Day 447 – Level 3

Alert level 3 for Wave 3.

50 people inside still seems like far too many (and that’s because it is far too many), and research has shown that a partial alcohol ban will have very limited effect on the numbers attending hospital and therefore won’t help much from that point of view. But again (and again and again and again), economically, we can’t survive a full lockdown and the government has to be seen to be doing something. Especially with this situation:

All the other big provinces are now joining the party (I think the Eastern Cape line is hiding behind the Limpopo one). And yes, the Northern Cape is doing its own thing, but if you follow that purple plot, you can see that the Northern Cape is a bit of a law unto itself anyway. I’m guessing (guessing) that this is because the population there is so small that any outbreak at a school or workplace – which would be considered fairly minor elsewhere – shows up even on a graph scaled like this one.

Looking at the previous two waves, the next two months are going to be fairly unpleasant for us all. the problem is (aside from the disastrous vaccine rollout trickleout) full on Covid fatigue. People are understandably fed up and no-one seems to be taking it seriously anymore. And yet the signs are all there that this third wave is going to be a horribly costly. Many of those who have dodged the Covid bullets so far, whether by good fortune or simply by not going to gunfights, are going to be affected. But stick your head up above the parapet and say that, and you get eye rolls and sneers.

I stick my head up and say it anyway. Don’t take unnecessary chances, do wear a mask, do avoid crowds and indoor gatherings. Let’s face it, it’s really not that hard to do: this isn’t rocket science – it’s just science science.

Stay home, stay safe.

Day 66 – (N)opening

A lot of schools have gone through a lot of work in order to get students safely back into the classroom. Obviously, there are huge numbers of rules that they have to follow regarding screening staff and students, social distancing, sanitation, numbers of students in the building etc etc.

Many schools have managed to work out a system to make this work. It’s been a huge amount of hard work, organisation and effort.

And then in step in the Department of Basic Education late on Friday evening, literally zero working hours before the schools are due to open, publishing rules that effectively make it illegal for many smaller and independent schools to open.

Government always makes it all better.

And so now (literally as I write) the Independent Schools Association of South Africa are meeting with the DBE and asking (probably) what the actual firetruck is going on. And then later today, a whole 13½ hours before the schools are/were due to (carefully) open their doors, a press conference from Angie et al.

Christ alone knows what she’s going to change this time.

Personally, when your graphs are looking like this:

…I don’t think it’s the right time to be sending kids (and teachers) back to school. But that’s beside the point. When you give schools a month to prepare for a given date and then you pull the rug at (even beyond!) literally the very last working minute, it smacks of complete and utter incompetence.

From the Department of Basic Education? Strange, that.

Day 65 – Coming soon

I’m not saying that South Africa has missed being able to order wine, but here are guys from Getwine (you may remember them from these posts) with the orders that they are sorting ready for delivery once the Level 3 lockdown comes into force on Monday:

As many people commented: “mine is in there somewhere”.

I actually ordered 3 weeks ago, but I’m not expecting them to be knocking on my door at 8am on Monday morning.
(Or, looking at this, maybe any time in June…) [sad trombone]