Being over 70, I am urged by the Government not to go outside for four weeks. I received in the weekend an email from Countdown that said they had identified me from my OneCard as being over 70 and therefore entitled to use their priority service.
I put together a moderate order on the website amounting to around $200 and then went to checkout. All delivery and pickup slots for the next seven days, which is as far ahead as you can book, across their multiple West Auckland stores were full.
Olive, the online assistant, was unfortunately no help when I asked for her suggestion about what to do next. I cancelled the order and logged out.
It is not the fault of the supermarkets that these services are overloaded.
However maybe they could, with the support of Government, relook at providing dedicated slots, ideally at the start of the day when the supermarkets have been freshly cleaned, for older shoppers who have missed the delivery and pickup options to do their food shopping.
I would be happy to volunteer to provide contactless pickup/delivery if this could be organised.
Tony Devitt, Avondale.
• Covid-19 coronavirus: Auckland man, 70, describes month-long wait for online groceries
• Covid 19 coronavirus: Countdown gives priority to over 70s and 'vulnerable customers'
• Covid-19 coronavirus: Essential services include dairies, but only one person in at a time
• 'You might save a life': Call to remember elderly when shopping amid coronavirus outbreak
I listened to the minister's interview expressing concern about increased contact with the public when butchers and bakers are open for business.
Everybody can observe daily how much better the one-person policy in shops such as dairies is working.
We do need bread and meat and fruit. Supermarkets do not deliver safe alternative shopping,
Juergen Petersen, Point Chevalier.
Praise needs to go to the growers of fresh fruit and vegetables.
These guys all have extra costs now with Covid-19 rules and get paid solely on the supply and demand model, and having reduced options to sell their goods to currently is not giving them the best of returns.
These growers, and farmers alike, are the true heroes in my eyes.
Glenn Forsyth, Taupo.
I am saddened to hear that we have had our first Covid-19 death (NZ Herald, March 30). However, I am also concerned that the hospital staff who treated this patient were exposed to Covid-19.
The staff that cared for this elderly victim did not have the correct Covid-19 gear on. They only had protective gear that one would wear if treating influenza. When they realised that they were dealing with Covid-19 then they put the correct gear on. Apparently, 21 health professionals were exposed to Covid-19. As the symptoms for Covid-19 and influenza are so similar, why not protect health professionals with Covid-19 protective gear when treating influenza as a precautionary measure?
Otherwise we could have a situation where all our hospital staff are in isolation and there is no one to care for the sick.
Justine Ashton, Raumati South.
Are we Kiwis becoming a nation of mean-spirited, small-minded little Hitlers?
Where is the so-called kindness and decency? Truck drivers working 14 hour days to deliver products to supermarkets, (so that shoppers don't face empty shelves in the morning) deserve better than to be rudely told by management or staff that "facilities are for employees only".
I would have thought a truck driver delivering to supermarkets, was a stakeholder, if not an indirect employee and has basic human rights, like the rest of us.
Come on people, cut out this petty nonsense. This is a national emergency. A little more flexibility and compassion will get us through this so much quicker.
We're Kiwis, we're better than that. We're way better than that.
John Watkins, Remuera.
Thank you so much for publishing the article on long-distance truck drivers not being able to access toilet facilities (NZ Herald, March 30).
Not only are you not allowed to be able to use the supermarket toilets before joining the impossible queue, but going for a solitary walk around the local park, I found the council had closed the public toilets.
Unfortunately, people's bathroom habits cannot change to suit the circumstances.
Get real and open the toilets.
Linda Lang, Henderson
Chloe Ann-King (NZ Herald, March 30) has highlighted a particular issue for those living in poverty, many being beneficiaries, and that is the unaffordability of rent.
The Government has encouraged banks to provide mortgage holidays which is great for owner/occupiers, but what about landlords? They can benefit while many of their tenants starve.
Can the Government look at fair distribution so that our low-income renters do not suffer even more? Can wealthy landlords consider even a 10 per cent lowering of rent to those on the poverty margins and below while they have their mortgage holiday? We are in this together and "kindness" is the keyword, though for some, "survival" is more key.
Christine Keller Smith, Northcote Pt.
At a time where, necessarily, the Government has limited the reach and function of our democracy, it is even more important that the workings of the pandemic cross-party committee are easily accessible by one and all.
It is therefore outrageous that the Speaker has ruled that the proceedings of this committee will not be broadcast on the Parliamentary Channel. His excuse is that post-production facilities could not be safely provided at the Avalon Studios.
He needs to be reminded that his role is to uphold the smooth working of democracy, even in or perhaps particularly in a time of crisis, not obstruct it.
M A Pollock, Mt Eden.
Contrary to claims that China has obstructed global efforts to combat Covid-19, Richard Horton, the editor of respected medical journal The Lancet has praised the "rapid and rigorous work" of Chinese scientists in identifying the virus and posting their findings in his publication, saying: "we owe them enormous thanks".
M Evans, Tamaki.
Big businesses such as McDonald's are requesting a rent-free period and they are only on day three of lockdown. Give me a break.
What about all of the households incurring extra power charges as people work, eat and now play at home every day instead of being out and about?
As consumers in NZ we already pay a hefty price for domestic power and we are certainly using far more now that everyone is at home in their bubbles.
Many people won't be able to afford their power next month.
Lesley Baillie, Murrays Bay.
Letters: Elderly, human rights, health system and winter essentials
Letters: Erebus memorial, Covid 19, Rio Tinto, Lizzie Marvelly and Air New Zealand
The ease with which New Zealand has accepted the Level 4 rules prove something I was taught many years ago by the military system – "discipline is based on fear of the consequences".
The gangs appear to have worked this out. If only the justice department could get the hang of it.
A Gifford, Tauranga.
I have always wanted to paint, and enjoyed Lucy Davies' comprehensive article (NZ Herald, March 30) encouraging me to do so during lockdown. Unfortunately, I can't find an old pencil, let alone any old paint, to get started so I'm keeping the article for future reference.
Fortunately, I already have an engrossing home-based hobby. I'd like to let other readers with an internet connection know they can find out how to research family history by accessing a free video series "Getting It Right" on www.genealogy.org.nz
The series is home-grown and covers NZ and the rest of the world. It includes the basics for getting started as well as topics such as DNA. If you have time on your hands, you may well enjoy "Getting It Right".
Mary Shadbolt, Remuera.
Short & sweet
Please ask your opinion-writers to tone down their criticism of both the PM and what the
authorities are doing to keep us all safe. Jenny Kirk, Whangarei.
How long is this social distancing going to continue for? My wife keeps trying to come into the house. Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
Re: David Cormack (NZ Herald, March 30). No, New Zealand is not a nation of narks. Reporting behaviour that may endanger lives and prevent the return to normality as quickly as possible is as laudable as irresponsible behaviour is despicable. Neal McCarthy, Auckland Central.
I am safer in a properly organised local store than a supermarket. Current government rules are putting the viability of local neighbourhood centres at grave risk. Change is needed now. John Strevens, Remuera.
How reassuring to walk down my drive in the morning and see the Herald awaiting me. A thread of stability and continuity in these changing and uncertain times. Richard Telford, Lucas Heights.
Thanks for the extra puzzles in the Herald. Tony Forster, Mt Eden.
Across all political parties and people in NZ we must stand united to win this fight. One for all and all for one. Chris Toh, Greenhithe.
After years of picking up rubbish on Little Manly Beach and surrounding roads on our daily walk, we are now seeing nothing. We wouldn't risk picking any up, so that's an added bonus. Pauline Andrews, Whangaparaoa.