Letters to the Editor – March 30, 2020

Our letter writer stresses that everyone regardless of age should take the COVID-19 advisories and instruction seriously. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Carefree attitude

IT seems that since there have been no deaths so far from COVID-19, it has created a perception that only those over 60 and with underlying medical conditions are most vulnerable. The others are safe and will survive the virus. Obviously they are oblivious to what has happened in other countries where young people are also among the fatalities. Hence the laxed attitude towards the advisories and instructions. A day after the lockdown, I came across a group of children frolicking in overflowing and flooded waterways. There were some adults among them which was even more shocking. Yesterday, I saw a group of young girls taking a selfie outside a church. When will they come to their senses and start taking the advisories seriously? By the way how can we expect a baby boom when we are supposed to be practising physical distancing? You could be charged for defying instructions. SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

The time is nigh

THE world is gripped with fear as we speak, all because of a pestilence called coronavirus. I like to call it by its name because it gives it a “face”. A face to an unseen enemy that has taken on humanity, and we appear to be running away scared. To the Christian, the Bible has always talked about end-time events including the pestilence. Jesus talked about these events and mentioned the pestilence in the book of Luke 21:5-33. He said while mankind was fearful of these world events, he would return to take his own home. Therefore Christians should be getting ready to go home in the rapture probably sooner then we all thought. You know we are always told by our pastors that Jesus’s birth was foretold 400 years before it happened in the book of Isaiah. Yet when it happened only three wise men from the East, probably Asians, got it right. We are so consumed by this pestilence coronavirus that we have lost perspective of how things should be. The book says that in the twinkling of the eye, Jesus will appear in the skies (Matthew 24:30-35, I Thessalonians 4:16-18). KORINA WAIBUTA Knollys St, Suva

COVID-19 budget

IN reference to Mr Simon Hazelman’s letter of the above subject (FT29/03). He reckons the Opposition is turning the COVID-19 Response Budget into a political football. He can call it what he likes, but parliamentary debates is a must for:  Any mini/supplementary budget must go through Parliament;  Transparency and accountability as vigorously advocated by the opposition during the sessions; and  The voters need to know both sides of the story and make their own judgments. Honourable members of the Opposition need to tell almost 50 per cent of the voters their side of this ill-fated pandemic reaching our beloved shores. Lastly everyone knows and understands the seriousness of this pandemic, but Mr Hazelman, anything regarding our nation’s coffers must go through Parliament. And Mere Lagilagi (FT29/03) , thank you for the thought, FNPF was created through wise leadership of yesteryears and we can only pray that changing stewards of the fund respect the core objective it was created for. MATAIASI BULIVOU Nausori

Raising awareness

I CAME across a report in The Sunday Times (page 5) titled “2000 learn about virus” and I must express my gratitude to Navua advisory councillor Teresa Jacqueline Wise who visited 300 homes in six communities to raise awareness about COVID-19. As a result of this three-day exercise, about 2000 residents benefited as they were told about the precautions they needed to take in terms of good hygiene and practising social distancing. Thank you madam Teresa Wise for raising awareness on COVID-19 in Navua! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Nadawa, Nasinu

Employers and FNPF

READING an online news article stating that employers have to assist employees directly affected and that they will need to facilitate employees seeking their allowed funds through their portals, it occurred to me that this would be the best opportunity for FNPF to check whether the employers have been faithful with deductions and their own contributions to their employees’ superannuation funds. I am sure that many of those folks crowding up outside the Lautoka branch will have some running around to do with their bosses in days to come. However, to me, it’s a good idea to involve employers in this. I actually have zero idea on who will ensure that employers are fully co-operative with their employees. Since all nonessential businesses are closed, which refers to most companies in town, will company bosses even be reachable by employees? Some could deliberately be out of reach. We need those employees to be assisted with zero hassle. The crowds every morning outside Lautoka FNPF are already totally disregarding social distancing calls and the majority don’t wear masks. I am sure the Lautoka FNPF team must have precautionary measures in place for the people, both inside the branch and outside while crowding up or in queue along the footpath. Some serious matters are being laughed about among some Lautoka people about
this pandemic. This itself isn’t laughable. At the end of the day, one must ask himself or herself whether he or she must really dip into retirement funds. The choice is entirely one’s own. Some choices may just be too hard to make, and sadly, some just don’t have another choice. DONALD SINGH Lautoka

Curfew hour

I AM all for the curfew in Lautoka. However, people are still moving around town and I would suggest that this movement is restricted for essential needs only.
I would like to see police offi cers checking on people who are in town. Just a simple question on why the person/s are in town. And may I ask if homemade
masks are OK. I hope someone from the authorities will answer via this forum. It’s never too late to do this. ALLEN LOCKINGTON, Kava Place, Lautoka

