Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding

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Get the message out

I was interested to read that the Victorian government has released emotional, multi-language advertisements for television, radio and social media illustrating the devastating effect coronavirus can have on families and younger people – ‘‘ ‘Like drowning’: graphic ads steps up COVID message’ (Sunday Age, 26/7). I have not seen these ads yet.

This raises the next important aspect of the campaign. The commercials need to have a sufficient frequency to be remembered. This is at least five viewings for the people they are aimed at.
I was in charge of the advertising agency that launched the TAC drink driving campaign in 1989 and we experimented with different weights of advertising and messages aimed at different audiences. We desperately need such a successful campaign for COVID-19.
John Dalziel, Southbank

Compulsory detention

Why should the whole state suffer because those with the virus find it too inconvenient to stay at home? Their selfishness is unconscionable. People are dying, thousands of people have lost their jobs and businesses are going broke. Yet these people do not care if they spread the virus because they fancy an outing. If a person shows that they cannot be trusted to self-isolate, then it seems reasonable that they be forcibly detained.
Lee Ward, Red Hill

Hit their hip pockets

Tough new lockdown laws in Victoria (The Age, 1/8)? What we need is a $5000 fine for anyone who is positive and not in isolation.
Anna Summerfield, Bendigo

Stage 4 will not work

The Australian Medical Association would be better urging people to obey restrictions rather than calling for Stage 4 restrictions. People did not stop being careless in Stage 3, so they will not change their behaviour in Stage 4. But it will kill off the remaining businesses that are trying to survive.
Rennis Witham, Williamstown

The new rodent yoga

Rats have taken advantage of the lockdown of many Melbourne businesses, dining at empty restaurant tables and some even leaving the city altogether (Sunday Age, 26/7). In one pilates studio, they built a giant rat nest in yoga mats that had been left in a pile. So has downward facing dog yoga pose become upward facing rat?
Tony Danino, Wheelers Hill

A foolhardy gathering

Jacqueline Maley acknowledges that ‘‘a mass gathering of 500 people seems like a very bad idea, notwithstanding the protesters’ obvious diligence in trying to be COVID-safe’’ – ‘‘Indigenous lives matter’’ Sunday Age, 26/7) – yet then seeks to rationalise it due to the history of racism in Australia.
She does not really answer the question as to why, if the protesters are genuinely concerned about Indigenous lives, they then engage in conduct which is only likely to increase the risk to those same lives. By proceeding with the protest against the advice of chief medical officers, they did not gain any sympathy from the community and therefore only likely harmed their cause.
Peta Heffernan, Flemington

Very selective privacy

Earlier this year, a couple partied in a known coronavirus hotspot (Aspen, Colorado), returned home to Melbourne, and then endangered others by failing to observe self-isolation recommendations. In July, three travellers partied in a known coronavirus hotspot (Melbourne), returned home to Brisbane, and then endangered others by failing to observe self-isolation recommendations. Can The Age please explain why it chose not to publish names and photos in the first case, but then published names and photos of two of the young women in the second case?
Tony Ward, Elsternwick

Everyone’s right to care

The experience overseas on COVID-19’s second waves has always suggested the most likely victims would be the elderly, especially those confined to nursing homes. The old Peter MacCallum Hospital in East Melbourne transformed into an intensive care unit facility, never used, should always have been a geriatric COVID-19 hospital with appropriate nursing and medical care directed towards this elderly population.

As soon as patients in a nursing home became COVID-19 positive, they should have been transferred to this facility for care. Appropriate modelling shows we have always had all the ICU beds needed.

Whether you are terminally ill with cancer, heart disease or COVID-19, all of us deserve to have appropriate palliative care to ease our anguish, pain and suffering in our final days and hours. This basic lack of care for these elderly patients in under-resourced, poorly staffed nursing homes has added to the distress of the families and could have been avoided.
Dr Len Kliman, East Melbourne

Netball’s true athletes

Sunday Age should be ashamed of the sexist review of the netball in its television guide (M, 26/7). What on earth does ‘‘a full glamour sport’’ even mean? Do better, and show these athletes the respect they deserve.
Belinda Macdonald, Thornbury

Donald won’t change

The fact that Donald Trump often ‘‘regrets’’ his instantaneous posts on Twitter (Sunday Age, 26/7) was interesting in that it shows he is not entirely unselfconscious.
Many of us have had one or even a few similar experiences. But the fact that he has been unable to change this behaviour after almost four years of doing it – and then gets phone calls afterwards asking ‘‘Did you really say this?’’ – may be one of the most basic insights regarding his unsuitability for the office.
Lance Hoch, North Melbourne

A man of courage

Bravo, James Murdoch, for resigning from the News Corp board. At least you have a conscience.
David Seal, Balwyn North

The regular Faith column can be found on page 19 this week.

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