There is mounting criticism on the handling of Covid. However, when one looks at the facts, the Government's response is outstanding.
According to the authoritative John Hopkins University data, our Covid death rate is 5 per million, or 25 people.
If we compare this result with a similar jurisdiction, the United Kingdom where the death rate is 1935 per million, this would equate to around 10,000 deaths in New Zealand.
As a septuagenarian, I really appreciate the implementation of a strategy that has protected those of us in the most vulnerable age group.
So Prime Minister, maintain the course you have established for the benefit of all citizens of New Zealand.
Ivan Erceg, Ōrewa.
A photo (NZ Herald, August 30) depicts a nurse wearing a face mask and a plastic shield.
The vehicles depicted appear to have their windows mostly closed.
The vehicle rolls up with windows closed and then the driver opens the window to converse with the nurse and have the swab taken
Consider the swab-ee has Covid and has been breathing inside an unventilated space until he/she downs the window.
Covid aerosol is expelled from the car and the driver's mouth and floats under the nurse's plastic shield which then traps the aerosol and concentrates it against the nurse's face.
If the nurse is infected, her expired air will be caught beneath the mask and present a hazard to those that she is swabbing
The CDC last year presented the analogy of cigarette smoke, which is an excellent one.
If New Zealanders could be presented with this analogy they would find it much easier to protect themselves and others.
Andrew Montgomery, Remuera.
Jumping to it
I have a part-time job driving the mini-bus at two retirement villages on Auckland's North Shore. With the bus trips suspended under lockdown, management redeployed me to a different role temporarily. The assignment has been to phone residents in the villas, checking that they are okay, asking if they were able to organise getting their supermarket shopping online, and encouraging them to exercise daily with walks around the village grounds. The most common response was that they felt safe and were absolutely fine.
One 86-year-old told me she did have one concern though. Would the lockdown be over by October 13, she asked. She and her girlfriend from Remuera had booked to do a jump off the Sky Tower and she didn't want to miss it.
Inspirational, I thought, and an amazing attitude to life.
Glen Stanton, Mairangi Bay.
Living with Covid
My daughter works on the front line in a busy London hospital. The last words spoken by her 36-year-old male Covid patient were "you're beautiful".
She then accompanied his body to the morgue. No family were allowed near him.
This is the reality of "living with Covid". Easy to say. Very hard to do.
Roger Laybourn, Claudelands.
The rationale used by our Prime Minister to extend Level 4 to Northland is totally unfair. We have no identified cases. Wellington has, and their level is moving down. Patients with cancer here are sick with worry about their delayed treatment - and basic dental health treatment, as in a broken filling, is denied. If the Government is so concerned about the vast number of Aucklanders, rumoured to be 20 thousand, travelling to Northland after the lockdown announcement, why wasn't a barrier put in place earlier?
Annette Moncur, Onerahi.
Steve Gore (NZ Herald, August 26) opines on the subject of a single truth defining humanity in an increasingly complex world. It was the subject that occupied me most throughout a life enriched in the age of travel.
If I came to any conclusion, it is that most things sheet back to two fundamentals that are diametrically opposed - self interest, or the common good. Lay that template over most things and see what happens.
D B Hill, Freeman's Bay.
As an atheist I'd like to congratulate the two Samoan Assembly of God churches in South Auckland who've been in the news for their response to the Covid outbreak.
Atheists often accuse churches of denying science, but these communities have taken the science seriously and one has also been creative in its response, supporting the local pop-up testing site.
One of the churches also had to cope with bigoted criticism, which was particularly unfair since they could not have known about the infection in advance.
Keep up the good work. You are an example to all of us.
David Hines, Westmere.
I have watched with interest the Government Zoom committees this week in lockdown, particularly the transport and health committees.
One thing that has stood out to me is the much higher standard of behaviour of the MP's during these sessions. No yelling out, few interruptions, few snide remarks.
Granted, those not speaking are muted while someone is talking, and the committee chairperson is in control of committee members, but this behaviour is rarely seen during debating chamber sessions of Parliament.
