How appropriate that our Prime Minister announced unprecedented, stringent restrictions on many aspects of Kiwi lives on the anniversary of the Christchurch attacks on our NZ Muslim community which gave rise to the "we are one" call.
In New Zealand we live as a nation in splendid isolation at the bottom of the world. Suddenly, with all the restrictions now in place, we really are "one", a community of less than 5 million, again fighting a common enemy.
Covid-19 pays no heed to race, colour or creed but attacks all equally.
We are living in extraordinary times where many will be affected one way or another. It's time we showed the world what an extraordinary country we can be, by looking out for and after those who suffer any deprivation during this time, joining as one to help each other, rather than maintain the "them and us" mentality still prevalent in many quarters.
"One for all and all for one" is the creed we need to adopt and truly become the "one" we can be.
Jeremy Coleman, Hillpark.
Support our economy
Countries where coronavirus is starting to do some serious damage are all in the Northern Hemisphere, with some African nations starting to feel its presence too.
Yet, here we are in tiny New Zealand barely (directly) affected, again playing the game that some of the much denser populated, infected nations let slip until it was too late.
Our health system may not be as well-equipped as the much more populous nations, but we seem to have a leader who has pulled out all stops to prevent what is creating carnage in many larger economies.
Let's hope that we can support our own country's industries before we even think of importing some other country's problems, products and services, including tourism.
Letters: Staycations in sight, politicking, exports for Kiwis and flying anomaly
Letters: Foreign students, productivity, gun owners, gender equality and AT
Let's enjoy our own paradise before we feel the urge to see other nations' cultures and architecture. Meanwhile, we are conserving a few barrels of fossil fuels ...
Rene Blezer, Taupō
Let tourists test
What I would like to know is why overseas arrivals and those exposed to the coronavirus are not being given the choice to either self-isolate or pay for testing, which if negative would free them from needing to self-isolate.
Surely having such a choice is more aligned with individual rights, and it would not cripple the economy as new measures surely will if there is no respite in the near-term.
If the reason is that testing kits are not yet available to enable such a choice, then why doesn't the Government give an undertaking that it is working on making the testing kits available in quantity, and that the aforementioned choice will most certainly be on the table as soon as practically possible?
Visibility and a light at the end of the tunnel is what we all need now.
Terry Verhoeven, Mt Wellington
Home school problems
Older residents will remember the polio epidemic when children received lessons through the mail and there were few problems.
Today that situation should be made a lot simpler with technology. In the 1950s the vast majority of mums were home to help out. In today's situation who's going to be home to supervise those children up to the age of 15 (when they are first able to be responsible for younger brothers or sisters in the home situation) and therein lies a partial solution.
Those children in the 15-plus age group deemed responsible can be given that task, but that still leaves possibly as many as 80 per cent of younger children unsupervised.
Grandparents still living in their own home could play a crucial role, but once again a majority of them are locked away in retirement villages — and many will be reluctant to venture out in a world containing one of the most contagious viruses mankind has had to deal with.
Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
The quickest virus on the planet, far deadlier than the coronavirus, is the internet fearmongers and so-called "influencers" polluting our world .
Simply carrying a packet of disposable tissues to sneeze into, or covering the mouth when coughing, is the best means of preventing droplet spray.
Or surprisingly for some, even something as old-fashioned as a clean handkerchief which is then washed at home ready for reuse.
A little common courtesy, not spitting in public on to streets, walls and footpaths and putting used tissues in rubbish bins instead of throwing them on to the ground would prevent any spread of infections.
Max Wagstaff, Glendowie.
It is heartening to read (Weekend Herald, March 14) a small success story about KiwiBuild — a policy aiming to build new housing that is accessible and exclusive to first-time buyers.
But the Opposition has shown relentless determination to see the death of the KiwiBuild programme in order to keep housing in the hands of relatively well-off home buyers, landlords and capital-gainers (its natural constituency); and to destroy Phil Twyford as a Government minister.
Yes, KiwiBuild is slow off the mark, but several residential developments that require huge amounts of infrastructure preparation are now well under way and will provide in the coming years thousands of affordable houses, reserved for first-home buyers, that the free market has failed to deliver.
B. Darragh, Auckland Central.
I live in a 16-year-old subdivision in Papakura. There are oak trees planted every 5m in the grass berm around the streets.
In the winter their fallen leaves cover the streets, blow into people's properties, and clog the road's drains. Now their roots are expanding and are breaking up the concrete footpaths all around the neighbourhood where many walk.
The concrete has many breaks in it, with some being up to 20cm in differing heights which is now a major trip hazard. Contractors have had to put some tarseal down to prevent people tripping.
Don't get me wrong, I love trees, I just blame the council or developer for planting the wrong type of trees. I'm sure there were better and smaller trees suited for the beautification job.
Warren Prouse, Papakura.
Holiday at home
We applaud Judy Lawry (March 16) for her initiative to encourage Kiwis to holiday at home. We have been homelinking (home swapping) in New Zealand and abroad for over 25 years.
It's a great idea for supporting New Zealand in these troubled times. Pay nothing for accommodation but spend your money in local tourist spots.
As Judy says, let's focus on travel in our own fabulous country.
Valerie Martin, Ōrewa.
Meeting global target
Governments' reaction to the pandemic shows what can be done if politicians really want to take action.
The action to close borders, stop people travelling, reducing the number of planes flying and slowing economies probably matches what is really needed to reduce carbon emission growth to meet global warming targets.
The coronavirus shows we can make drastic changes in a desperate situation but clearly globally it's not hot enough for any significant drastic reaction yet.
Perhaps politicians need to be asked about why are we so slow to react to something equally or more life-threatening.
Russell Herbert, Bucklands Beach.
I mentioned to some neighbours that I was thinking of going to see The Book of Mormon, which is playing in Auckland. However, they said it was very loud.
Over the past few years I have seen several imported musicals and every time the theatre orchestra seems to think they are a pop band playing at an open-air concert.
One goes to a musical to hear the clever words sung to a good tune — not a raucous noise made between the stage and audience.
I have seen four since Singing in the Rain and up to Aladdin last year all were ruined by the loud music. To save my ears and enjoy the evening I think I will wait until I am next in London or New York.
David Speary, Northcote.
Short & sweet
With people being encouraged to work from home can we expect an increase in the birth rate in nine months' time — and possibly an increase in the divorce rate?
Mike Jarman, One Tree Hill.
On safe greetings
Now that the warmth and familiarity of the handshake, the hongi and the hug are denied to us, it is hard to think of a better greeting than the clink of glasses.
Tim Heath, Grey Lynn.
On the Olympics
It would be a crying shame for the competitors, and fans, if the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics were cancelled. Given they're four years apart hopefully they'll postpone them till 2021.
Glenn Forsyth, Taupō.
Given the unfolding coronavirus pandemic, and the odd US response to it, it would provide Donald Trump a good reason to declare an emergency and postpone the presidential elections. He might be able to get another two years or just roll over the presidency until 2024. I am sure this is something that has been thought of.
Neville Cameron, Coromandel.
On St Patrick's Day
Why is St Patrick's Day used as an excuse for a regular booze-up, while there is never any such wild celebration for St George's, St Andrew's or St David's Day?
Jack Waters, Taupō
We borrow a lot of things from New Zealand and call them ours. Can we do that with their Prime Minister. Please.
Ken Morehouse, Australia.
First it was Emmerson's "terra incognito"; then it was "ad nauseum"; now it's Tudor King Henry XIII (Canvas, March 14). Eheu! Clearly Latin should not be dropped from the curriculum.
Robin Rimmer, Tauranga.