I was interested to read Dr Parmjeet Parmar's comment in Wednesday's Chronicle. We do, indeed, live in an interesting time.
I received this text from my brother in New South Wales. He, my sister-in-law and granddaughter have all succumbed to Covid along with hundreds of thousand others.
'The Prime Minister and the State Premier think they're saving the economy by letting the virus rip, but the economy isn't listening – restaurants are closing because of cancellations, flights can't take off because the crew are crook, hospitals are so overcrowded and so understaffed they can't take more patients. Shop shelves are empty because the warehouse staff are sick, and if they weren't, it wouldn't matter because the drivers who take the goods to the stores are sick. It seems we are not up and running again, we're down and standing still.'
My immediate response was a heartfelt thank-you to Jacinda and Co for balancing the health of the economy with the health of the people.
Choice and consequence
Harete Hipango MP attended an anti-vaxxer rally recently then said she supports people who treasure freedom of movement and choice (Chronicle, January 10).
Does she also support the freedom of anti-road code drivers who choose to move at high speeds on our streets and roads in unregistered vehicles?
Many Kiwis who obey our government's mandates about safe driving have lost their freedom of movement, and often their lives, because of these anti-roadcoders.
And a disproportionate number of maimed anti-roadcoders clog our government hospitals' casualty and ICU beds.
If the highly contagious Omicron starts infecting 5000 in New Zealand every day, many Kiwis who have chosen to obey our government's Covid-19 mandates about masks, movement, and vaccination are going to lose their freedom of movement, and some will lose their lives.
And a disproportionate number of anti-vaxxers will clog our hospitals' casualty and ICU beds.
Anti-vaxxers enjoy freedom of movement on our roads because the vast majority of us obey the government's road code mandates, and when they are stricken with covid they will enjoy free hospital care because the vast majority of us obey our government's mandate to pay taxes.
Of course, anti-roadcoders and anti-vaxxers should have freedom of choice and freedom of movement.
But choices must always have consequences. When those who don't follow government health and safety mandates become seriously injured or seriously ill, perhaps they should be given the freedom to buy treatment in a private hospital instead of being put at the head of the queue for free treatment in a mandated government facility.
Maybe Harete Hipango could get a law passed to enable this.
Right to be heard
Whilst I was saddened to see MP Harete Hipango taking down the social media photo of her with mandate protesters, I was gladdened that she treated them as fellow human beings and as a part of our community.
Hipango affirmed their right to be seen and heard. As outsiders, we don't need to disappear down any conspiracy rabbit hole to recognize that the "No Jab, No Job" mandate is fundamentally unjust and divisive.
Lobby groups such as "Don't Divide Us" have long called for a verifiable rapid antigen testing regime to be freely available and used here as it is overseas.
This can allow for travel, work and social interaction. As things stand, those conscientious objectors who think differently to those of us in the self-righteous and vaccinated majority, are vilified, outcast and left without the right to earn a living.
Hoorah Harete Hipango for once again putting conscience before social and political convenience.
St Johns Hill