I fear that the long COVID will be our next pandemic (“Long COVID to affect 500,000”, July 24). Alas, there is no diagnostic test and no cure. The worst thing sick people can do is stand in line at the clinic. My common sense suggests that a healthy lifestyle and a return to normal activities are the likely solutions. Giving people another chronic disease diagnosis can be counterproductive, much like we did with chronic fatigue syndrome. Doom and dark.
Then the get-rich-quick snake oil sellers will emerge to prey on the sick in our community. We are so sensitive to the power of suggestion. I doubt there is much COVID diagnosed among subsistence farmers in Afghanistan.
Michael Chambers, Mosman
Greens can win the day
If the Greens really want to achieve something tangible without too much backlash from Labor supporters, they could force the federal government to stop subsidizing $12 billion a year to the mining industry (“Greens target budget in bid to block mines”, 24 July). This will do two things: it would help the government fix the budget and the Greens would be seen as a smart negotiator rather than a troublemaker. He would also receive support from the Teals. Win-win for all parties and independents, except the Coalition.
Mukul Desai, Hill of Hunters
Nest egg always the best bet
Despite Jessica Irvine’s reassurance, millennials who assume an indefinite continuation of the current old-age pension could face a rude awakening (“How much do you need to retire?”, July 24).
That “most retirees today receive a partial or full pension” does not mean that “the federal government has no incentive to set the record straight”. The combination of people living longer, having smaller families, increased job insecurity, higher defense spending and unprecedented debt levels begs the question: where is the money coming from?
And at some point, young people will revolt against paying taxes so that asset-rich retirees can benefit from government largesse. It is much better to have your own nest egg than to rely on the generosity of others.
Maurice Critchley, Mangrove Mountain
foot and mouth disease
No one with a brain wants the borders closed (“Gene Banks and Cleaning Mats: Preparing for the Virus,” July 24). The farming sector doesn’t want it, the regions don’t want it, business doesn’t want it, Australia’s thinking sector (yes, the sector that overthrew the government in May) doesn’t want it .
The only ‘people’ who want him are the far-right coalition rump, who don’t want him out of concern for Australia, but just to give themselves something to rant about. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Ian Lewis, Kentucky