We have not eradicated or eliminated Covid-19

IN response to Dr Michele Hunt on May 1, Beacon’s letter to editor question. Firstly, you seem to have misconstrued my letter. I believe if our coalition government had acted two months earlier on January 26, no one would have died, this would have been acceptable to me.

Unfortunately, the Government did nothing for two months and allowed 4000 overseas travellers to arrive in New Zealand without any checks or tests or contact-tracing for Covid-19.

I believe the Government should have acted much sooner by stopping all incoming visitors to New Zealand except for Kiwis returning from overseas.

All incoming Kiwis could have been put in a 14-day quarantine army camp before entering New Zealand. This may have saved 20 lives and the need for the level four lockdown. Why did the Government allow the cruise ship Ruby Princess to disembark passengers with Covid-19 at various ports around New Zealand?

If these mistakes were not made, we would not have needed a lockdown and this would have saved taxpayers $5 billion and a lot of hardship.

We have doctors and nurses who were unable to obtain PPE safety equipment for more than 12 weeks while caring for patients with Covid-19.

The Government’s spokesperson kept saying there was no shortage of product and that logistics were to blame. Winston Peters said: “we will never eliminate or eradicate Covid-19.”

I believe the prime minister and Dr Bloomfield have scored an “F” in the world’s eyes for their mishandling of Covid-19. I believe our Government was informed of the Covid-19 pandemic on December 5, 2019.

Why is the Government spending millions of taxpayers dollars promoting the legislation of marijuana hoping the money it will make will replace what we are losing from tourism and why isn’t our prime minister wanting to know where the Covid-19 virus originated from the hold China to account?

I believe the loss of 20 lives is 20 too many.

D Dawson

We all have to have compassion from time to time

AS I read what appeared to be a very logical article (Case of different rules for some) in Wednesday’s Beacon, I was left with a feeling of disquiet. I read the article a few times and could see that the writer was talking about the use of police discretion. Okay, I can buy that.

However, what unsettled me was the extreme description of Mr Barkla’s family (mother’s name, stepfather’s name, brothers and their geographic locality, brand of cars (Porsche/Mercedes convoy) added along with emotive language “apparent arrogance, Stuttgart express”.

Added to this was an opinion about the level of support the mother may or may not have been receiving.

Mix this all into a family’s grief at the loss of a husband and loved stepfather and the genuine response of a son (no matter how many siblings) to be there for his mum is nothing but repugnant.

“Case of different rules for some” says more about the writer than the letter itself.

If Mr Barkla had worked at the Auckland City Recyclers, driven a Mini and a 2001 Holden, and had a modest dwelling at Ohope, I’m sure the writer would not have bothered sending the letter. It is so easy to identify people and name them but hide behind a pseudonym, Hmmmm.

Lastly, thank God the police do use discretion and compassion as we all have to from time to time.

This is what makes us a better community and we are a better people for it.

My condolences to the Barkla family.

M Wilson

A better means of helping yourself at this critical time

WHEN I first set foot on these shores 40 years back, my initial impression of New Zealanders was thus: hardy, inventive, the ultimate DIYers, the world’s final frontiersfolk.

They practically run barefoot up Everest. Build a homestead with a handful of tools, a few planks and a couple cases of Steinies.

Shear a sheep in the morning, sort, card, spin and weave before lunch and by dinner the entire family including Fido has the full complement of winter garments.

I was convinced there was nothing a Kiwi couldn’t do with the materials at hand.

That was then. This is now.

Except for those who six weeks ago had little to begin with and have been knocked on their butts even harder by the financial constrictions of lockdown, the majority of current moaners, handout seekers and crybabies (and I’ve done several minutes of deep investigation and research on this) don’t evoke a drop of sympathy nor compassion.

So, you’ve spent more than you have, eh? Wallet chokka with plastic cards, their rounded corners bleeding red, hm?

My heart weeps. How much did you spend on that foreign-made electronic gizmo glued to your palm which you use to send out essential pics of your morning porridge on WhatsApp?

The shiny SUV that’s more car than you’ll ever need; the boat; mod-cons galore in the home; that fishing-from-the-beach torpedo you rarely use anymore; the treadmill and cross-trainer now covered with old sheets and stored in the shed; the holiday overseas with four-star hotel accommodation you absolutely had to have; the fancy-schmancy restaurant dinners; the kid’s 21st piss-up? Getting your bloody toenails trimmed, polished and lacquered once a month, for god’s sake.

And it’s all Jacinda’s fault you’re now scuffling, is it? Well, hard cheese, cobber. I was brought up during a world war, don’t tell me what it’s like to go without, okay?

So here’s me, my possessions: 23- year-old station wagon takes me there, brings me back; ancient bicycle I pedal for an hour each morning; this antique laptop which has produced seven full-length books; opp-shopped clothing and every stick of furniture in my lovely old house; comfortable $15 trainers from Warehouse.

Plus, I grow much of my own food. What’s that? I travel overseas for months every year, you say. You bet I do. Asia mostly, occasionally the US to see the rellies.

I also bet I spend less dosh all up on these ventures than you do having a long weekend in Sydney.

Does all this make me better than you? No, just a tad wiser. This is New Zealand, not America, not even Australia. Simplicity and integrity, strong backs and perseverance are what made this country solid and independent.

In the four decades I’ve lived here I’ve watched people grow fatter and lazier, and I find this ever so sad. Maybe, just maybe, a better means of helping yourself at this critical time, as well as our country, is to quit belly-aching, tighten your belt, eat better, exercise more, grow veggies and stop spending what money you do have on toys you’ll use for a few weeks then completely forget about.

Barry Rosenberg