Covid rules: Sweet ride must end
So the PM is "frustrated", and the Minister of Health "disappointed". Hardly words to put fear into those who flout the rules.
Meanwhile, many thousands of business owners and event organisers across the country worry if they will survive another Auckland lockdown.
I am furious. The selfish, or perhaps ignorant, few are risking the lives and livelihoods of many.
New Zealand's high-trust model is no longer working. When there are no consequences for rule breaches, fewer people obey the rules.
Enforcement, rather than being asked nicely, is all that some understand.
Sue Kurtovich, Tauranga.
Hefty fines needed
Covid-19 can easily be caught by accident and the team of 5 million accept this. Unfortunately, a few in that team ignore the rule to self-isolate when directed to do so. They continue to front at work, hold open homes and generally go where they want. They let the rest of us down hugely so there should be consequences.
Even the PM was riled. A hefty fine on exiting quarantine would be a deterrent for others not to follow their lead.
Kay Robinson, Henderson.
Softly softly approach fails
Why listen to the Government's stay-home order if there are no consequences in ignoring it. And why use the tracer app also if there are no consequences?
When it involves public safety, the Government must be more proactive and not soft on offenders. The soft approach is not working and we will continue to have frequent lockdowns.
Singapore is very clear on handling those who do not follow health authority orders and have many solid measures to prevent cases.
For Covid-19, we have to be hard to prevent it from occurring. Community safety is paramount to individual rights.
Chris Toh, Greenhithe.
Writers might have answers
The two columnists only seem to reinforce your paper's anti-everything attitude towards the Government and Covid management.
Heather du Plessis Allan continues to find any vehicle to attack Jacinda Ardern in encouraging Simon Bridges' attempts to discredit the police commissioner and therefore the PM by extension.
Perhaps more concerning is Kerry McIvor's article about Covid strategy. I am sure people sympathise with those losing income and "freedoms" but if you give encouragement in anyway to not follow guidelines even more people and businesses suffer, as evidenced by the return to level 3 today.
Can either columnist come up with a better way tackling the problem? If the high-trust model does not work (as it appeared in the latest case) what do they recommend?
Garry Bond, Hastings.
Feeling sorry won't work
Case M is 21, can vote, marry, make a baby, start a company or buy a house. They are not a minor with a partially developed sense of responsibility for the effect their actions might have on others. If case M had gone drink-driving they would have copped a financial penalty and received licence de-merit points.
The Government has allocated $400-$500 million to compensate businesses for lockdowns, so obviously the cost to the community of a lockdown is much higher than the risk of one drink driver, let alone the risk of causing a major outbreak. Yet the PM is reluctant to criminalise deliberate failure to comply with instructions that are designed to reduce the risk of spreading this virus. She prefers to feel sorry for people.
Andrew Westaway, Auckland.
Selfish lack concern for team
I agree with Sarron Bennett and am appalled at the selfishness and irresponsibility many Aucklanders have displayed since the announcement of the seven-day lockdown in immediately heading to their holiday homes, putting our predominantly aged permanent population at risk.
How could our leaders think this would not happen and also trust those diagnosed positive to self-isolate? There will always be selfish people in our team of 5 million.
Warren Cossey, Whangamata.
It's much worse elsewhere
Context is everything. The seven-day lockdown is a shame and for many reasons (cancelled festivals, weddings, travel) the impact will be beyond disappointing for many. But last Saturday in Winnipeg, Canada, my home town, a city of just 750,000, there were 82 new cases and four people (one in his 40s) died. Yet this was a good day, things are improving there.
For the past year my mother hasn't had a social engagement; no Christmas, no live sports events, weddings, parties, movies, plays, dinners or funerals. I have two friends who said goodbye to their parents via Zoom as nurses held iPads next to their dying loved-ones' beds. We've lived our lives alongside these stories. No matter how frustrating the current situation is, a little context is worth remembering.
Leanne Pooley, Auckland.
NZ may now be trailing
New Zealand, once lauded as the example in Covid containment, now looks like it is trailing the field with outdated shutdowns being the only method of containment.
The Government must have realised that every time it happens there is building resentment, we no longer feel like part of the team but more a naughty child being punished for something the parents have done (or not done).
While other countries are well into vaccination programmes, ours is still months away despite photo ops of boxes arriving and a few border workers being injected.
The relaxed attitude of the Government in the timing of vaccinations is costing us. Many businesses are at breaking point and every shutdown pushes more over the precipice, never to come back. Even Government assistance won't help many of these businesses as every shutdown leads to costs that can't be compensated, wasted, perishable food and customer confidence that is slower to return with every shutdown.
Geoff Minchin, Kawakawa.
Too many do wrong thing
Contact tracing is not working well enough. It is dependent on people doing the right thing and not enough are. Few without the smart-phone app fill in the manual registers.
Covid is going to be a problem for probably the rest of this year and possibly beyond. A blue-tooth card issued to every person and required to be worn every time you leave the house would ensure much faster contact tracing. The expense would be offset by reducing the need for lockdowns.
Bob van Ruyssevelt, Glendene.
It is time to toughen up the Covid rules, ie compulsory signing-in to premises, checking people are self-isolating, masks in places where people mix, not just on transport. Businesses will fail, millions in wages and sales will be lost because we are "disappointed" when rules are ignored.
James Archibald, Birkenhead.
Auckland size a problem
Auckland has got too big for its bridge, motorways, ability to house and now with this latest Covid alert 3, those north of the bridge and south of Drury are again disadvantaged. As a previous long-time Franklin resident, I believe it is time to rethink the size of Auckland region, encourage smaller, caring communities. Bring back Franklin.
Trina Northcott, Gisborne.
Kindness may be killing
Just how much kindness should be afforded those that knowingly flout the isolation rules?
Businesses small and large are again being hit hard by lockdown all because some idiot decides to galavant around town knowing that his/her direct family have tested positive for Covid and has been instructed to remain in isolation.
The whole country is now affected because someone thinks they don't need to follow the rules. Surely some severe penalty should become applicable.
Alan Walker, St Heliers.
Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is not working. Constant lockdowns due to Covid border breaches are becoming intolerable.
The vast economic implications notwithstanding , I fear more for the mental wellness of our young.
Our "high-trust" model is not working. We may have to take a tougher stance, with large fines or jail for deliberate Covid rule breakers. Their feelings cannot be put above a nation's wellbeing.
A. Seal, Mt Albert.
Short & sweet
On level 3
If the Government is going to bring New Zealand's largest city of 1.5 million people to a grinding halt for a whole week every time two community cases are discovered, we can only conclude they are totally naive or fully captured by risk-averse epidemiologists. Aucklanders are over it. M Ellett, Albany.
So here we go again on the lockdown merry- go-round. Until this Government decides to get tough on people that won't conform then this is what we are going to do time and time again. Roll out the vaccines as early as possible because businesses and the public at large will only take so much and then watch out. P. Dixson, Henderson.
Coming from Sri Lanka, and now an avid traveller, the English speaking nations pronounce country names in any way they want to. For example, Shree Lanka is not Sri Lanka with a slant in both 'a's. Dubai is actually Dubaii, Vietnam is pronounced Vietnaam again. Cultural sensitivity is needed. Nishi Fahmy, Avondale.
Perhaps it's time to change the mantra "Be kind" to "Be responsible; not selfish". The selfish actions of a few have an enormous impact on others especially businesses who are dramatically affected despite trying to play by the rules. Perhaps it's time for consequences for such inconsiderates. Fiona McAllister, Mount Maunganui .
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