Letters to the Editor: 11 February 2021

Masks in construction

I am a registered builder/building units in Mandurah. In the recent COVID shutdown, I have had a number of trades including roofing carpenters who would not work on site because the wearing of masks inhibited breathing and vision and made it dangerous to work with nail guns and saws etc.

The Police/Commissioner released a statement dated 31 January 2021 states the exceptions, as per clause 4(b)the nature of a person's work means that wearing a face covering creates a risk to their health and safety. I rang the Master Builders/others who were helpful but could achieve no clarity. Building construction was and still is an allowable activity during the lockdowns.

I like the rest of people understand that we do not want COVID-19 to spread, but it is these types of definitions that put people like me at risk of heavy fines $50,000 or $250,000? I visited a number of building sites, people were wearing the masks around their chins or not at all?

I as a builder have a duty of care to keep people safe. I took the action of Doing a JSA with my Roofing carpenters-we excluded wearing of masks whilst working on roofs and I intend to do the same for others where becomes/hazard.

I am then put in a position of risking heavy fines, from Government and again under the Duty of Care. The Government/Police direction puts many Builders at risk. If Government believes our Health is in Jeopardy by not wearing masks, then construction activities should cease??does Covid19 differentiate?

Anthony Ianello, Halls Head

Masking a one-size fits all problem

In our brave new world of faceless men, just navigating everyday life is a challenge. As near as I can understand the "rules," the following scenario is completely possible.

I leave with my eight-year-old for school. In our house and carport, we are both maskless; but the moment I get in the car, I have to put one on. Somehow, entering a car with my child makes me a health risk. To help out my neighbours, I pick up three of their children to take to school. When I get out at each house, I am permitted (though not encouraged) to remove my mask--I am now a visitor--but when I reenter my car, I must replace it. Two of the children are eleven-years-old, but a few months apart. In the car, neither is required to wear a mask (both are under twelve); but when the elder child is dropped off, he must wear one because he is in high school. The other, being in primary school, remains free.

Once all the children are gone, I can remove my mask because I am now alone in the car. I stop at a park and must have my mask on while doing warm-up stretches--even if no one else is there. Once I start running, I can remove my mask; but the minute I stop and take a walk to cool down, I must replace it.

I pick up my husband, who went to the gym after working night shift. Being indoors, he had to wear a mask despite his "vigorous" workout. While in the car, of course, we must both wear masks (and, not being at our wedding, presumably cannot kiss). But we pick up a large frozen Coke on the way home, and remove our masks while sharing it. Once home, thoroughly exhausted by our attempts to navigate the system, we collapse (maskless) next to each other on the couch.

A totalitarian government will always make ludicrous decisions because of the necessity of one-size-fits-all thinking. Limited government, regulating a small amount of people's lives, can make sensible laws and leave individual people the responsibility to mostly make their own decisions, based on the desires, needs, and circumstances of themselves and others. This is a safeguard against tyranny. The last fortnight has proved yet again the truth of Thomas Jefferson's words: "A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have."

Rebekah Meredith, Falcon

Restaurants vary in safety measures

As a Menulog driver we see how many restaurants have geared up for COVID-19. "Grilled" has gone that extra mile to make sure all is well for the people entering the premises with sign on and plenty of hand sanitizer and a one way system that makes sure there is minimal contact and distance keeping, I was well impressed and mentioned it to Emma the owner and she has made sure her staff and customers are well looked after. I can safely say she has taken this very seriously and she is an example to all.

Iain Forbes, Mandurah