Tips on coping with self-isolation

Dear Editor:

Let’s assume you don’t have COVID 19, but you’re self-isolating at home for an indeterminate period. People in self-isolation have a problem: They don’t know what to think. Without conscious direction, thoughts go sideways. Your aim is to fill the blank spaces between your thoughts. The best way is to occupy your hands and eyes.

The virus is strange, incomprehensible. You’re edgy, the world feels weird.

Accept your feelings: The weirdness is a wordless message from your body, warning you of the threat.

Connect with your eyes and hands: Try doing whatever you’re doing with full attention — the opposite of being lost in thought. Notice if your muscles loosen up.

Set daily can’t-fail goals: In late afternoon, set a few easy goals for tomorrow. For example, do a load of laundry, clean the bathroom, pray twice daily, phone a friend. Make out a schedule. If a task seems emotionally too difficult, do a small slice of it — or save it for another day. If you live alone, try to contact one friend every day.

Set a few bigger goals: Find a few larger goals, either social or practical, that fit who you are. Work at them one day at a time. For example, keep helping a disabled neighbour, do carpentry at home, read all of War and Peace, walk a mile every day without fail, catch up on knitting, study ways to improve your sleep. Keep a daily journal that notes your progress and records your feelings.

Celebrate your mission: You are joining many millions of others to protect each other and the planet. Feel the pride.

— Dr. Gary Willis, Kelowna

(Editor’s note: Gary Willis is a retired psychologist residing in Kelowna.)

Hotel rooms could help the homeless

Dear Editor:

Richard Drinnan hit the nail on the head with his letter, “City washes its hands on homeless,” on Wednesday.

We owe it to the most vulnerable in our society to keep them safe and warm and clean and fed.

There are many empty hotels and no place for the truly poor to wash their hands and practice social distancing.

What does that say about us?

Karen Krout, Kelowna

Pros and cons

to staying at home

Dear Editor:

Just think of all the money we’re going to save because of this pandemic:

Gambling halls will be closed down

Lotto 6/49 and Lotto Max can be played only online

Reduced out-of-town travelling

Swimming pools and exercise gyms closed

Churches closed, so no more tithing

Far less eating out

Drinking establishments closed — far cheaper to drink at home

No more flying to far-off destinations

Other positive things:

It should revive our reading skills

Spending more time with family (time will tell in nine months whether this was a positive thing)

More sun on my solar panels with airplane contrails down to near zero

Possible negative things:

More spousal abuse due to necessary close contact ?

Small businesses going bankrupt

Increased unemployment

Tenants unable to pay rent ?

A question: Can we put off paying utility and mortgage payments?

Frank Martens, Summerland

Move forward

by leaving the past

Dear Editor:

Regarding letters from both Helen Robertson from Prince George and Patrick Longworth from Penticton on reconciliation.

When discussing what the right dollar amount for any reconciliation is, I think it is important for everyone to remember the trillions of dollars being thrown by western governments at this pandemic to save the entire global economy. This should drive home the point that we’re all in this thing together and we’ll get out of it by pulling together.

Indigenous peoples were indeed here first, scattered groups warring among themselves.

Early Europeans found Canada undeveloped and the developed wealth of Canada today, which the Indigenous now claim a part of, was in fact built by European ingenuity. But Canada’s accommodation has not always been forthcoming.

In fairness the Wet’suwet’en blockade initially started because of internal arguments among the Wet’suwet’en about who speaks for them.

Part of the Canada’s difficulty in settling any reconciliation is that Indigenous fight among themselves, as much as they fight with non-Indigenous Canadians.

The 1997 Supreme Court recognized aboriginal title, but every title comes with rights and limitations.

Little has been done since in regard to establishing Aboriginal title agreements, complicated by different federal government approaches, but also because of internal Indigenous indecision and particularly the many unresolved overlapping territorial claims among the bands themselves.

I agree with Helen Robertson. To move forward, we must accept that the past is the past and its ugliness is our collective responsibility that can not be undone; therefore we must build on tomorrow.

We are one country in the grip of turbulent modern times and this forces all of us to step forward and be better Canadians.

Jon Peter Christoff, West Kelowna

3 weeks at home for everyone

Dear Editor:

Our provincial Health Minister Adrian Dix is right about one thing, the next few weeks will be very, very difficult, and the more we drag it out, the longer it will take till we get everything back to normal.

What that simply means is this:

We are not safe till three weeks after the last victim has been identified.

Promoting tourism in this environment is a bit ill-timed, and so is demanding financial help from our governments (Canadian taxpayers) to subsidize tourism.

In reality, for every tourist dollar that does not come to the Okanagan valley this summer, there is another tourist dollar that does not leave the valley to be spent elsewhere.

What local businesses have to do is adapt their marketing to try and capture those dollars.

The people who will be taxed to fund those subsidies are unemployed because of that virus, and are not earning any money, let alone paying taxes.

India is doing the smart thing, and so is the U.K.: Stay home for three weeks, and get it over with.

What U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are doing is scary, and should be considered criminal, because a lot of people are dying while they are stalling the recovery to try and make political hay.

Andy Thomsen, Kelowna

Punish Trudeau for power grab

Dear Editor:

Justin Trudeau and his band of crony Liberals slithered into Parliament Tuesday to pull the wool over beleaguered and stressed out Canadians eyes.

The purpose of the parliamentary session was to pass an $82-billion aid bill to assist, not to deceive, Canadians.

How dare Trudeau hold us hostage with his corrupt and dishonest ways.

He proposed sweeping powers to unilaterally spend, borrow and change taxation levels without Parliament’s approval for the next 21 months, based on his track record of overspending like a drunken pirate in the Bahamas.

It was a power grab that only a self- absorbed thug would attempt. If he

doesn’t get his way, he just might get it by invoking the federal Emergencies Act.

I urge everyone to remember this stunt at the ballot box in the next federal election. His father Pierre must be rolling over in his grave.

Doug Rosen, Kelowna

Health-care workers deserve tax-free pay

Dear Editor:

All frontline workers in health care should receive substantial compensation, tax-free, for all their amazing work during this unprecedented time.

If cashiers and the like are being compensated extra, which I totally agree with, I think it only fair to similarly compensate front-line health-care workers, tax-free, as a very small token of their tremendous dedication.

Gloria Hamilton, Etobicoke, Ont.