Day 487 – Hot stuff

A sudden change in my Covid experience. While my previous issues with temperature over the last week seemed to be wholly around not being able to get warm, I now have the opposite thing going on. Boiling hot and sweating like a pig in a butchers shop.

Does this change mark a turning point in the infection? I hope so, because it’s quite annoying, so I’d like it to have a upside.

Yesterday was really rough, but I think we’re all a little better today. The kids have been at online school, and Mrs 6000 and I shared an hour in the sunshine this morning before I comprehensively overheated. I also managed some solid food for the first time in 7 days. I still can’t do much without needing to stop for air, but baby steps…

Fingers crossed that things are on the mend, then. My sats remain OK, and so it looks like I’ve avoided a trip to hospital. Lying in bed for a week in massively overrated. Lying in a hospital bed would surely be even worse.

Thanks again for all your messages of support. All very much appreciated.

Day 484 – No surprise

First off, thanks for all your lovely, supportive comments on various platforms. They’re all appreciated.

I have Covid-19.

Yep. No surprise that my PCR test came back positive. I think I’d decided what it was fairly early on in the course of things and my senses of smell and taste disappearing 36 hours ago really meant that we were just crossing the Is and dotting the Ts.

So this is Day 4, because now everything has to be given a title and an order so that we can work out what comes next. Day 4 hasn’t been too bad: my headache has gone for the moment, which is a huge relief, but my respiratory symptoms are a bit worse. Swings and roundabouts, then.

Apparently, according to my doc, days 6 and 7 are a complete bastard, which is good to know, because its always nice to have something to look forward to.

Last Friday, I was looking forward to a sunny weekend and a braai. This Friday, I was sitting, shivering, listening to my GP tell me under what conditions I should be admitted to hospital.

I’m making the best of the better moments: fresh air and sunshine, a blog post, sorting out my will etc etc. And then I sleep when I feel rubbish again.

I’m obviously concerned about the next few days, but I’m also really irritated that I’m having to go through this at all. Because a better – even vaguely competent – vaccine rollout would have meant that this never happened. And, given that I almost certainly picked this up at the supermarket last week, if people could just learn to put a fucking mask over both their face holes, I probably wouldn’t be here either.

I’ve been so careful for the last 18 months and it’s finally paid off in one way. So much so that I only needed to inform 1 person of my result, and that because he came here to drop something off on Sunday (masks on, social distanced, one Pfizer shot a few weeks ago – he should be fine).

I really, really wanted to go out and do a thing this weekend (if you know, you know), but I didn’t. The FOMO was real, but wow, with hindsight the implications would have been huge. So, I don’t know: if you’re thinking about doing something… don’t.

And sure, it’s less than great that I went for my jab on Monday and I was likely infectious, but sadly, I had no idea. On that note, looking back, feeling just a little off colour that morning was actually hugely important, otherwise I’d be wondering if this was just a vaccine reaction (well, until I got the test results, anyway).

What more to add? I dunno. My logical brain is telling me not to worry about things getting worse. I don’t have any comorbidities or risk factors, so I should be fine. Of course, ideally, you’d choose not to have Covid-19 as well for complete peace of mind, but it appears that that ship has sailed.

And thanks to my wife and kids, who are all likely infected as well (but maybe not to this extent), and are still doing amazing things in looking after me and the household. I chose well. Them… maybe less so. Lol.

Right. Let me go and sit in the sun with the beagle. Because when it comes to being lazy on the patio, I really couldn’t learn from anyone better.

See you tomorrow.

Day 462 – Not a good idea

I do recognise the need to stimulate the economy. I do see that we need money brought back into the country and businesses running again. I don’t miss the tourists, but I do know that we miss their cold, hard cash.

But surely this is not a good idea.

83 confirmed booking for cruise ships between October and the end of the year? Ah Jesus.

How’s the cruise industry looking at the moment? Awful.

