 5). Here, it is revealed that smokers are 80% more likely to be hospitalized if they contract Covid-19. Following the study’s analysis, the critical data that presents an alarming situation is that individuals who smoke 10 to 19 cigarettes per day are six times more likely to die from COVID than non-smokers. In terms of alleviating these circumstances, health authorities encourage smokers to get vaccinated – unlike the smoker’s environment. The message is clear ; be vaccinated. Paris Shacklock, Devonport Have your say by sending us a letter to the editor. All letters must include your name and suburb, and be less than 200 words to be considered for publication.

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John R.

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