No easy way to acquire immunity
There is no "natural immunity" to Covid-19 - it's a novel coronavirus to which the human body has not been exposed to previously, therefore no inherent immunity. What now causes the "common cold", another coronavirus, was once the trigger for a major pandemic centuries ago, but successive waves of infection have left survivors/descendants who have now acquired "natural immunity".
If you want to encourage maintaining a healthy body, minimising underlying conditions, and thus reducing the potential impacts of Covid-19 or any other illness, then I'm with you - unfortunately the potentially fatal "cytokine storm" that some people get with Covid-19 doesn't seem to be predictable, nor necessarily is isolated to less "fit" people.
Even mild, non-hospitalised cases of Covid-19 appear to be leading to long-Covid symptoms, so you shouldn't want to get a non-fatal infection and just rely on "natural immunity" to get you through, in the hope that you'll acquire a further boost to your immunity. Vaccination is the safest route to that safety from fatal/hospitalisation outcomes.
The concept of "natural immunity" is a distraction from the personal imperative to seek out an obvious form of protection - vaccination.
Peter Wharton, Pt Chevalier.
This week, a relative with two children aged under 8 told me she would not be vaccinated. I tried to put the arguments for, including the risk to her kids, but failed. So I told her I couldn't visit them again until she was vaccinated.
I am 76, with underlying health issues, but, honestly, I do not care about my health as I have had a good run. I also have a close friend who drives with me regularly and has said he won't be vaccinating. Do I lose a close and valued friendship or brush it aside?
These are people who have grown up with vaccinations that have freed them from polio, diptheria, rubella, mumps, measles, tetanus, hepatitis B etc. There are other issues but what seems to be at the top is this desire to give the finger to authority and society.
I believe the Government and businesses must start mandating no-vax, no-entry. If employees refuse to show evidence of vaccination then they will assume them to be un-vaccinated.
It is like two trains on a one-way line, speeding for a collision of wills.
Geoff Minchin, Kawakawa.
David Seymour's heart is not in the team (NZ Herald, September 7). Any team helps its weakest member and, based on vaccination rates, Māori need assistance.
Seymour is a politician who puts his team first. If he wanted to get us all vaccinated asap, commonsense must prevail. It's no different to offering cheap food to the poor and seeing all the rich people queuing.
One can argue we all need a level playing field. Having watched the Paralympians compete, it is never totally fair, but each category tries to do that. Race-based need is no different than age. Clogging our hospitals with sick Covid patients won't help Seymour get treatment.
Soon I expect his right-wing clan to cast us oldies and the health workers on the altar of "living with the virus"- a sacrifice to his business buddies' profits.
Steve Russell, Hillcrest.
Why should the Covid-19 vaccinated people be afraid of the unvaccinated? Surely their immune systems should be able to fight off the virus, irrespective of the vector. Or could it be, on occasion, the other way around? A fully vaccinated person could, without their knowledge, become a carrier and be a danger to a person with a compromised immune system.
To restrict the freedoms of those who choose not to be vaccinated is a violation of human rights.
While some anti-vaxxers seem like rebellious nutters, many others have legitimate concerns about what modern medical practice may be doing to the human population in the long term. By the way, most of my immediate family, including me, are fully vaccinated.
Rosemary Simmons, Papatoetoe.
Here we have had heavily armed police shadowing this man for years. Shadowing whom? A very ordinary little crackpot who in the old days (before 1992) would almost certainly have lived in an open ward in a mental hospital, willingly (almost always) accepting his prescribed medication – peacefully and happily mulling over his pet hates and grudges until the end of his days.
It is not the Terrorism Act that needs looking at – it is the 1992 Mental Health Act. And we should all look at ourselves and seriously question our ingrained, false ideas about our charitable mental hospital system – which our mentally ill population benefited from for 150 years.
Andy Espersen, Nelson.
Decades ago, when I worked as a probation officer, I regularly saw people prosecuted for preparing to commit a crime, in that they were found to be in a public place at night with implements of burglary in their possession.
I never saw judges quibbling that there was "too much conjecture" as to what sort of burglary might be planned, or that it wasn't "unequivocally clear" what Parliament intended by by the law being used.
Derek Bean, Hillsborough.
Rushing to act
Law changes made in haste run the risk of becoming bad law, bad for our democracy.
A considered response to the Lynn Mall terrorist attack would first establish whether existing legislation is deficient or whether administration of current laws is defective.
The danger of rushed legislation is unintended consequences such as loss of freedoms for law-abiding citizens.
Extremist views win if our response is greater authoritarian control.
Mark Vincent, Paparoa.
A breath away
At least 50 per cent of the walkers on the tracks of the likes of Mt Hobson are not wearing masks, and you have to pass them in a space of less than one metre.
If the late David Lange was here today he would be saying: "Wear your mask — I can smell the Covid on your breath".
