Queen Elizabeth II arrives at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021, for the funeral of Prince Philip. Prince Philip died April 9 at the age of 99 after 73 years of marriage to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. (Victoria Jones/Pool via AP)

Queen Elizabeth II arrives at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021, for the funeral of Prince Philip. Prince Philip died April 9 at the age of 99 after 73 years of marriage to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. (Victoria Jones/Pool via AP)

LETTER: The royals got it right as they said goodbye to Prince Philip

Other COVID-hot countries could learn from England, says Bernie Smith

To the Editor,

Nobody has ever referred to me as a maniacal monarchist, having spent many moons considering media obsession with vicissitudes at Buckingham Palace as completely overblown and frequently worthy of ridicule. However, the Windsor family deserves admiration for how Prince Philip’s funeral was handled last weekend.

They set an example and stuck to England’s protocol of COVID-19 restrictions with only 30 people allowed at a funeral; discouraging the British public from gathering in masses as would be normal for such an occasion.

I didn’t watch the funeral on live television, but caught reports of it on newscasts as well as other stories that day. Namely, huge numbers of new COVID-19 cases and deaths sweeping across India coinciding with the religious festival of Kumbh Mela, which lasts for two months when devotees travel to Haridwar to bathe in the Ganges River.

More than three million people participated in one day last week, all believing that a dip in the holy river will cleanse their sins and bring salvation, and at the weekend India’s daily COVID count topped 200,000 for the first time. No apparent restrictions from governments in the sub-continent, where huge election rallies are also being held with Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the campaign in West Bengal.

The sun came out in Canada last week, and social distancing was forgotten as beaches filled in several locations around B.C. at the weekend. Not quite on the scale that was seen in Haridwar, but still alarming to view on television when variants are running wild in many provinces, causing authorities to reinstate some restrictions not seen since the first wave.

Throughout the pandemic many Canadians have looked across our southern border with that familiar smugness indicating a silent superiority over our neighbours, but Canada is now registering more cases per million population than the U.S. With only 22 percent of Canadians having received their first inoculation, the variants are outpacing vaccination rates. All these serve as timely reminders that no country in the world is safe until all countries are fully vaccinated.

Bernie Smith,

Parksville

Royal family

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