Is intelligence contagious

NEW evidence uncovered over the past several weeks indicates that intelligence is not contagious, a study by the US Centers for Disease Control reports. In a controlled experiment documented by the study, a 79-year-old man with intelligence was placed in close proximity to a 73-year-old man without it for a period of several weeks to see if even a trace of his knowledge and expertise could be transmitted. After weeks of near-constant exposure, however, the 73-year-old man appeared “a hundred per cent asymptomatic” of intelligence, the researchers found. “In terms of facts, data, and wisdom, there was zero community spread,” the report stated. The researchers, however, left open the possibility that intelligence might be transmissible to other people, just not to the 73-year-old who was the subject of the experiment. “There is evidence to suggest that this subject has developed a super-immunity to intelligence, making it impossible for even rudimentary information to permeate his extraordinarily thick cranium,” the study indicated. ARVIND MANI Nadi

Overeating and irregular snacking

VAST majority of us are now staying at home full-time with zero to less professional, academic and physical tasks on hand. Logically, many of us are just travelling within the applications of our smart phones, from Facebook to Instagram to Twitter and finally ending up in YouTube. Eventually, people are getting bored and physically inactive. As a result of boredom, people tend to indulge themselves in overeating. Want the evidence? Just ask yourself, how many times you went to disturb your fridge and mother or wife in the kitchen for supplementary snacks and confectionery to feed your cravings. However, in the long run, irregular snacking and overeating has a detrimental impact on the digestive system which leads to laziness and fatigue. Many people have also forgotten their weight loss goals and to circumvent the guilt of overeating unhealthy foods, people are blaming the global pandemic and the quarantine it bought. Fortunately, there are a comprehensive number of techniques and methods to avoid overeating and irregular unhealthy snacking. First and most uncomplicated technique is to replace unhealthy snacks with healthy ones. Instead of loading the trolley with packets of salty and sugary snacks, opt for fresh fruits and healthy dry fruits such as almonds, dates and prunes which provide high nutritional value to the body and prevents laziness and fatigue. Furthermore, people need to get rid of their boredom and stress in order to reduce cravings and overeating habits. The best way to achieve this is to engage in physical activity. During this time, social distancing is a must; as such playing sports with family and friends is not a good idea. Instead let’s clean our houses/compounds, commence backyard gardening or even build a new shelter for our pets. Additionally, people should read books and try to learn some new and essential skills in order to make the most of this free time. Finally, we should take extra care of our health especially during the current circumstances. Maintain proper hygiene, eat healthy, worry less, laugh more and exercise. Let us not invite other health issues later while combating the global pandemic now. SHIVNEEL CHANDRA Suva

Not maritime

ARE there any islands (or coasts) that are not maritime? CHRISTOPHER GRIFFIN Perth, Western Australia

Soccer accounts

DEFINITELY enjoyed reading the article titled ‘Nemani reminisces football days’ (ST 29/03). I was a spectator at the match and it was indeed a joyous occasion to witness our boys historically clinch victory over the much favoured and fancied Socceroos. Many-many vinakas to my former Samabula and Suva soccer teammate, Sports PS, Maretino Nemani, for the excerpts. Vinaka The Fiji Times and can we have more please? ANTHONY SAHAI Suva

Lockdown breach

A 23-YEAR-OLD Lautoka resident was arrested in Rakiraki for breaching the Lautoka lockdown by walking for about 30km from Saru, Lautoka to Ba. He then travelled to Rakiraki from Ba by bus to see his beloved girlfriend whom he missed. Interesting times in our beloved country! Indeed, love sees no barriers! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Nadawa, Nasinu

Pay cut

SO they will be getting a 20 per cent pay cut. Mmmmm, I wonder if they can survive on what’s left. How about a 50 per cent pay cut because many people on the ground now have no pay. ALLEN LOCKINGTON Kava Place, Lautoka

Better ways

THERE were better ways to utilise FNPF funds to ensure economic development and wellbeing during this difficult period where members’ balance will not be reduced. Sadly the opportunity has passed and the downward trend of members’ balance continues. DAN URAI Lautoka

Teaching career

THE many who stayed awake glued to their television sets last Thursday night would have wondered sometime during the live telecast about the toughness of being in the teaching profession. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

Road accidents

LET’S hope there are no road accidents in the Sugar City during this period. NIGEL FIU Owls Perch, Lautoka

No assistance

THERE is no assistance by Government for taxidrivers who are suffering in silence. Those that have FNPF cannot even apply. Having to pay exorbitant daily contracts and taking nothing home, they are not being assisted. Only those that care about you can hear when you are quiet. DHARMENDRA KUMAR Rewa St, Suva

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