Living with Covid-19 – a year later

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Masks have become an essential accessary since the rise of Covid-19 across the world.
Masks have become an essential accessary since the rise of Covid-19 across the world.
GALLO IMAGES/Brendan McDermid

It's been almost a year since South Africans heard those dreaded words  –  we have our very first Covid-19 case. 

It's been a whirlwind of masks, temperature screenings, curfew, ‘family meetings’, closed beaches, and buying more toilet paper than you thought you would ever need.

This has become South Africa's 'new normal' as the country battled to deal with a pandemic that had brought the whole world to a standstill. 

Before it came to our shores, South Africans thought of it as 'just a virus' and nothing to panic about. 

Read moreHealthcare workers share their post vaccine experiences – 'We have not turned into cats'

Then health minister Zweli Mkhize sent that tweet that changed South Africans lives. 

“The patient is a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife. They were part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in South Africa on March 1, 2020 #COVID19.

“The patient consulted a private general practitioner on March 3, with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat and a cough. The practice nurse took swabs and delivered it to the lab,” the minister said.

Within weeks, the country went into hard lockdown and have only recently gone into level 1, after months at different levels. 

And since the first reported case, there have been more than 1 513 959 cases and more than 50 000 deaths nationwide.  

We look at some of the adjustments South Africans had to make to adjust to the new way of life.

When the country went into level 5 lockdown on 26 March for 21 days, it was strict. 

People were asked to stay at home unless they were part of the essential services. Schools closed and university students and learners took their learning online. 

The borders were closed except for the transportation of essential goods and fuel. Travelling to other provinces was forbidden without a permit.

Parties, weddings, circumcision ceremonies and various other events were cancelled and funerals were limited to only 50 people. 

And alcohol and cigarette sales were strictly forbidden. 

Masks became an essential accessory and a curfew was strictly enforced. 

Read moreTownship and village kids are likely to feel the brunt of Covid-19's effect on education

Now, while some of the regulations have been relaxed, there are still some in place, including a limit on numbers at all events and no after tears. Night clubs are still closed and some have shut permanently and sporting events still don't have spectators. 

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