Lifestyles to die for
News from the USA has revealed the majority of Covid hospital admissions are deemed obese and 40 per cent of Covid mortalities are diabetic, with associated health issues.
While Covid-19 commands our attention, vaccination fortunately offers a lifeline; not so obesity with all its ramifications which will remain our greatest health risk long after Covid is tamed.
Health services struggle to cope with medical conditions stemming from obesity and diabetes, the mounting costs are insurmountable. To combat this silent killer, personal responsibility and greater participation in our own healthcare are vital if we are to avoid this next pandemic.
P. J. Edmondson, Tauranga.
So many people are demanding that MIQ be scrapped overnight to let families reunite for Christmas.
Does it sound as if these double-vaxed returnees, some of whom will likely have Covid, would be in self-isolation over the Christmas/New Year season?
And do we expect our exhausted Government and medical teams to be implementing, on an overnight basis, new home-isolation Covid systems?
The Government has already signalled major changes in early 2022.
Our summer has just begun - time aplenty for reunions.
In the meantime, we are tracking towards one of the better global Covid responses.
Let us be thankful.
Angela Yatri, Oratia.
The Japan Times is reporting (NZ Herald, November 24) that in the opinion of leading epidemiologists, the Delta strain of the virus has mutated itself out of existence. Japan [population 120 million] has had no deaths this week and almost no cases reported.
Having spent more than 40 years travelling in Japan, I am not surprised.
Japan is, without doubt, the most hygienic country in the world. Couple this with, no handshaking, no hugging, shoes off at the door, habitual mask-wearing in public with any symptom of a cold or flu, and a highly disciplined population, and the result becomes clear.
Rob Elliott, Kohimarama.
Those who insist that the number of Covid-related deaths determines the success of management of the pandemic are not looking at the whole picture.
Many countries now accept that we have to live with Covid because lockdowns incur a range of huge costs. Police report increased calls for help from people facing family violence and mental health issues. Thousands of New Zealanders cannot access MIQ to return home. Children have missed months of schooling, many businesses will not survive, thousands of Aucklanders have had their medical treatment postponed.
New Zealand is borrowing almost $1 billion per week while tax income has not grown anywhere near the same rate. In the meantime, money is urgently needed for infrastructure, housing, education and upgrading our health system. Worse, this lockdown was preventable with an earlier vaccine rollout and a proper plan for the arrival of Delta. That is why there is increasing concern for the Government's handling of Covid.
Janie Weir, Newmarket.
Life, as we know it
Sadly we are starting to witness our own demise.
So-called influencers taking over our daily lives; lobbyists promoting their paymasters' self-serving views; and advertisers constantly delivering their cliché-ridden rhetoric.
We are saturated with banal entertainment on our screens in the name of escapism.
So what are we hiding from? For many it would seem to be the drug of life itself.
We cannot keep spiralling downwards; official action should be taken immediately.
A "think tank" of 10 right-minded people chosen and headed by Simon Wilson would be a great start.
John Norris, Whangamatā.
In response to letters supporting Jacinda Ardern, I believe New Zealand has split into two factions.
The productive sector that is concerned at the failure of a timely vaccination programme, poor planning, horrendous borrowing and debt with nothing to show for it.
And the sector on Government support and not suffering the financial and emotional stress or consequences.
In 2020, the Government performed, but has failed in 2021 at enormous cost for our future.
Mike Single, Bayswater.
Businesses south of Taupō complain of reduced tourism, or customer number restrictions, while often their counterparts in Auckland have been closed completely for nearly 100 days, and many will never open again.
As well as their lack of unruly locks, I would wager that no Wellington bureaucrat has acquired the scary bank overdraft common among many Auckland business operators.
Allow us our brief dance of haircut joy, but understand that our hurt is serious.
Josephine Ellis, Meadowbank.
Jeff Hayward (NZ Herald, November 22) questions the validity of farmer protests and asks what they intend to do about methane emissions and pollution of waterways.
Farmers have invested heavily, and continue to invest, in riparian fencing and planting to protect waterways and are levied to cover the cost of research into methane mitigation measures.
There is wide acknowledgement of the plight of Auckland businesses and the crippling of the tourism sector means our primary industries will play a vital role in the recovery of our economy. That is the reality.
George Williams, Whangamatā.
Cheek by jowl
Aucklanders need not worry about the rules changing to allow more infill housing (NZ Herald, November 23).
Our beautiful city is already fast becoming a slum, full of infill housing with no respect for design or planning. No garages or off-street parking.
Many areas are already looking poor with their large homes, no section and owners that care little about city pride. It's time this Government was told to stop.
Linda Beck, West Harbour.
