Cracks in the lockdown
In the last three days, during three long walks in close proximity to my home, I was surprised at dozens and dozens and dozens of cars travelling both ways along Whangaparāoa
Rd. Less than a handful turned into or out of a supermarket or pharmacy or service station and most had more than one passenger.
I commend the PM for her empathy and communication skills but, unless she just wants to continue a well-deserved reputation to "talk the talk", then little will be achieved. The only way people ever get any message for any length of time is due to possible consequences, and the only way to do that is random checking of cars.
I noticed a police car parked on the side of the road "watching" the passing traffic, and doing absolutely nothing to enforce the lockdown. Perhaps they also need to wake up ?
Meantime, it took four days to get a "slot" for online grocery deliveries and the estimate is for it to take another six days for actual delivery. Our local supermarket has been out of flour and yeast for close on a week with conflicting estimates of when supplies will arrive.
So far, given the PM's assurances and warnings, it seems as time passes we will experience the results of yet more "talk the talk" and nothing of "walk the walk". People will relax as the days pass and the lockdown will begin to show cracks.
Brent Marshall, Arkles Bay.
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I totally agree with B Birchall (NZ Herald, March 31) that we must consider the elderly at this time.
My own father is almost 90 and an hour's drive from me. I phone him twice a day and deliver shopping but I worry all the time about his wellbeing and increased isolation.
What on earth do those without a family member to shop or just telephone do?
Please be aware that there are people out there suffering serious loneliness and confusion and a simple phone call can make all the difference.
Fiona Helleur, Silverdale.
I think Jacinda Ardern's call for us all to remain calm and to be kind is a great mantra to repeat when we feel a little low and perhaps bit tetchy during our current social upheaval. As time goes on and as we may become a bit more stressed and fed up with our lot, I wonder if we may add a couple more exhortations; be courteous and, above all, be honest. Life is so much easier when we know we can trust each other.
Let's not make it any more difficult than it needs to be at this time, it's hard enough already.
Jeremy Coleman, Hillpark.
I am over 70 and in isolation. I thank all the generations younger than I.
They have given us a wonderful world, such as the internet and connectivity.
Last Friday, my six friends who have had a Friday beer for over 50 years had one together on conference call. This Friday, it is to be upgraded to a video call.
Last night, the choir I belong to, "Everybody Sings", had a Zoom video choir practice together.
The parish priest on Sundays does a video unpacking the thousand-year-old readings and making them relevant to today
I can connect with "Facetime" to my children and grandchildren both here and overseas.
Thank you too, to the many other younger generation people, working so hard for us all, including the scientists beavering away in their labs to bring us vaccinations and treatments
Lastly yesterday, an email went around the apartment block asking us all to be out on our balconies at 11.45am, to sing Happy Birthday to our 91-year-old neighbour.
Everyone was smiling.
Craig Fraser, Mission Bay.
Hands in pockets
People here and in other countries have been applauding their fellow-citizens who maintain health services in these strange and frightening days. All such staff certainly merit the applause.
Here in New Zealand, they also merit our respect as citizens, and we should be showing them that respect as a nation. That means we as a nation, pay them much more for what they do.
We also need to ensure that citizens in the health service have the systems, like a permanent unit for pandemic response, and the equipment they need to look after all of us.
The catastrophic failure of privatised health care in the States shows us why the nation has to do this through the agencies of the state and its government. In this respect, the fact that the US has a federal system is beside the point.
Clapping our hands a few times is cheap and might make us feel good about ourselves. Showing real respect is going to cost real money. Are we, as a nation, willing to spend it, not just now but also in future, when we re-establish a normality beyond these strange days?
Stan Jones, Hamilton.
I would like to say thank you to all those lovely and brave people out in our society who are growing, harvesting, farming, keeping our grocery shelves full, along with our market growers and pickers, the medical teams, truck drivers, police, firemen - gosh, I feel I might miss out on some of the essential services people who are helping those of us who are unable to work due to circumstances.
I think the Government should give them a bonus.
Thanks to the volunteers, our MP's, social workers, call centre people, and our ministers of faith. These lovely people are putting themselves at risk to serve us, I thank them, send them my aroha and pray they keep safe. Bless them all.
L Allwood, Welcome Bay.
The question now is, at what point does the Government take us back to level 3?
Logically, that would be when the numbers contracting the coronavirus drop to zero or those known to have it are in self-isolation in hospitals or camps such as the one in Whangaparāoa.
The focus should therefore be on arrivals at all NZ airports which, it would seem to date, hasn't been the case.
If diligence in testing all arrivals at airports is carried out then level 3 could be a matter of only weeks away.
Explanation of all statistics relating to those infected, those who have recovered and how this impacts our safety from the virus, in my view, isn't being given enough explanation.
Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
We have been hosting a large number of young people from overseas who have had trouble getting home over the past few weeks. This has meant constant shopping trips to keep everyone fed and happy. Standing in a very long line for a very long time to get basics such as fruit and vegetables is simply not okay, especially since I am also working during this time.
Dare I even suggest that some form of ration cards are also introduced to ensure fair access to products such as flour. Over two weeks and more than 10 visits to multiple supermarkets, I have been unable to purchase any, even when lined up 30 minutes before opening.
Keeping viral spread under control is unquestionably a top priority. Supporting people to maintain the necessary restrictions over an extended period can be enhanced by providing improved access to meat, fruit and vegetables. These items are still being produced anyway. They are just taking much longer than necessary to access.
Maria Carbines, Hillsborough.
During the lockdown, we have been told by the powers-that-be that it is okay to go for a ride on your bike.
Last year, 19 cyclists died on our roads and mountain bikers cost ACC $19m.
I am informed that I am not allowed to walk to go fly fishing in Stillwater. In 30 years of fly fishing at Stillwater, I have never heard of, or seen, any incidents.
Perhaps some genius with a PhD might like to explain how fly fishing has suddenly become so dangerous it would involve emergency services.
Ben Walker, Hamilton.
What a wonderfully thoughtful thing to do in providing your readers with even more terrific puzzles to keep our brains working and alive.
A huge thanks to you all for working to keep us informed with all the news, both local and international.
Janice Davenport, Gulf Harbour.
Short & sweet
Why are we still letting people come in from overseas? Surely there has been plenty of warning. This seems to be one of the main sources of new infections. Pamela Russell, Orakei.
There will likely be no election in September, thus a coalition of Government and Opposition should be formed to see the country through a recovery period. A J Petersen, Kawerau.
It has taken Covid-19 to stop construction of the Auckland Airport second runway. One thing a lot of Aucklanders will be pleased about. Bob Wichman, Botany.
The Warehouse and Noel Leeming are allowed to fill online orders for "essential" items only. I read that included "beauty items". Yet I am not allowed to have a seal kit delivered for our dishwasher, which blew a main seal, until after level 4 has been called off. Graham Hansen, Howick.
On Pike River
Every cloud has a silver lining. The ill-advised Pike River mine reopening has been put on hold. Peter Clapshaw, Remuera.
The Government has proven it can inject emergency funds into the market. I say keep doing it for our health system. Money is not the issue, political grandstanding is. Mark Lewis-Wilson, Mangonui.
I'm wondering whose lives will be saved as a result of the shutdown in New Zealand. if one of them is me, many thanks to all involved. June Krebs, Sunnyhills.
Please, please find another reality TV series for Steve Braunias to review. His series on the interminable Bachelorette has brought enormous enjoyment to this locked-down household. Peter Smith, Devonport.