I propose that after lockdown is over, all Parliament sessions are held on Zoom, including House sittings. This could result in much higher standards of behaviour of MP's and provide a much more pleasant experience for the New Zealand public.
Kevan Leadbeater, Totara Vale.
I have always been a supporter of Daffodil Day and the Cancer Society in general.
Now, even more so, having received a significant cancer diagnosis the day Auckland went into the second lockdown a year ago. Since then I have been under a rigorous treatment regime and still am. Fortunately it has been extremely successful and the advice and care I have had from my specialist medical team has been exemplary.
Andrew Young's article (NZ Herald, August 27) on the need and benefits of cancer research was outstanding. Similarly, Emma Russell highlighting the cancer journey of six patients, to assist in raising funds, was most worthy. In no way do I wish to belittle those.
However I find it unfortunate that no male perspective was included.
Regrettably, in my observation, this is often the case in media exposure of cancer-associated issues.
I sincerely hope that with online donations, Daffodil Day is the success it deserves to be.
Alex Baker, Mission Bay.
Spoilt for choice
Congratulations to BNZ for implementing a special "waiting" option.
Viz: after listening to a lengthy list of options, the inquirer is asked to "press 1 for Kiwi music, or press 2 for easy listening music".
If only other companies/agencies would give us a similar innovation.
Peter Cooper, Ellerslie.
Agreeing with Wayne Brown is not my forte, so upon reading his dissertation (NZ Herald, August 25) about our "stuff-ups", I found myself both nodding approval and reaching for the indigestion pills.
My condensed offering is that this country is managed (mis?) by people who have spent their lives behind a desk.
I further venture that "spent" may be the appropriate term.
T R Cant, Northland.
Years ago, a boyfriend of mine hitchhiked up to see me.
The ride he got was with Max Cryer, who had all the children from his choir in his van.
My boyfriend was an accomplished singer and said he, Max, and the children sang from Hamilton to Tuakau. He said it was a wonderful journey. What a shame there were no cellphones to record it all in those days.
What a huge loss Max is for the myriad of skills he bought us all. He will be missed.
Susan Wilson, Surfdale.
Short & sweet
Why was it ethical to be "at the front of the queue" for a Covid vaccine but unethical to pay $40 million to get it early? A J Morris, Epsom.
Matthew Hooton's column (NZ Herald, August 27) broke my heart. Why can't one close loved one be equipped with full PPE gear and stay with them? V. Hall, Whangaparāoa.
It may be time for the West to get in bed with the Taliban. As Shakespeare said (approx.) "misery makes strange bedfellows." Robert Myers, Auckland Central.
While the other regions may not like it, Auckland is the economic powerhouse of the country. Does it really make sense to have MIQ facilities here that are not leakproof? Tony Sparkes, Albany.
Can MBIE explain why a factory with 700 workers making plastic containers is "essential", but a butchery with five workers supplying food is not? Ross Boswell, Auckland Central.
The Premium Debate
The PM said last week that there was no issue with vaccine supply. We should all be able to trust what she says is the truth; it is after all the year of the vaccine. Anna K.
There are no vax appointments available in my part of Auckland until mid-October. So they are either fully booked for the next seven weeks or they know they will run out of supplies. Heather T.
Too little has been done to land the vaccine here earlier - this really deserves a full inquiry as other countries are now starting to do as they complete their first-round vaccination programme. Rachael H.
Running out of stock due to high demand is a better situation than having a slow uptake. The lockdown and threat of Delta is the current impetus. Hardly embarrassing. John T.
The problem remains an extremely difficult global pandemic, made worse by the highly infectious Delta variant. A lot of the complainers don't seem to have noticed how devastating the pandemic has been everywhere (in one way or another). Ed W.
The problem is we are not getting sufficient supply to keep up with demand. We will have to slow the rate of vaccination or run out. This is 100 per cent on the Government, nobody else. They have had so long to prepare and wasted that time. Ian U.
The only reason people are showing up now to get vaccinated is they got a shock and thought it may affect them. Calm down, observe the lockdown rules, take some responsibility, be grown up and we will get there. Don M.