Day 283 – Sorting out the mess

We are back in Cape Town. We love being in Agulhas very much, but with there being no access to the beach, it was getting frustrating, and there’s plenty to be getting on with back in Cape Town.

And so we are back in Cape Town.

This seems like something of a waste though, given that it would seem that we’re not getting on with very much except lazing around the house and not going to the beach, which was pretty much what we we (and weren’t) doing in Agulhas.

Still, there’s the opportunity to get stuff done, should we feel like it. And with The Move now just a few weeks away (Covid-willing), there are certainly several (or more) boxes to pack.

But in the meantime, there are Youtube videos to catch up on, blog posts to read, some radio to listen to and some (phone and internet) calls to make.

Oh, and this – shared on a local whatsapp group yesterday – to look at…

which definitively and conclusively ties current Covid-19 hotspots to 5G coverage* in South Africa.

 

 

* if you ignore the current Covid-19 hotspots which don’t have 5G coverage.**
** and the areas which aren’t covered by 5G, but which are currently Covid-19 hotspots.***
*** but otherwise: yes, absolutely.  

Day 281 – Best wishes

Happy New Year!

We’re nowhere near through this yet. This frustrating, horrible virus has no concept that we have some arbitrary (yet significant) time frame ending this evening, and a new one beginning at midnight.

And so, our traditional new start at the start of the new year will not include an end to the horrendous news and numbers we are now used to seeing on a daily basis. Rather – locally, at least – we can expect more misery before we get to, and beyond, the peak of the second wave.

It will have been a different New Year for us. No friends, no family, no fireworks on Struisbaai beach. Curfewed at 9pm. No alcohol (apart from the local stash, which remains plentiful at this time, deity be praised).

Still, we can’t allow ourselves to be continually dragged down by things over which we have very limited control. And so, with that in mind, I’d urge you all to focus on finding the positives in every other area of your lives. Because those will be the things that help us to get through the rest of this other, all-pervading mess.

Have a very Happy New Year and thank you for reading 6000 miles… over the past 366 days.

May 2021 bring you – and everyone else – better things and happier times.

Day 278, part 2 – Mentality

OK. Quick post here to clear my mind. (Or as quick as I can with the internet crawling under the weight of several (or more) holidaymakers.)

Last night, the President spoke once again and raised the lockdown back up to Level 3. I’m not saying that locking down is a good thing or necessarily even the right thing to do, but it is clear that he had to do something. To be fair, it was actually a speech in which he told the nation off like we were a group of naughty children. And while that might irritate a great number of people (and it did, with many of them fitting the stereotype), the fact is that too many people are behaving like naughty children. We were given the chance to take measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and we (overall, as a collective), ignored it and continued with our daily (and nightly) lives unabated.

If it was difficult stuff, like you had to cut off the fingers of your first born or pour washing up liquid into your eyes to help slow the spread, then you might understand people not complying. But it’s putting a piece of cloth over a bit of your face and it’s staying away from people.

And we couldn’t even manage that. It’s actually rather embarrassing.

For that reason, amongst other things, our local beach (150m down there [points]) is now closed.
We can look, but we can’t touch. This makes me very sad (and quite annoyed), but it’s been coming for a while.

And yet already, the local Whatsapp group is buzzing with ideas to circumvent the regulations. If you have a fishing permit, you can access the beach (as long as you are also fishing). And that’s a great example of exactly the mentality that’s got us to where we are right now. Local residents who have lived here for years and years are now off to the local post office to get their ticket to the beach. Instead of noting that there’s clearly an issue which needs to be resolved, and staying away from public areas for a couple of weeks, people are actively looking for ways to go and sit next to each other on the shoreline.

Sure. You’ll ask me why anyone would trust this government. They are far from perfect.
But are people that blinkered that they can’t see past their need to break the rules or snub the government and see the huge viral pandemic which is literally killing hundreds of ordinary folk just like them, every day right now?

Here’s another example from Facebook – from before last night’s speech. I’ve removed the guy’s name. I’m not sure if he knew he was quoting a local right-wing, anti-mask covid-denier, but whatever.

First off, there has to be a dividing line for any rule or regulation.

“On the right is 17 years and 364 days old. On the left, 18 years old.
Such clever alcohol this, our government thinks it knows the difference.”

said no-one ever, despite it being a completely arbitrary boundary that we have lived with all our lives.

But aside from that…

I’m not saying that there is any danger or risk in how those people are gathered on the lagoon on the left. But instead of choosing to understand that there was a reason that they weren’t allowed to gather on the beach on the right, they simply chose to just gather somewhere else close by.
In this case, it’s not the virus being “clever”, it’s the people being obtuse.
And if you can’t see that, then I don’t think you are being very “clever”, either.

Precisely because of this mentality, we literally have to be spoon-fed each and every rule. So now – and perhaps even because of this well-circulated image – the regulations have been extended to include rivers, dams and lakes. And then people will complain that the rules are too complicated or pernickety. But it’s really not that hard.

Ramaphosa’s speech last night included these lines:

We can only weather this storm if we immediately and fundamentally change our mindsets.
Compliance with the health regulations should not be simply about fearing the wrath of the law.
It should not be about reluctant observance or peer pressure.
This is about common sense.
It is about taking responsibility for our own health and the health of others.

But common sense and taking responsibility are not things that happen in this country, where a red traffic light is taken as merely a suggestion and the law is completely disregarded when it doesn’t suit us to follow it. It was already happening in Cape Town this morning.

There will be no change in mindset, despite the personal and/or collective consequences.

And because of that, there will be thousands more completely unnecessary deaths.

Day 277, part 2 – Masks optional

We’re back down in Cape Agulhas, enjoying the sunshine and the fresh air (outdoors). It’s certainly less busy than we would usually expect at this time of year, but equally, it’s far from empty.

Once again, it does seem like the constant pleas to wear masks and socially distance are not being heeded here, and once again – surprise surprise – that approach is having a detrimental effect. I received this from the local CPF group last night:

Cape Agulhas has reached the stage where about 40-50% of tests done are positive. We appeal to patients who are being tested to ensure that they give the correct telephone number as well as answer their phones if they are contacted. If you are awaiting results, please remember that you are in quarantine for 10 days and therefore may not walk around. Unfortunately, results now take longer than expected, but please remain in quarantine! You are endangering other people’s lives if you insist on leaving quarantine!
There is a limit to the amount of beds available and people can no longer just be sent away to the next hospital. Otto du Plessis hospital and surrounding hospitals have almost reached their capacity and everyone needs to please take care. Those who continue to behave as before are endangering the lives of high-risk patients. It’s going to get even worse over the next week or two so please be responsible. Some of our patients have been dying almost daily due to Covid over the last few days, and we only have a limited bed capacity.

…from the Western Cape medical manager for Swellendam and Cape Agulhas subdistricts, which is fairly blunt and to the point.

40-50% positivity is pretty horrendous, but does at least indicate that people are being tested, which is the only way we can gauge the situation and protect others.

But you only have to drive around the area to see the behaviour that will lead to even higher numbers in the next few weeks.

Day 277 – Top Nine

Here are my 2020 “Top Nine” photographs on Instagram.

I think that they’re decided by likes and attention, rather than any sort of consideration of actual composition, lighting and/or skill.

Maybe they’re relying on the people doing the likes and giving the attention to makes the judgement on the composition, the lighting and/or the skill.

Morten dominating there, clearly. Also some pre-lockdown cricket, a tree-climbing beagle and a quick and dirty ISS shot. And don’t let’s omit the shipwreck in the sun.

Some decent memories there.
Seems like there were some moments worth remembering after all.