I had a good story to tell this evening, I had watched my little runt of dog burrow herself into blankets all day, avoiding anything even remotely cold, wet or associated with the miserable weather. It had all the hallmarks of a life lesson.
Then the news came through “Tonight is the night of My Fellow South Africans”. So, I had to take that important cuddly blanket story and shelve it because of the president. I am told he apologises for the inconvenience.
What we have instead, well the State of Disaster has been extended for another month, from the start all of five months ago. Apparently there is progress on “a number of fronts”. It seems fewer people are making use of the health facilities and fewer people are making use of health services to combat Corona. How is this possible, what has changed amongst people that they no longer need these things, if the disease is the same and these are new people getting sick? I am not equipped to understand this.
It seems we must keep doing the things we are doing that are the right things while still avoid doing the wrong things that we shouldn’t be doing because this wouldn’t be right.
Apparently we have peaked, according to the state television broadcast agency’s broadcast. Our new stage in the pandemic is Level 2 from Monday and this means most restrictions are gone for most industries. Health protocols must remain in place for everyone doing business and we can now travel at will between provinces, accommodation and hospitality as well as tours can operate. Restaurants, bars and taverns are allowed under their specific restrictions. There is no more tobacco ban or alcohol ban within their specific framework.
Social distancing and masks remain mandatory and not more than 50 people are allowed to gather in any one place while spectating is still not allowed at sporting events and the 22:00 to 04:00 curfew remains in place. Work from home if you can, especially if you are older. We get closer to the removal of all excuses that separate us from normal life.
It seems we remain on track for that maskless summer I have suggested would be our reality. That is a necessity in order to attempt any kind of rescue of 2020. If you think the business closures, job losses and bankruptcies that have already taken place, just wait until the nuclear blast of a failed summer season. Seriously, if there is no tourism-heavy summer season then whether Eskom fails to provide power or not will be merely academic because we won’t need them any more.
There’s just one thing you shouldn’t lose sight of through this pandemic. We are going to Level 2 on Monday and conveniently we, as a country, have now peaked in terms of infections. There is a very real thing happening here. You are going back to work because the government needs their money. They have been burning through cash like a lovestruck teenager burning data because they were brave enough to shoot their shot and are texting their crush from Friday to Monday evening over a long weekend. What they need is unlimited data, what they have is a CellC R35 All-In-One Bundle.
This is an indisputable fact, things are opening up enough to generate revenue and nothing more – the retention of curfew and restriction on public gatherings are both strong indicators that you are allowed to spend as much time as you need around people to perform an economic activity, but there’s no social activity for you because the government doesn’t need that.
Oh sure, that statement skates close to the edge of conspiracy theory, but the fact is the private sector has been bleeding, people’s finances are bleeding and that means the government is bleeding because their source of income, loans or no loans, is bleeding. These are inescapable facts and by now we know where the welfare of South Africans stands in the government context.
Enjoy Level 2, people. We’ve earned it. Still, do what you need to do to stay safe, stay healthy and avoid becoming lazy about your personal precautions.
On a final note, do you know what ASMR is? It’s a popular thing happening online, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It gets complicated so, to avoid that, here’s the short version. ASMR is supposed to trigger a feel-good response, a pleasure response to the person hearing the sound. Now there’s many examples available online and a quick ASMR search will net you many, many results. For the cool kids, here’s one of my favourite two, a 10-hour performance from Blade Runner by Music Sputnik. This particular one is meant to help you sleep.