Day 460 – Playing the long game

This from 1996:

And this from today, the Constitution fighting back after 24½ years of hurt, here:

What happens now?
Meek jail time, a midnight flight to DXB, the complete implosion of the ANC and/or the beginning of the Civil War?

Zuma has 5 days to hand himself over. Grab some popcorn and let’s watch the fun* together.

* T&Cs apply

Day 441, part 2 – Can’t watch

News just in. The President is doing a thing at lunchtime:

Sadly, also happening at 12h00 – loadshedding:

Which will prevent me from watching, and which will also prevent any “swift and lasting economic recovery”.

Who’s going to tell him? (Both bits.)

Day 441 – Tweet did not age well

And by tweet, I mean this one, ridiculing “The ‘third wave’ “:

Look, I get that the increase on the end there wasn’t quite as big as the other two waves (yet), but even before the advantage of hindsight just a few weeks later, we could all see what was coming:

Link

Gauteng took the brunt of an awful Covid day yesterday, with well over half of all the national 8,881 new cases being reported there. The figures were so bad that you could be forgiven for missing them as they leapt by almost 60% in a single day. It’s ok, I’ve got you covered with some detail and a quick MS Paint “red arrow” job.

Yowzers. I believe that is the appropriate clinical expression, anyway.

We don’t have any regional or hotspot restrictions in place and even if we did, they wouldn’t be observed or policed correctly, and it’s too late to make any difference now anyway. We’re in for a crappy few months: the third wave is in full swing (ignore that tweet at the top there) and will inevitably spread from Joburg over the coming weeks, the vaccination programme falls further behind where it needs to be each day, the President and his well-paid Merry Men (and Women) are hugely conspicuous by their absence, and to top it all off, everything – and I mean everything – is hampered by crushingly high levels of loadshedding. We’re due to be without electricity for 7½ hours today.

Victoria Frater on Twitter: ""Now is the winter of our disco tent"  #RuinShakespeare @jill_treece ?… "

Billy Shakespeare knew his stuff, hey?

Still, on the plus side

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Mmm. Exactly.

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Day 438 – Nothing speech yields no results

With due respect to The 438 Game and that guy in Forries who called it.

Just over a week ago, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation regarding the Covid-19 situation here. I don’t need to go back over that speech because firstly, there wasn’t much to it, and secondly, I covered just how pathetic it was right here.

Suffice to say, the only two interventions he made in the face of a clearly incoming third wave of infections were to reduce the numbers permitted at gatherings to 250 outdoors and 100 indoors, and to extend the curfew by 1 hour: from midnight until 4am to 11pm until 4am. I commented at the time that these were unlikely to make any difference to the very worrying situation and were really just to make it look like the government were doing something. The gatherings numbers were still far too high to limit any potential spread and the extra hour would just hurt businesses that little bit more without making any difference to the number of infections.

And that’s if any of the regulations were being effectively observed, policed and enforced anyway. (They’re not.)

Unsurprisingly, the rate of new infections since the speech has increased across seven of the nine provinces. The only two outliers in this regard were the two smallest (by population) provinces: Northern Cape and Free State, which were – for the first time in their existences – both ahead of the curve for something. Sadly, it turned out to be the third wave.
The rest of the country, in which 95% of the population lives, showed dramatic increases across the board:

Not pretty, but not exactly much of a shock, either.

So, as before the speech (and as before the second wave), Ramaphosa has a decision to make: either a stricter lockdown or a more deadly third wave. I’ve said before that I won’t get into the argument of whether lockdowns are a good thing or not, and I’ve also said that I am very glad I’m not having to navigate a country through a pandemic.
But they’re getting paid the big bucks (and sharing the funds with their comrades) for this sort of thing, and they really should be doing much better.

Last week’s speech was never going to do anything but harm. And so it has proved.

Graphs from Sugan Naidoo

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Day 432 – It’s the weekend, baby!

Ah. Remember the halcyon days of the Gareth Cliff breakfast show? Before he went Sho’t Right on his odd political trip and 5fm was invaded by 12 year olds with the IQ of a stone? We all used to drag ourselves through the working week until Friday, and hearing that line, with the “…end” syllable extended before the explosive “baby!” meant that we could finally see the finishing line ahead of us at 5pm (or 12ish in Cape Town).

It’s all changed now, of course.

Well, that is, except for the weekend.

I gave President Ramaphosa a bit of a slagging yesterday, but what he lacks in his general political action, he clearly makes up for in his incredible negotiation skills. Because he’s taken a step that no other President on earth has taken: he’s negotiated with the actual virus – and he’s won some key concessions.

I know that this sounds a little far-fetched, but I was looking at a graph earlier today, and I can only conclude that the above scenario is exactly what has happened. God knows what he had to offer the virus in return, but it seems that Cyril has negotiated something of a cease fire for 2/7ths of the week. Namely the weekend (baby!).

Here’s the graph in question:

At first sight, things look good. Trend is upwards. Even if it is from a low base. Credit where it’s due.

But then, yes. One notes the chasms between the towers. Despite the fact that we are in the middle of a pandemic, and heading rapidly for a third wave of Covid-19, we’re still taking the weekend off when it comes to vaccinating people.

Wut?

This would seem to be a very bad idea were it not for Cyril’s deal with Coronavirus, because clearly, the virus must also be taking the weekend off, or the data presented in this graph would indicate something close to criminal incompetence.

It’s not ideal that with this new arrangement, the virus will be around for almost 30% longer than necessary, but at least in that extra time it won’t be knocking anyone else off because come Saturday and Sunday, it’ll clearly be chilling round the braai and going to bed at 11pm, just like all the rest of us.

Seriously… could we not just fill in those gaps and get some healthcare workers to do some jabs over the weekend?

It’s quite an important thing.