Yes, this was meant to happen yesterday, but then a family emergency happened yesterday and so this didn’t. Still, on the plus side, we now have another day of data to look at.
Yesterday marked 300 days of lockdown in South Africa. Varying degrees of lockdown – from literally staying inside your house 24/7 to going out and doing most anything you wanted as long as it wasn’t between 12-4am – sure, but still a lockdown in some form or other.
So where are we now?
Well, that kind of depends on with when you choose to compare our current situation.
(Dr Ridhwaan Suliman’s twitter stream is a great local Covid data resource.)
Compared with 10 days ago: Great.
Compared with 10 weeks ago: Not so good.
Compared with 10 months ago: Also not so good, but, that was just before the first wave was on the way, and it was all very unavoidable, so probably not a very fair comparison.
Since lockdown began, we’ve lost lives, we’ve lost jobs, we’ve lost livelihoods, we’ve lost (what was left of) the economy and – in many cases – we’ve lost hope.
Given the time and the effort and the sacrifices, and notwithstanding that viruses are going to do virus things, it’s not a pretty picture.
Our often dysfunctional, often corrupt government has addressed the pandemic in a haphazard, illogical manner – not that I’m saying there was any given “right” way of doing things – and if news reports are to be believed (I know, I know) it has now also completely messed up sourcing even close to adequate vaccines for the country through its incompetence, which is unforgivable.
Our population has been asked, then coerced and then forced to adhere to simple steps to reduce the transmission of the virus.
The good news is that we seem to have now passed the beak of the second wave, and the positivity rate (not a perfect marker, but the best we have) is dropping off sharply. I’m hopeful that we can now begin to open up again, as was promised in Ramaphosa’s speech a couple of weeks ago, and again attempt to approach some sort of normality.
Some lifting of the alcohol ban would certainly assist the liquor and hospitality sector.
On that note, please read this from Jacques Rousseau. Lovely stuff.
The kids are already back at school, doing alternate days to keep the in-class numbers down (and then online learning on their off days), because they can, given that there has been no official gazetting of school closures (and probably/possibly won’t be, according to this), but they’d love to get back full time as soon as possible. That routine makes a huge difference.
Basically, as a country we continue – somehow – to teeter on the very edge of disaster. The tape that’s been holding everything together for years now is very much losing its sticking power and it does really seem like there’s not much to look forward to, despite those decreasing numbers.
Let’s see what the next couple of week brings.
Maybe I can write a more optimistic post if there turns out to be a bit more optimistic news.