Letters to the editor: Reaching out to a shopping good samaritan

I am an 85-year-old pensioner who has had severe arthritis, particularly in the hands since I was in my 30's. I had not been shopping for about three weeks. My neighbours, church and family have been dropping any essential items that I needed, but I needed to do a large shop. To miss all the crowd, I went at 7.30 a.m. After I had finished shopping I entered the cashier I put all the items on the moving belt and stood watching the cashier price everything. When she had finished, I noticed I had to bag everything myself. I apologised to the lady behind me and to the cashier saying "I am sorry to be so slow my hands aren't very good today".

The lady behind me said, "I am going to help you." I protested and she insisted. I was very thankful. I got very flustered and when it came to paying I could not remember my new card number which I had received. I said, "just give me a moment it will come to me". The cashier explained that the card could only be in the machine for a short time.

The lady who helped with the packing immediately produced her visa card and said USE THIS. I protested profusely but she just insisted. The cashier said what a lovely person. The ANGEL said she would love to give me a hug but could not, of course. She just wished me a very happy day

I don't even have a name to say THANK YOU. I am sure you are an angel sent by God and I have been praying for you.

Margaret Gardner, Miranda

Editor's note: Mrs Gardner has asked the good samaritan mentioned above to contact the Leader if possible. Thank you. Please email craig.thomson@austcommunitymedia.com.au

Mining in the Woronora catchment

This madness, this obsession with coal has to stop. There are other sources of thermal coal NOT under reservoirs. Water before coal.

Pam Veivers

Watch out for depression

In times of physical and psychological crises - that invariably accompany health epidemics - seemingly routine events can be a lot worse to sufferers of depression than reality itself. Minor issues and travails in our life's journey become exaggerated beyond their true perspective.

I have made a sound recovery over 20 years from this debilitation, mainly because I observed the prescribed tasks and medications, which I'm required to do for the rest of my life.

Depression is nothing to be ashamed of. I wanted to shout my pain from the rooftops, but I don't have to on this occasion because this newspaper serves my purpose in reaching a big audience.

This mental illness, along with fits of anxiety and panic attacks, occur when the brain is deprived of a chemical called serotonin. So there it is - mental illness in a lot of cases can be traced to nothing more than a chemical imbalance.

I learned a lot of lessons as I navigated my path to recovery:

  • * recognise you have depression: feelings of sadness, tiredness, lengthy periods of sleep (especially during the day), and lack of motivation to want to do anything
  • * go to your general practitioner in the first place, who might recommend you to a clinical psychologist (sometimes not a medical doctor), and then, in turn, to a psychiatrist (a medical doctor qualified to prescribe drugs that raise the level of serotonin)
  • * talk to friends and family - but not too close physically at the moment - if they are decent people, they will give you a good hearing; if not, don't go near them
  • * exercise, but no more than 15 minutes a day; follow with a warm shower - this routine raises the serotonin level and stimulates a warm and happy feeling
  • * realise that acts of kindness can lift your spirits. Only yesterday, my next-door neighbours (a young couple with three beautiful little kids) asked me how I was placed for groceries, toilet paper and other necessities. They offered to provide whatever I needed. What a generous, kind-hearted gesture; it gave my spirits a real lift.

Paul Hunt, Engadine

Positives from coronavirus 

I live on Port Hacking Rd Sth and this road has always been a walking / running track morning and night. I have never seen so many couples walking, Mum's with the children and the dog out walking, then Dad's on their bikes with 2 or 3 children riding behind.

Perhaps too at home the family may be playing board games? Going back perhaps to the good old days called Family Time? I believe this is a positive from the CoronaVirus outbreak and we must all search for positives in the current situation.

Dolly Phillips