Let’s (not) lighten the mood with this little gem from the Daily Maverick webinar yesterday, shall we?
Here’s a rather grim warning from Prof. Shabir Madhi, member of SA’s scientific advisory council:
People are getting infected at a phenomenally high rate. It’s unbelievable. Not in my wildest imagination did I think people would get infected as much as they’re getting infected right now. What you’re going to see in Gauteng in the next three or four weeks is going to be really frightening.
When scientists and professionals use language like that, you know that things have got a little bit out of hand. He continues:
The number of people we’re diagnosing on a daily basis, which is still a fraction of the true number of people infected, is absolutely frightening.
They’ll all end up in hospitals in 2 to 3 weeks from now.
In Gauteng, like many other places in SA, people are not avoiding crowded spaces, they’re not wearing face masks, they’re not ensuring physical distancing. That has fuelled the transmission of the virus.
Yep: Gauteng is the new Cape Town.
And while just a few weeks ago, they were laughing at us and calling us “Western Cape Wuhan”, they’re now dying in their droves.
Who could have seen that coming?
The rapidly opening economy, now including restaurants, cinemas, casinos and “personal care salons” flies in the face of pleas from the Health Department for people to stay at home. I’m sure that we’ll see spikes all over the country from this, though in the case of Gauteng and the Eastern Cape, they might be well hidden behind the exponential increases there anyway. The bigger worry for the Western Cape now is surely that people think it’s all over and give up any attempt to protect themselves or others.
Spoiler: This is not all over.
Because, as you can read above, even during the worst of it, the number of people choosing not to socially-distance or cover their noses and mouths while out and about, flies in the masked faces of the advice from the experts.
I have no answers. No ways to solve this. We’ve been through it so many times on here. Quite how much more the government can do to communicate the simple steps to reduce the risk of transmitting and contracting Covid-19 is beyond me.
For more and more people, it’s now just getting to the point of protecting themselves and their own families. Only go out and about if you really need to* – especially to anywhere indoors (good practical advice here, remember), because people are going to break the rules, they aren’t going to wear masks and they will come too close to you:
Don’t blame a clown for acting like a clown, blame yourself for going to the circus.
Although I’m very happy to blame the clowns as well.
* I don’t count casinos, hairdressers, cinemas and restaurants in this category (sorry Corné).