Well done, you!

As South Africa ends the last of its Covid restrictions, including the mask mandate (which most people have been ignoring anyway) and without any visible safety net in place, it’s well worth remembering that a simple government decree does not end an pandemic.

And I have to say that those anti-maskers claiming “victory” with lines like:

“After our two years of tireless campaigning…”

…do look very much like someone asserting that “Christmas came around in December again this year, thanks to our almost 12 month struggle with the authorities”. You can’t claim that you won if the thing you wanted to happen was going to happen anyway. What next? Taking credit for tomorrow’s sunrise?

And of course this was always going to happen. As I described in the link above, this is a natural (if premature) progression back to “normal life”. And whether or not you agree with the mask mandates, there’s plenty of evidence that they saved many thousands of lives. It’s also probably worth noting that you’ll likely be able to identify the epidemiologists and the microbiologists in your local supermarket or other crowded indoor space, because they’ll be the ones still choosing to wear a mask.

I’m not saying that there will be any sudden huge rise in case numbers. We’re sitting nicely in the trough at the end of the fifth wave. What I am saying is that because of the lack of rules on masking now, when the time comes again that there is Covid around in the community, it will spread much more quickly and easily. And that won’t be a good thing.

So why now? What suddenly changed?
Surely only a cynic would suggest that they might have rushed the big news of the scrapping of the regulations to coincide with the release of the final part of the State Capture report which was hugely critical of the ANC government, including the role of the current president.

Not that I’m that distrustful*.

* I absolutely am.

Day… No, wait…

And that was that. A last minute announcement of a Presidential address to the nation, which was then (as is tradition) late in starting. And the news that the State of Disaster, whose regulations had been with us for 750 days, and which provided the framework upon which the lockdown and everything else Covid-related was attached, was summarily ended at midnight last night.

With it go many of the rules and regulations which have governed our lives for the past two years, although there is some confusion as to where we stand with mask wearing and 50% capacity in venues, given that it seems that there is no longer any legislation under which to enforce that, but we’re still supposed to do it. That legislation will be forthcoming later this month, but in the meantime, there are a big grey area.

Gone too then is the 6000 miles… The Lockdown Diaries category: 767 posts of thoughts, opinions, news and – now – memories of the lockdown. Including one where our neighbour told the local WhatsApp group that she had microwaved her newspaper, and another where I hit 91.9kph running in the back garden.

Oh, and the reminder that in April 2020, I went to the supermarket (once):

Halcyon days.

To be honest, we haven’t really been locked down for a long while now, and last night’s change won’t really make much difference to anyone’s lives here.

But, let the record show that South Africa’s State of Disaster is officially over. And before I hit PUBLISH, let me click that The Lockdown Diaries button one last time. It’s been wild.

Day 739 – How to start an obituary

I sat down this evening, full of good intentions to write a blog post from scratch, probably about some recent political development or news item, lending you – the dear reader – some profound insight into the important matter in question.

And then I saw The Times’ obituary for actress June Brown.

Well, some of it. I couldn’t read the whole lot because it’s paywalled and I don’t do paywalls.

But what I saw was quite enough:

I’ll be quite honest here: this was not the opening sentence or paragraph that I was expecting when documenting the life of a 95 year old woman who had a career spanning over 30 years in one of the UK’s biggest and most popular soap operas.

I don’t have an issue with her amateur (I’m guessing/hoping it was amateur) slice and dice hobby, I just think it’s a really weird thing to start an actress’ obituary with. And it’s quite a 180 from the warm and cosy lines just ahead of it, n’est pas? I can only guess that she had an otherwise unremarkable childhood and that the bunny hacking was the only thing of interest.

But even so… Wow.