Just when I was worried about the old, ceramic, combined sewer and stormwater pipes, just 150mm in diameter, servicing my area and a huge new apartment block being developed further up the road, I had to gasp at the article (NZ Herald, November 23) adding another dimension of worries should Kāinga Ora be allowed to randomly plonk three-storey homes wherever under the Housing Enabling Bill.
My sympathies to the elderly couple, cowering in their home as a result of gang member tenants of Kāinga Ora partying out of control, despite a police presence. Clever positioning printing articles about the gang party and the select committee hearing submissions on the Bill on the same page.
As I write, Watercare have just departed after nearly two hours clearing the sewer line through an access pit on my property again. They said to expect them back soon and they did not know how much worse the problem would get when the development up the road is tenanted.
An unholy alliance between National and Labour dreaming up this Bill demonstrates stupidity is not limited to either party.
Coralie van Camp, Remuera.
The opposition to the Housing Enabling Bill is so overwhelming, the Government must be scrambling to find a way out of the mess it created.
The range of submitters against it are so diverse - from developers to tree-huggers; iwi groups to architects, Auckland Council, urban planners, heritage and resident groups - all saying the Bill is so badly thought-out it will result in poor housing for the poorest communities.
The Government's intention was to attack nimbys who live in houses in nice suburbs by allowing intensive housing to crowd them out. However, it's now repeatedly being told it will accelerate cheap housing in outer suburbs and hand city planning to developers.
They can't write all the submitters off as nimbys. They simply care about how our cities look and function and believe no one in this country deserves to live in substandard conditions.
The Government wants to blame the housing crisis on councils, planning restrictions and nimbys. The real reasons are so much more complicated and require a clever and nuanced approach. Not an unintelligent piece of legislation that will make the situation worse.
Margot McRae, Devonport.
In his piece "New Zealand billions in debt - and with nothing to show for it" (NZ Herald, November 22), Bruce Cotterill illustrates what a huge number a billion is by stating that a billion seconds ago it was 1959.
Bruce discovered this by reading a verse circulated on social media by a mate of his. Given that a billion seconds ago it was 1990, not 1959, one wonders how he came up with his other figures and guesses.
Phil Haynes, Forrest Hill.
Short & sweet
In response to Kanwal Grewal, Hamilton (NZ Herald, November 23), who writes we owe PM a debt of gratitude: Sure do! Her legacy will be bankrupting the country. Dennis Knill, Parnell.
Now that the rest of NZ are welcoming Aucklanders and their money, will we see an end to the name-calling and derogatory comments? Beth Graham, Mangawhai Heads.
The German Health Minister has it sussed: By the end of the (northern) winter, everybody will either be vaccinated, recovered or dead. That applies to us too. K H Peter Kammler, Warkworth.
We need carefully considered planning to concentrate our communities around key transport nodes - not a haphazard, build-anywhere approach that will embed and worsen the effects of the existing urban sprawl. David Hopkins, Remuera.
How many of these self-appointed critics actually know much about the game? Have they played, coached or refereed? A record of 15 internationals won, and three lost, isn't bad.
David Andrews, Tauranga.
If I were superstitious, I could believe that the All Blacks' recent humiliations are due to the wrath of the environmental gods - disappointed in the Rugby Union for accepting the sponsorship of INEOS. Geoff Barlow, Remuera.
On Expo 2020
Is anyone left in New Zealand, or are they all in Dubai? Bruce Tubb, Belmont.
The Premium Debate
Why the lack of urgency or decision on rapid testing/home/self-testing that is available the world over? This is available, legitimate and could be used to a show negative result - so people can go to church, work etc. Monique T.
That these laws are now required to be passed under urgency is just the reality of this pandemic. One way to eventually allow for a prudent and time-honoured process of debate and submissions to occur is to give these new laws, rushed under urgency, an expiry date, say, in 12 months' time. Carl R.
I agree this should have been dealt with earlier but, on the other hand, the vast amount of the population would agree with this law. The issue for me is that it has been given due diligence and scrutiny by the justice department and legal groups, the law society, etc. Ross W.
Government for the people by the people needs to be adhered to, regardless of the circumstances. Vaccine mandate may be a tool, but what about our human rights? Vick S.
When the health of the entire country depends on the legality of the process to protect the citizens, then passing the required law is not only the smart thing to do - it is the only thing to do. The people need protection, the lawyers need their laws and their incomes, and would mindlessly argue either side of the case, depending on who the client is. The media need their feeding frenzy. But, fortunately, common sense requires immediate action and that is what the Government has done, for once, correctly and immediately. Roger H.
This Government has forgotten (or perhaps were never taught) some of the important maxims in life. Such as, "a stitch in time saves nine" and "failing to plan is planning to fail". I guess they have been too busy making rules about how we all need to live to read the nursery rhymes. Well, they seem to know more about that than we do, don't they? Rowan K.