As part of our drive to keep our comment section the best in New Zealand we showcase each week an example of a top-notch comment that adds value to The BFD.
Today’s comment was written by ratlover Thank you ratlover for taking the time to craft such an interesting comment.
I would like to tell you a story about my 94-year-old friend. Fred has led a long and eventful life, but it is the stories he told me today about his struggles around the mandate system I would like to relate.
Towards the end of last year, he walked about 4 blocks from his home to the local council owned building which houses the library and also the post office. He wanted to buy a few stamps to send letters to English relatives. Things are still done the old way, no email or computer, or even cell phone.
He understood under the orange restrictions, he could do business at the post office, as long as he wore a mask and didn’t go into the library section. He was turned away at the door, by the lady guard, and even though Fred remonstrated with her that he had a pamphlet at home from the council that said he could enter, it was no go.
Oh did I mention he is not double vaxxed? That’s a story in itself. We begged him not to, as did other friends, but a doctor said it was safe, so he had his first shot, and has regretted it ever since.
He has an itchy skin condition, high blood pressure and arrhythmia. This last condition comes on at night and is very distressing. Needless to say, he is emphatically not going to have any more jabs.
Ironically it was to be able to enter council buildings and his gym that he had the injection, but now with only one, and too scared to have the second; he is shut out of many places.
Anyway, to get back to his stamp purchase problem, he took his tired old legs home to retrieve the pamphlet to show the girl guarding the door that he believed it said he could go inside.
On his way back, a car running a red light nearly bowled him as he crossed at the lights. Remember this man is 94 but has the good sense to wear a reflective vest when out and about or on his bike.
Back at the library council building, there had been a changing of the guard. Now an Asian man, who had poor English language skills, was manning the door. So problem… did I mention that Fred is very deaf? Extra difficulty for him to make himself understood about his problem, even with leaflet in hand. Now he could have conversed in Mandarin or French or several other languages, but deafness even with a hearing aid is a barrier.
Let’s cut to the chase, shall we? A kind bystander saw my friend’s predicament and to save any further hassles, offered to make the stamp purchase on his behalf. So he handed over a few coins and the deal was done. It was a lot of effort for the smallest of purchases.
So one dogged and determined man went home that day and wondered if maybe the streets of his modern city didn’t pose more dangers and difficulties than the Middle East during the war when he was a gunner and later tank driver in the British army when he had faced danger and death most days.