Day 540 – Away

A day of firsts after you-know-what. We’re down in Agulhas at last. And we had a braai.

Hashtag nature is healing.

Packing the car and driving down didn’t seem like such a big deal, but I soon hit my wall (not literally) and so I enjoyed a couple of hours of deep sleep this afternoon.

That did give me a little more energy for the evening though, so it was a welcome return to chucking some meat onto the coals and a leisurely meal before bedtime.

Which is now.

More tomorrow, when I plan to get to the beach (it’s only 150m away).

Day 338 – Chilled at the Cape

OK. Just a few things you need to know about the last 24 hours.

Firstly, after a drive down to Agulhas and lighting the braai, I indulged in a selection of Milk Stout, Carling Black Label, a Hidden Valley Pinotage from 2015 and a Carel Nel brandy nightcap. Delicious, from start to finish. Especially the finish.

And then I fell asleep. And I slept for 12 hours.

This is very, very unusual for me. I’m one of those people that is more likely to sleep for 1.2 hours than 12 hours.

But it’s been a hectic, stressful few weeks and I clearly needed a bit of rest. Like 12 hours of it.

And then, without any feeling of guilt at all, I lazed around for what was left of the morning, before wandering down onto the beach with the beagle and my daughter. 4km of windswept, sandblasted walking later (the last km of which I had to carry the exhausted, windswept sandblasted beagle, because it had simply given up).

And then a quick cycle around the village. Again, in the wind. So much wind.

My legs are like jelly and I have completely earned this Windhoek Draught chaser and this upcoming Swartest of Swart labels. And the phat ribeye steak which is calling my name from the braai.

Tomorrow: more relaxing, and then a leisurely drive home.
Hope I remember which house to go to.

Day 277, part 2 – Masks optional

We’re back down in Cape Agulhas, enjoying the sunshine and the fresh air (outdoors). It’s certainly less busy than we would usually expect at this time of year, but equally, it’s far from empty.

Once again, it does seem like the constant pleas to wear masks and socially distance are not being heeded here, and once again – surprise surprise – that approach is having a detrimental effect. I received this from the local CPF group last night:

Cape Agulhas has reached the stage where about 40-50% of tests done are positive. We appeal to patients who are being tested to ensure that they give the correct telephone number as well as answer their phones if they are contacted. If you are awaiting results, please remember that you are in quarantine for 10 days and therefore may not walk around. Unfortunately, results now take longer than expected, but please remain in quarantine! You are endangering other people’s lives if you insist on leaving quarantine!
There is a limit to the amount of beds available and people can no longer just be sent away to the next hospital. Otto du Plessis hospital and surrounding hospitals have almost reached their capacity and everyone needs to please take care. Those who continue to behave as before are endangering the lives of high-risk patients. It’s going to get even worse over the next week or two so please be responsible. Some of our patients have been dying almost daily due to Covid over the last few days, and we only have a limited bed capacity.

…from the Western Cape medical manager for Swellendam and Cape Agulhas subdistricts, which is fairly blunt and to the point.

40-50% positivity is pretty horrendous, but does at least indicate that people are being tested, which is the only way we can gauge the situation and protect others.

But you only have to drive around the area to see the behaviour that will lead to even higher numbers in the next few weeks.

Day 257, part 2 – A quick note

Hello again.
This morning, I was hiking in the fresh air amongst the incredible rock formations of the Cederberg:

This evening, I am doing parenting stuff in a warehouse in Claremont.

Swings, roundabouts.

We’re back in the land of the wifi though, at least, and so I was doing a quick catch up on the latest news from the Whatsapp groups when I saw this:

Cape Agulhas Municipal area has gone from 8 active Coronavirus cases to 107 in less than 3 weeks. By comparison, the top peak of our first wave was 43 cases mid July. The Coronavirus spreads through human contact. Therefore the spread & control is literally in our own hands!
Our health services & health personnel are under strain & the Festive Season hasn’t even begun yet. If our system is overwhelmed we, as healthcare workers, will be forced to turn away people who could ordinarily be saved. This is not a situation we ever want. We care deeply about our patients and community. We desperately need people to wear their face masks, observe social distancing & avoid unnecessary risks.
Keep yourself and your family safe. Help us to help those that need medical care.

That’s an increase of [counts on fingers] 1237.5%.

However could this have happened?

[roll eyes emoji]

As an aside: We were very glad to note the excellent precautions being followed at the place we were staying this weekend.

Day 248, part 2 – Ask and you shall receive…

In Cape Agulhas, no-one is wearing a mask. Not in shops, not in bars, not in public.

There’s no sanitiser to use on your hands as you enter buildings.

It’s like there’s no viral pandemic happening.

Also in Cape Agulhas, there has been a 317% increase in cases of Covid-19 according to the latest stats from the Western Cape government.

What an astonishing coincidence.