Day 404, part 2 – Ugh, ANC Government

Because I was obviously just joking about part 1.

Comedian Dara O’Briain tweeted about the gradual relaxation of lockdown rules today. And it’s worth remembering that while the UK lockdown has been much stricter than our local version of late, there have still been some benefits to everyone not being out and about.

Indeed. But while the UK is slowly emerging (sacrifices made, communities strengthened, disease beaten back etc etc), the signs here are still not very positive. No pun intended, cos it’s all just dire.
It’s still another 2 weeks before the scheduled start of “Phase 2” of our vaccine rollout.
I say “Phase 2” in those sarcastic quotes, because “Phase 1” was for (some of) the healthcare workers here and so we have now vaccinated 0.5% of our population. With one dose. It’s really not great.

And while things should start to pick up in a fortnight or so, we’re still staring at these sort of ridiculous stats at the moment:

Ouch.

17 days short of a quarter of a century. 25 (twenty-five) years. Utterly depressing and wholly representative of the absolute state of the government here. Meanwhile, we’re still happily accepting flights from India with no restrictions (despite stuff like this and this). Compare our stance with other cricketing nations (which is obviously the goto metric for this sort of thing):

It’s almost like they’re trying to sabotage the country. Why aren’t we taking any precautions at all while India is recording a million new cases every three days (and we all know that that figure is massively under-represented)? We’re in a weird limbo period in South Africa at the moment, with experts puzzled and delighted in equal measure at the non-appearance of the much-forecast third wave. But while we should rightly be making hay while the sun shines, it seems pretty foolish to fling ourselves into the flailing blades of the combine harvester.

Much like the understated benefits of the lockdown (see Dara’s tweet above), the downside of the lack of Covid in SA (although there are currently over 21,00 active cases) is that people are getting really lackadaisical about the safety measures they need to take. Masks are being worn around chins and wrists more and more frequently (this approach doesn’t stop the spread of a respiratory virus) and you can walk into shops, pubs or restaurants without a hint of a temperature check, a spray of sanitiser or a record of your name and number.

It’s not good, but there are no repercussions because there is very little Covid around. However, when there is Covid around, this behaviour will really help to amplify it before we’ve even realised it’s returned.

*sigh*

That’s all for today. Day 405 tomorrow, which brings back memories of that horrid 1980s Peugeot car…

The Peugeot 405 is a large family car released by the French automaker Peugeot in July 1987, and which continues to be manufactured under licence outside France, having been discontinued in Europe in 1997. It was voted European Car of the Year for 1988 by the largest number of votes in the history of the contest.

Wow. Now we know.

Day 329 – Decisions; consequences

I’m at a well-known trampoline park in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. I come here each week to have a coffee while I watch the boy at training. I’d usually be here on a Tuesday, but this trampoline park is no longer open on a Tuesday, because no-one comes here much anymore, because of Covid.

That they have cut three days from their opening times demonstrates just how bad things are and how much the pandemic has affected everything around us.

Of course, this also has huge implications for the staff here. They’ve likely lost 42.9% of their income. And that’s crap.

But…

We’d be out of this pandemic more quickly if people wore masks and washed hands and kept their distance from one another. No-one – including most of the staff – is doing those things here. And I’m not saying that this is the only place that is ignoring the sensible advice, but it’s certainly one of them.

You’d think that they would want to try anything to make things better: to demonstrate best practice and encourage the bouncers back in safety, and to do their little bit to end this global shitshow just a little bit sooner.

They’ve made the decision not to bother, though. And I have to wonder just how long this place will survive…

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 180 – Covid stuff

I’ve been hard at work all day and I’m likely to be hard at work until I go to bed, so here are a couple of Covid-related things I have found recently.

First off, this image, which describes the mentality of each of these four groups of people perfectly. I mean, there are other terms that you could also use for three of them, but I think that this approach works nicely for a family-friendly blog post.

And then, rather more seriously, this thread which I spotted on Twitter and has loads of information on the latest scientific research and discoveries about you know what and especially how it gets around.

Lots of practical advice in there.
Go and have a read.

Day 168 – Pandemic ends as parent is “so over it already”

Great news.

A parent on a local Whatsapp group has single-handedly ended the Coronavirus/Covid-19 world pandemic.

During a discussion around the need for safety protocols including sanitising your hands and wearing a mask* at an indoor venue, the parent happened to remark:

But really now I am so over this already

And added a facepalm emoji for extra gravitas (please note that touching one’s face is not recommended).

Anyway, it seems that someone important was reading the aforementioned Whatsapp group, as a statement from the SARS-CoV-2 virus was issued very shortly afterwards. It’s fairly lengthy, so I’m not going to share the whole thing, but here’s some of what the spokesperson had to say.

As the officially recognised causal agent of the Covid-19 pandemic, the SARS-Cov-2 virus was both disappointed and alarmed to learn that one of the parents in the [redacted] Whatsapp group was “so over this already”. It was believed that the human population of the planet were at least content with the situation as it currently stands. We had no idea that people were unhappy with how things were going.
Someone should have said something.

While it was always our intention to kill as many people as possible – a goal assisted by individuals being “so over” wearing masks, washing their hands and socially distancing – we’d like to keep our relationship with mankind as amicable as possible, and so we will be ending the global pandemic with immediate effect.

We would have done this much sooner if we had known that really now people were so over this already.

So there you have it.

If only someone had made the point that really now they were so over this already previously.
We could have avoided an awful lot of fuss.

Personally, really now I’m so over people ignoring Covid-19 regulations because really now they are so over this already.

Want more regulations? Then just keep choosing to ignore the ones we have now.

Very straightforward stuff.

 

* clutches pearls, fans face, faints dramatically