Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for the week of November 28

comment

Reimagine 'Black Friday'

Black Friday is coming up very quickly and we really need to think about it as an inclusive society. Maybe we should come up with another term.

The term "Black Friday" was first used on Sept. 24, 1869, when two investors, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, drove up the price of gold and caused a crash that day. The stock market dropped 20 per cent and foreign trade stopped. Farmers suffered a 50-per-cent dip in wheat and corn harvest value.

Is this something to be celebrated?

In many cultures, black is seen as associated with power, fear, mystery, strength, death, evil, and aggression, authority and rebellion. Think the Black Plague. The Black Hand. Black face ... 

Also using the word Friday is against my values.

The name Friday comes from the Old English Fri-g.edæg., meaning the "day of Frige," a result of an old convention associating the Germanic goddess Frigg with the Roman goddess Venus, with whom the day is associated in many different cultures.

This is clearly pagan and hurts me as a religious follower of "The Force."  Why should I be forced to use a pagan term?

Let's call the day "Snowflake Day."  

Oh snap. That might offend the anti-snow group that surely must exist online somewhere.

Patrick Smyth // Whistler 

Get your shot

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is reminding everyone that flu season is fast approaching and the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is the flu shot.

Flu shots are recommended for everyone six months of age and older and are available free of cost in B.C. for all children between six months and five years old, seniors 65 years old and older, pregnant women, Indigenous people and individuals with chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems.

People who work or live with people who have a higher risk of complications from the flu, and visitors to healthcare facilities are also eligible for a free vaccine. The intranasal flu vaccine, FluMist, is not available for use in Canada this season. All influenza vaccines available this season will be given by injection.

For healthy people, having the flu means a few days of feeling miserable, but for young children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, it can lead to a severe illness involving a hospital stay, or even death.

All B.C. health authorities require their staff, students, volunteers and physicians to get immunized or wear a mask while at work during the flu season. To further protect patients, unvaccinated visitors to all Vancouver Coastal Health facilities are asked to wear a mask, beginning Dec. 1, 2019. Masks will be available at nursing stations and/or outpatient reception desks.

Flu shots are now available at your doctor's office, walk-in clinics, public health-led flu clinics and Urgent Primary Care Centres. Anyone five years of age or older can be immunized at a pharmacy. To find a flu clinic near you go to immunizebc.ca/clinics/flu#8.

Influenza is a virus that causes infection of the upper airway, and can lead to symptoms of fever, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, and cough. Complications from influenza, such as pneumonia, are more common in the very young, the elderly and those with heart, lung or other health conditions. Influenza is easily spread from person to person, and an infected person can spread the virus before they are even sick with symptoms.

Vancouver Coastal Health