Three Cs of Covid risk
Better late than never, to start getting sound objective science into public health advice. I refer to close proximity in crowded, confined spaces; "The Three Cs".
Your editorial points about airconditioning and recirculated air (NZ Herald, January 30) are also spot on. Some "contrarians" have battled to have this recognised, for the best part of the past year. Recognition is, er, "problematic".
A corollary to this is that fresh air and sunshine are risk mitigators; official "experts" calling for incarceration of the population in their own homes was a global-level disgrace that needs to be litigated. Also, a high number of workplaces are low-risk but restrictions often misguidedly indiscriminate.
And there is still another factor that the three Cs miss: a Big D. "Duration". What matters is viral load. Each factor contributes something to this. Being somewhere high-risk only briefly, will not result in a deadly viral load or even serious illness, but rather, asymptomatic development of immunity. Going by the evidence, no one actually dies from infection contracted over one drink, snack or shopping purchase.
But anywhere that people are there 24/7 can become an aerosol petri dish if ventilation is low-rate. Rest homes, prisons, apartment blocks under lockdown, quarantine centres.
Phil Hayward, Lower Hutt.
I read with interest the article about the pensioner's scanning misunderstanding and taking photos of QR codes (NZ Herald, January 29).
I think it is perfectly understandable for an older person to be confused and believe that they are doing the right thing.
We are constantly being reminded to "scan QR codes and turn Bluetooth tracing on" (there is in fact a full page of it opposite this article), but it seems to be taken for granted that we all know how to do it.
Robert Scoliège, Hamilton East.
The letter from Kirby Malcolm (NZ Herald, January 29) echoed my own experience almost exactly the day before. A 45-minute wait, while the only two tellers dealt with complex banking issues is absolutely unacceptable.
Face-to-face service should be freely available. Privacy away from the queue waiting, rather than all present hearing personal financial business being discussed, is embarrassing.
The weasel words of the joys of being ANZ clients receiving wonderful service rings very hollow. Where is the service ? We are constantly told of the systems available online to conduct banking. However, for those unused to online use being able to have face-to-face service for some business is helpful.
The alternative of customers hanging interminably on the phone entertained with endless music, cutting costs by reducing staff and closing branches is not great customer service.
Daphne Hunt, Taupiri.
In answer to CC McDowall's question regarding low wages (NZ Herald, February 1), high house prices and high immigration and whether our government has made the link or likes it that way.
The answer is, yes they have and yes they do.
Our government has a policy of rapid population increase by design but as Basil in Fawlty Towers said about "the war", we mustn't mention it.
J Leighton, Devonport.
As a fellow resident of Auckland Central, I fully agree with Annette Mills (NZ Herald, February 1) on her views of the city centre.
The one major issue that I wish to raise is that all efforts being made by the Auckland Council to make Auckland city more liveable, fails to include the 70,000 Auckland Central residents already residing here. All physical and financial efforts appear to go into trying to attract outsiders into the city.
If the council was to focus on making the central city environment more friendly for those of us who have made the decision to live within New Zealand's biggest city, perhaps those that do not live in the central area will become envious of our lifestyle and come and join us.
The options are "unlimited".
Dick Ayres, Auckland Central.
Video of the Tairua harbour incident (NZ Herald, February 1) shows a man in an inflatable dinghy claiming the woman's larger boat had broken the speed limit and caused $1000 of damage to his vessel.
After yelling and swearing between the pair, he rams the woman's boat, which has children on board. She then wades over to him with an oar, getting a couple of swings in before a bystander takes it from her.
Teachers have a "trusted role in society", the Education Council's code of professional responsibility for teachers notes. Values which underpin the code and teaching standards include pono - "showing integrity by acting in ways that are fair, honest, ethical and just" - and whanaungatanga, which includes positive and collaborative relationships with the wider community.
The boat had children on board. Are our heads so far in the sand we fail to recognise that mothers "have a trusted role in society" as well?
I saw a lioness protecting her cubs. Guess what? It's a primal instinct that overrides every thing else.
Paul Evans-McLeod, Hamilton.
On holiday in the Coromandel, I was disappointed to see two young boys chasing a pair of juvenile dotterels down the beach. The birds were too young to fly and were desperately trying to escape.
When the boys' father heard my comments, he finally told the boys to stop. I explained to the parents that the birds were an endangered species and the far end of the beach was their traditional nesting area.
It seems incredible to think that some are still unaware of the plight of our native birds. Regular readers of the newspaper would be well aware thanks to Jamie Morton's excellent articles.
My first encounter with these birds was at Opoutere Beach many years ago. The area was roped off and a "guardian" had set up a spotting scope for us to view the birds. She told us about their breeding habits and the importance of protecting them. It has become a lifelong hobby for us and our children.
It would be a good idea for the Government to employ students to spend summer at the various nesting sites, watching over the birds and informing the public.
S. Hansen, Hastings.
Proposals to reduce emissions such as purchasing electric vehicles, reducing the number of cows or planting thousands of native trees are slow to have an effect, expensive and disruptive to many sectors of the economy.
A simpler way to reduce emissions immediately would be to introduce a trial designed to get cars off the roads. This would be to make public transport free for a period of, say, six months.
The outcome can't be known ahead of time, this is why it would be a "trial", but common sense would indicate that with removal of the deterrent of cost that puts people off using public transport, many would indeed use it. We already pay for all those buses rumbling through our cities, most of them 90 per cent empty most of the time.
This could be put into action tomorrow with a stroke of a pen. It's certainly worth a try and would cost a whole lot less than we spent on the America's Cup, that's for sure.
Susan Grimsdell, Auckland Central.
It is a shame the Government is not dealing with the housing crisis as competently as it is with Covid-19 and climate change.
Prioritising a resolution to this crisis would particularly be the view of homeless people, but not so much the wealthy. It begs the question then, whose vested interests are the Government onside with?
It's a shame that those without are being ignored, but those with clout - monetarily, are not, even by a Labour government that prides itself on operating with integrity.
Not, perhaps, on the housing crisis issue as its in-action demonstrates.
Murray Dennett. Papatoetoe.
Short & sweet
Hasn't our Romeo, who was wooing in the quarantine faculty, ever heard of the wise words, "don't get laid where you get paid"? He just got fired - fortunate not to get Covid too. Merilyn McAuslin, Mt Eden.
I hope the people who refuse vaccines, who do not have a valid medical reason, are then refused government-funded medical treatment. Martin Sangster, Taupō.
Dear John Banks, white supremacist views are no longer mainstream. CC McDowall, Rotorua.
It seems that the New Zealand Government's total lack of criticism of Beijing's unsavoury activities at home and abroad,now effectively makes New Zealand, China's newest colony. Rod Matthews, Melbourne, Aus.
The only way to collect illegal firearms is constant police raids and searches without hindrance from the "civil rights" brigade. Derek Paterson, Sunnyhills.
If the Government was serious about New Zealanders changing to electric-powered vehicles, it would reduce the GST on purchases to 5 per cent. Or better still, make them GST free. S. McPherson, Pukekohe.
Whatever persuaded that Seven Sharp fellow to grow a moustache? It looks absolutely dreadful and detracts from his presence. David Bennett, New Plymouth.