Murray Smith, Remuera.
The jaw-dropping $1m payout over and above salary to the departing Ports of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson is abhorrent. It defies explanation that the independent port board would authorise such payment considering recent events.
In the last year, the company he helmed was found guilty and fined $424,000 for causing the death of ocean swimmer Leslie Gelberger; the completion of the several hundred million dollar straddle automation project fell two years behind schedule; port worker Pala'amo Kalati was killed on the job, with the former CEO facing charges and a damning safety report raising serious concerns about his management.
To cap it off, port productivity has fallen sharply and the value and reputation of the 100 per cent ratepayer-owned port company has plummeted.
Hardly a million-dollar-man effort.
Chris Darby, Auckland Councillor.
Dr Jarrod Gilbert (NZ Herald, September 6) writes on the importance of teaching people the skills to identify misinformation.
Surely, it is more important to teach people to question all information given to them, and to attempt, by research, to arrive at their own conclusions?
Further, when presented with any information, one of the first questions to ask is, "what intention does the presenter have in providing this information? "
Euan Macduff, Titirangi.
Jarrod Gilbert's comment (NZ Herald, September 6) is interesting, but quite scary. At what point does opinion become misinformation?
It is my opinion that an elimination strategy for Covid-19 is not necessarily going to produce the best outcome for New Zealanders. In New Zealand this opinion now, after much media scrutiny and commentary, carries with it the mantle of conspiracy theory rhetoric and misinformation spreading. In most of the rest of the world, it's become an accepted reality.
So am I to be pilloried by the likes of Gilbert for holding an opinion that not only does he not agree with (his prerogative) but believes I need to be re-educated on?
Welcome back to 1984.
Mike Newland, Matakana.
If Auckland Council ensured new homes were built with garaging or off-street parking perhaps cyclists could use the roads safely without having to go around endless cars unnecessarily parked up and down nearly every suburban street.
I guess this is why millions is now being spent building cycle lanes.
Linda Beck, West Harbour.
Short & sweet
This must be the most frustrated Government we have ever had. We are just as frustrated with their inaction and spin. Pim Venecourt, Pāpāmoa.
How many of those under 24-hour armed surveillance are immigrants or refugees and why are they allowed in our country when such surveillance is required? Kent Millar, Blockhouse Bay.
With the "dithering around" that will invariably take place when our politicians try to pass legislation to prevent further terrorist atrocities, a bit of input from Peter Dutton would be welcome. Warwick Maxwell, St Heliers.
If our parliamentarians had for a while refrained from their constant bickering, mudslinging and grandstanding, they would have found the time to change the terrorist law. K H Peter Kammler, Warkworth.
Dr Hylton Le Grice's letter (NZ Herald, September 6) hits the nail on the head. Make vaccination against Covid compulsory and certified. No vaccs, no entry. Anywhere. Dennis Ross, Glendowie.
We all need to be fully vaccinated, there is no alternative. Lockdowns cannot go on forever. Public compliance will eventually wear off and the outcome will be deadly.
Mark van Praagh, Hobsonville Pt.
Come on, be fair. If Parliament makes law easy to understand how are lawyers going to make a living? Peter Norwood, Devonport.
The Premium Debate
A big stretch to say Jordie Barrett was at fault and that it was foul play. He was just reactively trying to rebalance himself after having to lean back unexpectedly to catch the ball in the air. More importantly though, there's the more relevant law that a player jumping to catch the ball has to be allowed to land safely before the tackling player can touch him. Heidi N.
Barrett made contact with Marika Koroibete, not the other way around. If you go back and watch the replay, Koroibete appears to be slowing down. To say Koroibete made contact by being kicked in the face is ridiculous. Totally agree the kick-out was unintentional, albeit unnatural, but hard to blame Koroibete. Harry W.
Was there any foul play? The answer is no. In the act of jumping to catch the high ball and maintain balance, Barrett has lifted his leg and foot, watch any Aussie Rules or sports where jumping occurs to catch a ball. Rewatch the video, Barrett did not see Koroibete, his eyes are fixed on the ball at all times. Geoff C.
It wasn't intentional, but it was foul play. And regardless, the rules are there to protect players - allowing boots to the face, regardless of intention, does not do that. Daniel F.
Koroibete was not contesting the ball, only aiming to pummel Jordie no matter how. The adjudicators got this so wrong and Koroibete should have been yellow-carded for contacting a player "in the air". Jim T.
Barrett is the vulnerable one, being in the air. Koroibete has to get out of the way. If Jordie had fallen because of hitting Koroibete's face, and landed awkwardly on his head, would not Koroibete be the one being sent off? He obviously wasn't going for the ball. A referee has to use discretion. Andrew P.
Running into Jordie's boot while he is in the air is probably a lesser danger, to me, than being tackled by him. I won't even call it a choice, since I choose neither. Go the All Blacks. Apelu R.