Compare and contrast my Day 200 thoughts with my Day 1 thoughts by reading here.
And… er… then reading here as well:
It’s Day 200 of the lockdown in South Africa.
Not that you’d really know that we’re in a lockdown. The measures now are so very lax that it’s hard to distinguish anything from normal BTV life.
I’m not allowed out of the house between midnight and 3am and I can’t buy alcohol to take away on the weekends. Other than those two bizarre rules, there really is nothing else directly affecting me. I’m not sure how either of those limits the transmission of the coronavirus in any material way.
Tourism, however, continues to be roundly buggered. No visitors allowed from the UK* or the US (and a whole handful of other countries) and suddenly that’s a good three-quarters of our local business shafted. The Waterfront, Robben Island and other tourist sites have been rapidly and happily re-de-colonised by the locals, but we don’t have the numbers or the spending power to make up the international shortfall.
And no matter how welcome the peace and quiet, it’s difficult to enjoy it when you know how people are struggling because of the situation.
Perhaps it’s the lack of rules now that means that people feel the local version of the pandemic is over. It’s very much not, and they are exacerbating that exact issue by behaving as if it is. Currently, for example, hundreds of schoolchildren at several local, private privileged schools are in quarantine after an inadvertent “superspreader” party at a local nightclub.
It’s difficult to comprehend just how blasé and how stupid you would have to be to think that chucking a couple of hundred kids into a poorly ventilated, confined space with loud music (meaning that they have to raise their voices and get even closer together to talk) is an ok thing to do at the moment.
But then you only have to look at the people still wearing their masks around their chins or around their wrists to see just the calibre of person we’re dealing with.
And of course, most of those kids will be absolutely fine. Completely asymptomatic, even.
It’s just their grandparents that will kick the bucket in a couple of weeks after the family lunch on Sunday.
Hell of a party though, I believe. Did you hear that Tarquin and Ashley finally hooked up?
So probably all worth it, right? Unless you’re Tarquin’s gran.
I’ve said before that while we’re fortunate in having a seasonal advantage over the Northern hemisphere with regards to the timing of the pandemic, we still really need to be mindful about what’s going on. This isn’t over – no matter how it sometimes feels – but we do still have the option to limit the spread of any second wave. It only requires people to just think before they act and to not put themselves in high risk situations.
But therein clearly lies the problem.
* although weirdly, BA59 still arrives from Heathrow every morning at 10 past 10…