There needs to be a group set up to establish that those over 80 and living alone have the support they need to get food — like an army the students set up in Christchurch after the earthquake. Where they get meals on wheels, have a cleaner coming in, or have children living locally there is normally not an issue.
It is the other group who need help and I have seen it. We are telling them to stay at home, and most have got that message. If a neighbour calls and offers to help, how do they pay them?
There are lots of complications. They cannot go to the bank, do not have cash at home and have always been told not to share their pin number with anybody. They don't go on the web and some still pay for everything with cash. Some of these people are very private, independent and proud, but need our help. internet shopping not something they can sort. Please put something in place to help them and let's not forget our older folk at this time.
Barry Birchall, Oratia.
Rich countries privileged
I suspect that it has never crossed the mind of Chloe Ann-King that "human rights" are a myth. They are privileges arising from the fact that we have the good fortune to live in a free and prosperous Western society.
What "rights" does a child born into a poverty stricken village in Africa or India or any other country suffering from dictatorship, poverty or war really have? None.
Only rich countries can afford what she demands.
She needs to realise that these privileges can only be sustained by a society that is prosperous, operates under the rule of law and respects property rights. The price of this is eternal vigilance.
Bryan Leyland, Pt Chevalier.
Health system in the gun
All over the world, the public health systems are overloaded and here in New Zealand we see the health boards running up huge deficits and now the Covid- 19 crisis is going to exacerbate the problem.
I suggest the Government could help balance the capacity of the health system both public and private by allowing private health insurance premiums to be tax deductible. Under the current scenario an individual is effectively paying twice — once in their tax and again paying a subscription to a private health provider.
This would encourage more to take private health insurance and ease the pressure on the public health system.
Paul Jarvis, Orewa.
We are all in agreement in the lockdown, with the colder weather coming, how do people get firewood? We have a pellet fire, no pellets at the moment, usually buy mid-April. I have a great niece at 18 months old, what about winter clothes, a year ago she was 6 months old — those clothes will not fit. Any mother knows clothes for children have to be purchased each season.
I need toner for my printer, a winter duvet inner, plus a few other items which I cannot buy at the supermarket and want i would say not essential but necessary to make life comfortable coming up to the colder weather.
Wendy Galloway, Omokoroa.
At 69 we can shop in the supermarket. At 71 it is too risky. So we are advised/told to enlist another friend or volunteer to shop for us and thereby take on the risk on our behalf. I refuse to do this on moral and humanitarian grounds and will continue to shop carefully until I am stopped at the door and sent home.
John O'Neill, Dargaville.
Step up, Simon Bridges
There seems to have been a deathly silence from Simon Bridges since the lockdown began. It would be nice if someone who has ambitions to be the next Prime Minister could give some encouragement and gratitude to doctors and nurses, people in essential services and to the people of New Zealand.
Greg Cave, Sunnyvale.
Heather had her say
Several letter writers have taken issue with Heather du Plessis-Allan for daring to disagree with Jacinda Ardern on the Government's handling of the Covid-19 outbreak (Herald, March 22 and 23). In the meantime we bask in a false sense of superiority while criticising whatever US president Trump or Australian PM Morrison does or says.
Are we to become too afraid to ask questions or to disagree?
The media are our eyes and ears in a crisis, and we depend on them for honest and factual reporting to enable us to arrange our daily lives, and also to ascertain whether our Government is doing its job and spending our tax money wisely. To attack the messenger is to overlook one of the most important facets of a democracy: the right to a contrary view.
That said: PM Ardern has been doing a good job, talking us through this crisis. She has communicated calmly and clearly and in an empathetic tone that should have reassured many. She is, again in my opinion, the perfect spokesperson for the Government behind her. As an aside, the decisions that are being implemented now are those of the Cabinet, not of Ardern alone. Credit or blame will eventually have to go to the collective, not the individual.
That is not to say that the Government's response in its reaction to the Covid-19 outbreak has been perfect. Questions have already been asked about the need to include welfare increases when beneficiaries are perhaps the least affected, and about the decision not to close schools earlier, and the decision to allow passengers to continue disembarking at our airports without being placed in compulsory isolation. Those questions will hang over us, but in the meantime we have to follow the Government's orders.
Dr C.G. Marnewick, Bucklands Beach.
A timely reminder from Zanna Gillespie (March 28 Canvas) of the importance and significance of letter writing. Ten years ago both of my parents died. When my brother, sisters and I were clearing out their home we found an open letter that our paternal great, great grandfather had written in January 1926 in his 89th year just before my grandparents, father and his siblings came to live in New Zealand from Greece. It was very fragile but copies were made. My framed copy has pride of place in the lounge. It has become the mantra for our annual family get together in remembrance of our parents. My favourite part of this letter being "knowing that all the members of my family are joined together in a bond of true fraternal love and affection which I hope and trust will continue for all time". I know my late father and mother would be proud of our endeavours to actuate these sentiments. So while we are in our bubbles, get writing, everybody. You may create a treasure.
Kathleen Hawkins, Papakura.
Thanks, friends and family
It's early days yet in the Covid-19 lockdown but in the past two days I have received 12 phone calls from friends and neighbours, as well as family, asking if I'm okay and offering to go shopping and keep me (an "older" person) supplied. Okay, I'm what is called an "independent old bag", but thanks guys.
Anne Martin, Helensville.
In his article on Jacinda Ardern and her Government's response to the Covid-19 crisis, Matthew Hooton writes, having extolled the "unsurpassed" benefits of capitalism, "if you want to win a war, the system you're looking for is effectively communism". I think this might surprise Brits, Yanks, and other allies in both world wars, that their countries became in any sense at all "communist". Certainly, war-time footings in democratic countries require a command and militaristic structure, but business, an independent judiciary, liberal education still remain. Furthermore, where is Jacinda threatening the state takeover of business and production demanded by communism? Hooton might equally claim that such measures are "fascist". What Hooton fails to understand is that the virus precipitated world economic collapse — a bubble waiting to burst; the very last thing the planet needs is a return to the excesses of free-market capitalism.
John K Monro, Martinborough.
Isolate all of them
It is clear that the coronavirus cases are coming from overseas. Why don't we stop it by compulsory isolation for all arriving? We would reduce cases and be able to get back to some form of normality.
Don MacLellan, Tauranga.
Short & sweet
I fear we will return to our old habits and, but for four weeks of solace, will resume with peace and quiet a distant memory.
John Ford, Napier.
In the past, I have always been puzzled when judges handed down sentences of "home detention". I'm starting to get it now!
Steve Hoeft, Pt Chevalier.
Matt Heath's philosophical column today surely vindicates retaining Latin and Classical Studies in the school curriculum.
Lindsay Holmes, Parnell.
Where are all those people who said our prime minister never had the guts to make the hard decisions and was a flip-flopper? Hold your heads in shame.
Dave Noke, Papamoa Beach.
I went for a walk and did not realise there were so many dogs in our suburb!
Brent Marshall, Arkles Bay.