President’s decision is the best solution

2020-03-26 06:02

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and we cannot simply sit back and fold our arms, pretend as though things are normal when they are surely abnormal.

As journalists our job is to inform and educate society, more so at times when we, as a nation and the entire universe, find our selves facing the deadly Covid-19 virus, commonly referred to as the coronavirus. This is a term or word on everyone’s lips. Covid-19, the latest strain of coronavirus, has certainly changed our way of life and that is evident everywhere we go.

Yet, there are people who continue with their lives as though all is normal.

Things are not normal and we cannot continue with life as usual. Hand sanitizers, something that I usually buy as part of my kids stationery, is the new in-thing. We are forced to wash or sanitize our hands all the time to curb the spread of this disease.

As South Africans, we are still very lucky. While the number of cases continues to rise, we are nowhere near to what is happening in Italy, China, United States of America (USA) and many European countries. However, we could soon find ourselves in a worse situation than all those countries if we continue with our lives as if things are normal when they are certainly not, particularly as black people.

The large majority of our white counterparts are taking serious measures to minimise the spread of the diseases. Yet it is another story when it comes to black people. Life continues as usual despite several measures put in place by the government to slow down the infection rate.

On Sunday 15 March, president Cyril Ramaphosa urged the nation to unite behind the fight against this pandemic, including an earlier closure of schools until after the Easter holidays.

He also announced the ban of gatherings of more than 100 people and social distancing. Many have heeded his call with companies adopting a work from home approach for employees. It was on Tuesday 17 March when my employers advised everyone to work from home. These are all measures to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. It is sad though to see how some black people continue to defy everything that is happening around the globe. Sentiments such as “yinto yabantu abamhlophe”, loosely meaning it’s a white people’s disease, have become part of our vocabulary. How stupid can one be?

Today, we are sitting with one of the highest HIV/Aids pandemic largely because of this attitude.

Driving past various social gathering venues across our townships over the weekend, I wondered how many of those patrons took the pandemic and measures put in place serious. It could only take one person with Covid-19 to cause havoc for all the other patrons.

Perhaps, the 21-day lockdown as announced by president Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday 23 March is the best possible solution to flattening the curve around the spread of the Covid-19.


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