Day 53, part 2 – we’ve all done it

I mean… these things happen every day, right?

Oops.

Ironically, real fans were the ones who did realise something was wrong, bombarding FC Seoul’s official Instagram account as they watched the game on television.

“Just look at their breasts, they were four times bigger than those of normal mannequins,” one supporter wrote.

Ugh. Body-shaming mannequins now, are we? And how bad must the game have been for you to be repeatedly rewinding to check the size of the bazoomas on the lady in (appropriately enough) Row DD?

I’m still a long way from being convinced that there is a need or justification for bringing football back this season, but this sort of thing is swinging my mind to it being actually quite a good idea. Yes, more of this, please.

Absolutely fantastic.

Day 52 – It’s coming

The [excrement] is about to strike the [ventilation device].

I’ve mentioned here and here that things aren’t going very well as far as the coronavirus situation in South Africa is concerned.

But we’re now getting to the point where the calm before the storm has been fully exhausted and we’re at the start of the rough ride. We may unknowingly already be there: the data we (as the public) are seeing are probably a week out of date.

In parts of the Western Cape (and a few other select locations) the infection rate is completely out of control and my inside informants are informing me that testing isn’t being done quickly enough and that hospitals are filling up fast.

This is when the storm hits. So far, the health systems, though often creaky and held together with duct tape and goodwill, have managed to cope with the demand. That will soon end now, with both Covid-19 patients and routine medical emergencies unable to be treated as hospitals and healthcare facilities simply run out of capacity. The inevitable result is, sadly, more deaths.

And yet, people are still exercising here every morning without wearing masks, they’re going around to friends’ houses, sharing alcohol and generally ignoring all the rules. The fact that there’s a curfew even came as a surprise to one lady on the local whatsapp group this morning.

Incredible.

Like they’re magically immune or something. People just don’t understand.
People are going to understand quite soon, though.

An example: one (educated) individual I follow on social media said that she thinks she “has a cold or flu coming on”.
The next thing she shares is a photo of her out and about walking (completely legally), but…

Just no. If you are sick – stay home. Simple as.

Sure, your mask might limit the spread of the virus and (in all honesty) the chances of infecting people out in the open air are fairly small anyway. But why not simply reduce that possibility to zero by just staying in bed?

Maybe it is just a cold. But how did you pick up that cold virus if you have been taking sensible, anti-coronavirus precautions? Because what protects you against Covid-19 will also work against the common cold.

So if you have managed to pick up a cold (and sure, we all hope that’s all it is), there’s a warning right there, that you’re not doing enough handwashing and social distancing.

I was described yesterday as “a ray of sunshine”. I think (ok, I know) they were being sarcastic, and I really don’t want to get a reputation for being a misery and sharing bad news on here, but I’m still astounded that people aren’t taking this situation seriously.

That’s going to change real soon.

 

UPDATE: as if by magic, via twitter, here’s the perfect example:

That’s the [flipping] President in the light blue cap and there are some (oddly) sycophantic citizens passing him on his walk this morning. You will see numerous incursions into personal space, a complete lack of social distancing, and a cellphone being passed from hand to hand.

Like that’s in any way ok.

Wow.

Day 49 – The nextension

The President was only 22 minutes late for his address last night. In it, he said that there would be some relaxation of the lockdown at the end of the month and a gradual re-opening of the economy, but not for those areas with high and/or increasing transmission rates.

The next extension. The nextension.

The nextension means at least another 18 days at Level 4 before we even get considered for any sort of parole.

 

But as you can see, Cape Town is very much one of those red areas (it’s right at the top of the South African Covid tree, in fact), but then so are all the major metros to some extent. And Port Elizabeth.

And so it seems unlikely that we’ll get any lockdown relief any time soon. In the meantime, the economy will have rely on the 27 people who work outside Cape Town and Joburg, including the 2 guys in the Northern Cape.

Phew. Recession and economic disaster averted.

