Every day, WalesOnline readers contribute around 1,000 comments to our stories.
Your views reflect the strong emotions that many stories provoke – and add your experiences, opinions an insight to our reporting.
We wanted to highlight how important a role comments plany in making WalesOnline what it is by putting together a piece showcasing some of the most insightful, interesting and opinionated comments left on our site this week.
From the possibility of a pre-Christmas lockdown to potential solutions to congestion on the M4 and the closure of Bristol Zoo, there are many stories that have provoked people to argue and reminisce in the comments section.
We’ve been through all of them to highlight the ones we’ve chosen below.
As always – please let us know what you think in the comments…
Pre-Christmas lockdown measures
1. “At the end of the day, I choose to abide by lockdown rules. I don’t want people dying because I couldn’t be bothered to stay in. The key word there being ‘choose’. Nobody makes me. Some choose otherwise. This is why we are stuck in this endless cycle of lockdowns.
I don’t totally blame those that choose otherwise either, because much of the guidance was or is ‘advice’ rather than ‘law’. We are however, where we are now because of a mess of errors that include politicians and some of the public. In the meantime, small businesses fail or struggle.
The only defence governments seem to have is another lockdown to date (in the vain hope people will comply this time) but they haven’t and won’t work unless people believe in them or are forced to comply with them. I think that we are pretty much going to have endless ‘lockdowns’ for a long time yet… And I am no professional fortune teller!”
Plan to solve M4 congestion
2. “Excellent plan. The summer showed how many people would cycle if they felt safe. Build the cycle infrastructure first. It is the cheapest and will further inform how best to improve the public transport infrastructure. Many of us would like to reduce our environmental impact by using our cars less if we had viable alternatives.”
– User RickSails, in response to a report looking into issues around the M4 in south Wales which suggested more sustainable methods of travelling such as trains and cycling
3. “This will only work if the trains and buses run at least every 15-30 minutes including evenings and all weekend. No point having public transport that doesn’t run to suit the times when people need to get to and from work.”
– User Yankytaff
Visitor pods for Christmas in care homes
4. “Care home residents with dementia are used to relatives visiting them in their homes. They sit and watch telly with them, look at photos or listen to music in the familiar surroundings of their care home. This looks like visiting someone in prison. Or a dog in a rescue home.
Visits are also a time when relatives can see for themselves how clean and well maintained the home is. Do their loved ones have their things around them? Are they wearing their own clothes? Is their bed dry? And so on. Taking care home residents out of their homes and into these quarantine-style pods obviously reduces the risk of viral transmission. But many residents will find them confusing and distressing – and visitors won’t have the reassurance of seeing how they are really being looked after.
We know that the elderly in particular have suffered cognitive decline and real distress at the lack of contact with relatives for months now (and in some cases, made worse by being allowed to see them through a glass window without understanding why). If a measure of our society is how we look after our most vulnerable people, we are really falling short.”
– User Justasking, responding to the introduction of “visitor pods” in care homes to allow for Christmas visits
Calls for schools to close early before Christmas
5. “If the restrictions are to be relaxed for the Christmas weekend, there does need to be some efforts to ensure people are not already unwell at that point and spreading it amongst their family.”
– User R. Preece, responding to calls by a teachers’ union to close schools in Wales earlier than planned to allow for Covid
6. “Personal choice but I will be taking my children out on the 11th regardless. After the year we have had I’m not risking any of us being unwell or having to isolate over the Christmas period.”
– User cardiffmum
7. “Lucky? That’s one way of putting it, but they didn’t roll a dice and watch ‘teacher’ come up, it takes work and study to be a teacher. I do get your point about a secure job, but how many other professions are being asked to put themselves in an enclosed space with 20-odd snotty germ spreaders and specifically told they are not allowed to wear any PPE?”
– User SydM, responding to a comment by another user suggesting that teachers are lucky for having stable employment during the pandemic
Christmas coronavirus measures
8. “Well, good, I hope that this little statement actually hits home to some ridiculously arrogant selfish people, after all, what is so hard about wearing a mask? why should we not try to save the lives of older people, nurses, doctors, paramedics, hospital porters and if they had fewer patients, perhaps the medics could concentrate more on other patients, such as cancer patients, heart patients and so on but I suppose, as long as the selfish amongst us can have their gatherings, parties and raves, visit each others houses and risk spreading the infection further, what does it matter if another fifty thousand people die?”
– User chris8910, responding to another user criticising the slogan ‘don’t kill granny’, which was used in Preston’s local lockdown
Phrase book teaches English tourists how to speak to Welsh ‘peasants’
9. “Interesting that the London Welsh wrote of ‘peasantry’ at the same time that George Borrow of Lincoln wrote that it was impossible to find a yokel in Wales while the English countryside was full of village idiots.
This booklet was written at the time of the Merthyr and Newport Risings and Rebecca Riots when, according to the English inspectors, the widespread literacy of the Welsh working class caused half the trouble. The ‘peasantry’ could mostly all read and the political pamphlet was ubiquitous whereas adult literacy in working class England hardly existed.
Griffith Jones’ circulating schools, non-conformist bible reading and Sunday schools educating the plebs so scared the establishment that in less than 10 years from this publication we had the Treachery of the Blue Books and the Welsh Not. The best example so far of a Westminster government ‘levelling down’ an uppity region of the UK.”
Memories of Bristol Zoo
10. “Loved gorillas at Bristol. Aged 7-8 [in] 1968 went from Cadoxton school on trip. Remember always looking through spy-hole into gorilla house and big beast first put his eye to the observation hole and stared me out.
Then with cheek and cunning he/she put a finger into the hole completely blocking any view into the living quarters. I laughed then and still do now on reflection. If I’d had gorilla glue he’d still be there now.”
– User nelldeanexiled, reminiscing on time spent as a child at Bristol Zoo in response to the news that its Clifton site will be permanently closing