Letters - 22 May 2020

From the lockdown to additional benefits

Lockdown good or bad?

There have been many different specialist suggestions in different countries as to how to deal with the coronavirus. Who knows how to get out of lockdown? What I mean is, if we don’t get general immunity to the virus – by lots of us getting it – then like ‘flu’ it will remain a killer for those in bad health. We will only know in retrospect (if there is honest assessment of the different approaches in various countries) which has worked best. Until then, we will not know if general lockdown has been good or bad.

After our government spent huge amounts on Tamiflu and dished it out to as many people as possible, I didn’t know anyone who actually died of the ‘flu’ concerned, but I did know a young person and an old person who both had lasting problems from the inoculation. (One has died since, the other is still suffering.)

If we really want to ‘save lives’, we have to ban white sugar, white flour, processed foods and give out free contraceptives the world over.

We know that most of those dying from the virus are those who have ‘medical problems’. Healthy food intake, exercise, having close social contacts are all central to good health.

The lockdown may cause the early death of many isolated people, and mental health problems both for people isolated and those that are fearful and shut in with others all the time. I have already noted this among friends I have been in contact with.

I was born in Madagascar – the population has increased by over seventy-seven per cent in a few decades and there are those dying of starvation and dehydration because their resources must be shared between an ever-increasing number of people. Wildlife is at risk. I saw a TV programme where a family with ten children hadn’t enough water between them.

In Botswana the population has increased by nearly eighteen per cent in a decade. Villagers want to kill elephants because they are dangerous. Villagers are fighting for decreasing resources (particularly water and land).

We also need to ban gas-guzzlers, excessive road-building, empty housing (unless it is being renovated) and severely curtail flying. This would save lives on into the future, not just for ‘five minutes’. And why do we suddenly feel that we ought to live forever, rather than having an emphasis on everyone having lives that are rewarding?

Sally Phillips

Gathering by Zoom

Thank Heaven for Zoom! The past few weeks of imposed social isolation would have not been as happy without it. I belong to a small, close-knit Local Meeting in south Australia. Even before the government restrictions came into force we decided to meet by Zoom. Several of our members are in vulnerable groups and not all are skilled IT users, so we were all hesitant to embark on this new concept of a virtual Meeting.

Our first experimental Meeting was an adventure and we were delighted to welcome several people who have not been able to attend Meeting regularly because they live too far away – some are hundreds of kilometres away. We have now met for over a month using Zoom and are finding it amazingly gathered. We start, not when the Meeting is open but by welcoming each person as they connect, and once the greetings are done, it has proved easy to centre down. We now hold a midweek semi-structured Meeting as well, and are hoping to continue this once the restrictions are lifted. These Meetings will keep us in touch with far-flung Friends in a way not possible before.

Topsy Evans

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