Not really – unless we are going to become a sand-based economy.
Still, I’m past ruling anything out at this stage.

Today, I’ve mainly been walking a grumpy beagle, putting the finishing touches to a quiz I’m hosting tomorrow evening, and helping out with school science projects. We’re delving deeply into Physics: my favourite of all the Sciences (assuming you exclude all the good ones first). I’m knee-deep in frequencies and wavelengths. I thought I’d left this all behind at school. That was always the plan, and indeed the intervening n years have been blissful – at least in their lack of physics.

(I admit that I have used gravity quite a bit, if I’m honest.)

My brain hurts and I need a beer. But even those have become much more valuable given the guaranteed extended time before I’m able to buy any more.

Day 48 – Plenty to go around

There aren’t a lot of positives at the moment ( I shared my observations on that here). But sometimes, all you have to do is look at the glass being half-full, rather than half-empty.

Sorry… did I say “glass? I meant dams.

Dams.

I really don’t want to be the first to mention this, but we’re halfway through May and we’ve not had any significant rainfall in the Cape yet. It’s stirring up early memories of the drought we went through between 2015-2018. While the virus has been (rightfully) taking centre stage, there are so many other problems that are still out there – they haven’t gone away just because we’re facing a bigger challenge right now.

The City has been (quietly) keeping us up to date with the demand for water and the dam levels. As you might expect in Autumn, (hopefully) heading into the rainy season, the dam levels aren’t all that they could be and they continue to decline slowly each week with the population using water and it not being replaced at quite the same rate.

I’m sure you know how it works.

However, it seems that the Covid-19 crisis might have some very positive spin-offs for the impending dry wet season – at least according to FB commenter Joachim:

 

Look, he’s not wrong: fewer residents use less water.

Fact.

There’s plenty of evidence of people leaving the city and trying to head home to their family homes in the Eastern Cape. And indeed, piles of corpses overwhelming our local medical facilities are unlikely to bathe, water their gardens or leave the tap running while they brush their teeth.

Which will save a fair bit as well.

But am I alone in thinking that Joachim hasn’t really gone through all of the implications of the situation he describes in his comment before sharing it with the world?

Day 44 – Not nice

South Africa is now at (beyond?) breaking point.

Everyone is unhappy, angry, frustrated and generally wholly pissed off at the lockdown, but at the same time, no-one is doing very much about obeying the regulations about social distancing, wearing a mask and staying at home. And so those only-occasionally policed regulations are utterly pointless anyway. Covid-19 cases are increasing massively every day, we’re surrounded by closed supermarkets because staff have tested positive…

…the (public) labs have run out of testing kits (but they weren’t doing enough tests anyway), the economy – already tanking – has surprised everyone by tanking even more when few thought that was even possible, and our government is nowhere to be seen or heard, except for when it occasionally sends a representative clown out to shout at drivers.

It’s not nice.

People are obviously (and rightfully) concerned, afraid, upset, and they’re taking it out on one another (from a safe anti-social distance) on online platforms across the nation. The thin veneer of harmony and togetherness which was evident when we first started on this journey has now been worn completely and glaringly through, and the decrepit state of the glue holding the country together is alarming visible.

I’ve said before that there are no easy answers, but the lack of communication, transparency or any sort of action from the government is more than worrying – it’s near criminal. The gulf between what should be being done and what is actually happening is widening every minute. Even the number of staunch ANC supporters who are still in agreement with their party’s current approach to this crisis seems to be dwindling every day.

It’s a mess.

And it’s really not going to get any better any time soon. There’s no control over the people, and no control over the virus. Things are going to get a lot, lot worse – and fast – before anything improves. If that improvement ever happens.

I’m sorry to be the bearer of such pessimism brutal honesty that you didn’t want to read. But the government not doing what they should and the public not doing what they should is an absolute recipe for disaster.

And so that’s where we’re headed right now.