That’s because cruise ships were one of the earliest vectors for Covid-19, and – despite their best efforts, things haven’t improved much. So alongside this sort of headline:

Are ones like this:

And this:

And once one or two passengers have got it, there will inevitably be a whole lot more to follow.
This isn’t rocket science. Stick several thousand people on top of each other for a few weeks and any illness is bound to spread. That’s why the government – very sensibly (gasp) – banned cruise ships from SA ports very early on in this whole ugly mess.

Before cruise liners, ships from foreign parts had a great history of bringing unwanted diseases to vulnerable populations:

Note: For “Black Death” read “Covid-19”; for “the Black Sea” read “Walvisbaai”; for “Messina” read “the V&A Waterfront; for “Sicilian authorities” read “Wesgro”, and for “covered in black boils that oozed blood and pus”… meh… maybe something about a fever, no sense of smell, and an inability to breathe. You get the idea.

And before Covid, cruise liners were food-poisoning hotspots, be it Norovirus, rotavirus, Salmonella or even unusual stuff like Staphylococcus. Thankfully, when that sort of thing is brought ashore, while it may not be very pleasant, it doesn’t close down entire cities and countries. If the statisticians and epidemiologists are right (and they’ve been pretty good so far) we will be a couple of months away from our fourth wave when the majority of these ships arrive. If they are bringing more Covid in with them, then we might see the whole of the summer washed out by more restrictions, and that would certainly be the death knell for any businesses who had somehow managed to survive that far.

Sure, cruise ships (especially 83 of them) are high reward customers for our local tourism industry. But equally, cruise ships (especially 83 of them) are also very high risk customers for all our local industries.

Much as they did with the proposed Horseshoe Bat Market in Woodstock back in March, someone surely has to stand up and just nip this one in the bud. For all our sakes.

Day 450 – Day 450

Yes, Day 450 of lockdown in South Africa. That’s a lot of days, and so it seems reasonable to ask what progress we have made since late March last year.

Officially, almost 60,000 deaths from Covid-19 (although the true figure is probably much higher than that); I can’t buy any alcohol until Monday and I can’t go out after 10pm. And in the next month, I’m probably going to be at a higher risk of contracting Covid-19 than ever before. 3.4% of the population have been vaccinated, although most of those have only received one of the two doses they require. Joburg’s hospitals are full and are turning away desperate patients until others die and free up beds.

Image

It’s a deeply unpretty spectacle.

And yet, as I have previously lamented, life goes on unabated. I don’t know what it will take to change people’s mindset, but I can’t see it happening any time soon. And that means that it will likely be too late.

It’s a gorgeous sunny day here in Cape Town. High 20s and uninterrupted blue skies across the city. Fresh, clean, outdoor air is everywhere, and yet the malls and pubs are packed. It sometimes feels like I’m the only one that’s feeling this way, but there must be others also feeling vulnerable and choosing to keep themselves to themselves with just a coffee or two, last night’s braai meat, some Woolworths salami sticks and the football on the tele.

I don’t get it. And so I try to find some solace in Hungary v France.


Day 448 – More on graphs

Sometimes (often, in fact), displaying something on a graph can give far more context and relay far more understanding than using words or even numbers. That context and understanding might not be good news, but maybe in those cases it’s even more important to get the message across as quickly, efficiently and straightforwardly as you can.

This graph should do exactly that. And for those exact reasons.

Nearly 8,000 new cases in Gauteng reported yesterday. The highest number ever recorded there. Driven primarily by urban Johannesbeagle and still increasing dramatically, as the black line shows. And the likelihood is that this represents just the tip of the iceberg, with plenty (or more) anecdotal evidence that the community prevalence is actually far higher than those cases being recorded.

And you don’t have to be rocket scientist (or actually even a scientist at all) to consider what’s above and then look at these (smaller, but still equally valid and scary) graphs and see what’s coming for Cape Town soon.

Another week? Maybe two? It’s a pretty unpleasant thought.

While we’re on graphs and their significance, I thought I’d share this – adapted from a tweet by Jens von Bergmann, and used with permission.

Same graph, differing significance depending on your education/viewpoint/desired narrative.

But I guess that one point you can take away from this is by applying it to the graph at the top of the page and – once again – coming to the conclusion that things are looking very bad right now.

Graphs: rid1tweets and mediahack