Self-confessed nitpicker Heather du Plessis-Allan concedes that New Zealand has done well in controlling the Covid-19 outbreak but wants to know why we haven't done as well as some other countries, in particular, Taiwan (Why I'm proud to be a nitpicker, August 30). She seems to think that having admitted to being a nitpicker this absolves her from presenting a balanced argument, usually the hallmark of good journalism.
In the case of Taiwan there are several obvious explanations. First, there are huge cultural, social and religious differences between Taiwan and NZ that make it more likely that the Taiwanese will accept and conform to government edicts made in the interests of protecting the people generally. Second, Taiwan has lived under the shadow of mainland China for many decades and any open dissent in Taiwan may be seen by China as a reason or opportunity to intervene.
David Coy, Hamilton
People who think that a vaccine for Covid-19 is not too far away with all the researches going on all over the world are living in a fool's paradise. A telling statement from WHO not long ago was that there was no viable vaccine. And our government with a tunnel vision of eliminating it is creating economic carnage. We should be focused on how to manage Covid-19 and, most importantly, economic recovery.
With economic carnage will come health issues like mental health and drug addiction.
So beware what you wish for.
Mahendra Kumar, Otahuhu
Rest, don't test
Heather du Plessis-Allan has every reason to nitpick (August 30).
The Prime Minister was incredibly sulky in waiting 20 hours to tell the people of West And South Auckland that they did not all need to take the Covid test.
Probably thought they had nothing better to do as the churches were closed.
Nevertheless Sunday is the Lord's Day And should be a day of rest, not lining up in Henderson and elsewhere to have an unnecessary test.
Pauline Alexander, Waiatarua
Why the stress?
It would have taken 30 seconds to cancel the Ministry of Health directive for West and South Aucklanders to get a swab. Why did it take four hours of unnecessary stress?
Bruce Tubb, Belmont
Viral diseases seem to fall into a pattern. The deadliest ones, like Ebola, don't spread very far because people who catch it manifest severe symptoms so quickly, (and even die quickly). Therefore, besides the "advantage" that victims don't get much chance to spread it, quarantining and contact tracing is easy.
We now know that Covid-19 is the opposite to this. People who contract it won't show symptoms for days, if they even do. Asymptomatic or mild infection is the norm, not the exception. Around 40 per cent of people's immune systems throw it off without even developing antibodies. Once around another 20 per cent of people have developed antibodies — and the vast majority, 99 point something per cent, do not die — the spread slows down to unnoticeable levels, just like many previous viruses.
Diseases humanity has mostly eradicated fall into the category of something easily prevented, and furthermore, worth the cost of doing so because they are so deadly. Humanity will be in trouble if a disease that takes days to manifest symptoms is also highly deadly. Covid-19 is NOT that, but the public hysteria that drives policy thinks it is. "Experts" still playing on this hysteria are agenda-driven crooks.
Phil Hayward, Naenae
Victory for cynicism
If we fail to contain this Covid outbreak it will be a victory for Mike Hosking. With his cynical and negative attitude to all government initiatives, politics and scoring points for him seems to be more important than our health and economy. The tragedy is that with his communication skills he could pull the country together instead of dividing us.
Vince West, Milford