IN TOUCH| Covid-19 is back for more

By all accounts, the feared ‘second wave’ has arrived as there have been reports of major spikes in the

new Covid-19 infections. As expected the South African public has all but dispensed with almost all the

required precautions that were recommended to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus. When president

Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country would go to Level 1 people took it that it meant the

pandemic was over and they could do as they pleased or go back to their ‘normal’ routine. I have

witnessed some of this behaviour myself as I have lost count of how many people have sought to shake

my hand in the last few weeks. These are educated people who should know better but clearly their

education has not gone far enough. Fortunately, I would have a sanitiser nearby and I would smartly go

over and sanitise my hand again. I do not know what the thinking of the people is around the pandemic.

Maybe they think that if they can wish it away it will, alas Donald Trump who said this in July this year: I

think we are going to be very good with the coronavirus. I think that at some point that is going to sort of

just disappear, I hope,”. Everyone knows, except the American voters, that Trump is an idiot – so what

does that make our people who think like him? When our President said ‘it is in our hands’, people did

not realise how serious what he was saying was. The government can only do so much to protect its

citizens, the rest of the effort should come from the citizens themselves. Judging by what is currently

happening, people could not give a hoot about their own health which places the government in a catch 22

situation. Clearly, we cannot go back to hard lockdown as the economy would never recover from it, the

second time around. Too much damage was done to the economy by the hard lockdown earlier this year,

even though it was warranted and completely justified. Now that we know the problem –what can we do

to mitigate against the worst the pandemic can do? If the hard lockdown is not an option – then what is?

The media campaigns have reached a saturation point and people are no longer receptive to the message. I

guess, it is human nature to simply get tired of restrictions and the ‘to hell with it’ attitude tends to then

kick in. This is, sadly, what we are seeing. The ‘if we die, we die’ mentality is what has gotten us to

where we are so leaving it to individual actions is not the answer. I would suggest we identify the major

‘spreaders’ which I would suggest are funerals, social gatherings and night spots. There should be strict

monitoring of funerals as it was during levels 5 and 4 and limit the numbers back to 50 and ban night

vigils. Force taverns and clubs to close at 9pm, ban loud music and force them to adhere to social

distancing and health protocols if they still want to operate and make money. Those that do not comply

must have their licences suspended and closed for a period of time. We cannot prioritise money and

having a ‘nice time’ over our health.

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