Day 643 – Lancet Covid Editorial

This is from a couple of weeks ago (and this post was written a few days ago), so maybe everything’s already been sorted now, but in the unlikely event that it hasn’t, this: [or PDF]

The challenge now is to determine the level of COVID-19 that is acceptable for individual nations in a fundamentally interconnected world.


A good overview of what we’ve done and what we need to do, but no real answers here, besides the “politicians must do better” plan. But we’ve kinda been hoping for that for a number of years now and it hasn’t quite materialised.


Day 626 – They’re Russian over to help us

Hmmm. This is.. interesting.


“An IL-76 of the Russian Emergencies Ministry has been loaded with Rospotrebnadzor’s (the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing) mobile laboratory mounted on a Kamaz vehicle at Volgograd’s airport and is heading for the South African Republic. There are virologists, epidemiologists and physicians of Rospotrebnadzor and the Russian Health Ministry along with an Emergencies Ministry task force on board the IL-76,” the ministry said.


Having had the world singing the praises of our scientists for the past couple of weeks, why do we need a mobile Russian virology lab and mobile Russian virologists in Cape Town?

The flight is performed by order of Russian President Vladimir Putin, following the request of his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa. On Friday night, it departed from Moscow to Volgograd, where the laboratory was loaded on the plane.

Curiouser and curiouser, Comrades.

Day 623 – Too late

On the day that the news broke that 2 Pfizer jabs had very limited effect on the Omicron variant, but that 3 seemed to be pretty good (see the lilac bars here):

… our local medicines body, SAHPRA authorised a 3rd jab 6 months after the second.

For anyone below the age of 50 (or who was below the age of 50 at the time of their first jab), that means waiting – with very limited protection – until March next year. But which time this fourth wave will be just one more unpleasant memory. For those who survive*.

As I’ve mentioned on here, the shouts of ‘vaccine apartheid’ ring hollow as far as SA is concerned, but the government isn’t doing a lot to correct this narrative. Why? Well, lest we forget, they were the ones who started ordering vaccine stocks too late:

and they are the ones who are comprehensively failing to get what they have got into people’s arms:

Now, About 80% of the population who are eligible to have a vaccine (have to wait until well into the new year to get the much-needed third shot. While we slow down our orders because we have so much in stock.

The advanced muppetry continues in the clown farm.

* Is it me? Am I the drama? I don’t think I’m the drama.

Day 611 – Travel

Twitter: “But it’s ridiculous! People are tested before they can travel!”

And yet, at Schipol…


South African Minister of Health: “Travel restrictions are unjustified”:

Also the South African Minister of Health: “We may restrict travel”:

Trump bans travel from parts of Africa this time last year. Joe Biden:


Today, Joe Biden announces ban on travel from parts of Africa:

I know, I know. Cheap shots. Low hanging fruit etc etc.

Maybe it’s just people called Joe…

But also massive hypocrisy and many clear indications that – almost 2 years into this whole mess – we (and by we, I mean politicians) haven’t come up with any decent methods of dealing with it. It’s all a bit scary.

Look, the likelihood is that this variant will be all over the world already. Just because it was only detected now, doesn’t mean it wasn’t already widely circulating.

But yes, I do support the bans: for the moment, at least.
Anything which buys any healthcare system any extra time – and therefore information – has to be used when we are dealing with new, unknown variants.

And then the political aspect, whereby the government has to be seen to be doing something. When BJ didn’t close the flights from India back in May, he lost a lot of credibility (yes, yes, I know) regarding the way the government was dealing with Covid.

People used it as a tool to avoid following guidelines: “Why should I bother if Boris is just letting the virus in anyway?”. I’ve said countless times during this whole thing that being a President or Prime Minister is not a job I’d want during a pandemic. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. You are not going to please all of the people any of the time.

But then there’s an important caveat here: when the statistics, the information and the experts suggest that the limitations are not required, then they need to be lifted just as quickly as they were instituted. And that’s not an own goal; it’s not saying that they were wrong to put them into place in the first place: that’s acting on new information and data. Nothing wrong with that.
It must just happen as soon as some sort of all-clear is sounded, not 6 months down the line.

Day 602 – Democracy at work

More from this story.

Pretty clear stuff here…

But then, suddenly yesterday…


Surely this change of heart is solely due to compromises on policies and outcomes leading to better service delivery, because – let’s be honest – what could go wrong? Their track record on this sort of thing is perfect:

The refusal by the IFP to co-govern municipalities with the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal is a culmination of decades of mistrust arising from what the IFP perceives to be unkept promises to the electorate and a disgraceful breach of a solemn undertaking to its leadership.
In the words of IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa, the ANC cannot be trusted as it “has not been honest with us in the past. They have let down (the) people of South Africa, and the voters clearly expressed themselves when it comes to the ANC.”

But that was last week.

This week, they’re the best of friends and everything is going according to plan so more politicians can have more power.

Who could have seen it coming?