Did SA Lockdown too Early?

Sweden uses science and evidence to implement a different strategy, a lone voice in fighting COVID-19. However, Austria, Denmark and Norway and amongst others are also now lifting the lockdown… No not us… we let others think for us. Look at the protest in Michigan, US, the people are not having it – “We will not comply!” – they realise their civil liberties are at sake – wake up South Africa!

We all watched, read and some tasted the beatings of those enforcing the public to “STAY AT HOME”.  A truly unprecedented time facing us all – warning us that those who disobey the lockdown “place everyone at risk” with objective to “flattened the curve”.  We the people like herd-minded individuals must obey the authorities. 

To those well-off this was a good time to recharge and reflect, however to those living “hand-to-mouth” this could not have come in a worse time ever, for not to work means not to eat and question how they will survive.

Now much of the world has been in “lockdown” unable to go outside apart for the purchase of essential items. What is considered “essential” are defined by the subjective priorities of the government’s interests. Stock Exchange, Banks and major corporations are willing to go as the “sacrificial lambs” to keep the country above water – but your livelihoods are not as “essential”.

In addition, religious institutions, despite adhering to the policies, are not considered essential despite the much benevolent givings to society, physically and spiritually. The sad reality is that the institutions had not challenged the directives of their authorities depicting as a vital service to society. Currently with much of the population locked indoors, with limited capabilities of engaging with family, neighbours and friends – we will soon reap the aftermath of psychotic behaviours created by these actions taken. 

There are plenty of studies to show of how isolation affects people and the mental disorders it creates. Have our authorities considered the response to the aftermath? As some governments have already begun to get itchy feet and now prepping its people to do a U-turn by sending them back to live as normal… for calls to stay at home echo no long-term strategy.  

what did we stay at home for? To see the economy plummet, or to see our jobs lost?  The virus has not run its course yet – so why let us go out now or “phase” us back as they say? Why, is it because this may not have been a wise strategy? It’s also a shame that religious institutions will be secondary priorities for industries will take a precedent to return to become to “normal” – this is good! I really hope this becomes a wakeup call for churches as I watched them bury their heads in the sand.

So, to be clear, it is eminent that the governments cannot carry on with a lockdown or face the consequences of becoming bankrupt and so could its citizens. This was a stupid idea and they swallowed the bait hook, line and sinker – now what?  Wasted effort of a suicidal attempt.  

Sweden uses science and evidence to implement a different strategy, a lone voice in fighting COVID-19. However, Austria, Denmark, Norway and amongst others are also now lifting the lockdown… No not us!… We let others think for us.  Look at the protests in Michigan, US, the people are not having it – “We will not comply!” – they realised their civil liberties are at stake – wake up South Africa!

The Taxis Would Be Transporting More Than Just Passengers…

Now despite the Transport Minister’s precautionary measures would it not be ridiculous to assume that he is placing the great many at risk being sat in a taxi? Would the government be accountable to the lives of those they are placing now in harm’s way? How do you practise a 2-metre physical distancing in a taxi?

Lockdown means lockdown, and the dilution of the President’s speech to the actions of the Transport Minister merely adds confusion to the efforts to contain the virus. Whether it is a full, large or small load, it is a health hazard.

Is the Government adding to the confusion of the 21-day lockdown? President Cyril Ramaphosa announces that the SANDF army would be enforcing the lockdown. Citizens have witnessed the beatings and humiliating tactics of the authorities to little effect. 

The greatest of all dithering came regarding the policy on taxi loading capacity.  Initially the regulations on COVID-19 lockdown prescribed a 50% loading capacity, however when taxi operators threatened to go on a national strike Transport Minister Fikle Mbalula backtracked, announcing that, “during the lockdown period, all minibus and midi-bus taxi vehicles are permitted to load their maximum 100% passenger loading capacity as provided for in their operating licenses, provided that all passengers are wearing surgical masks or N95 respiratory masks.

 “The consultation process also included relevant structures within government and individual ministers. In consulting with the taxi industry, I have engaged the leadership of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) and the National Taxi Alliance (NTA).”

However, just hours after announcing that taxis were allowed to carry the full load with masks conditions, this decision was rescinded yet to another, this time, the latest 70% capacity.

These changes to the lockdown came because the Transport Minister said the measures were all about saving lives and stopping the spread of the COVID-19 in the country.

Now honestly, we all know that this is not a lockdown if mass number of people are able to move around long distances. The idea of a lockdown is to curb the traffic from interacting at close proximities to each other. We are already familiar to the cramped living conditions within townships.

Now despite the Transport Minister’s precautionary measures would it not be ridiculous to assume that he is placing the great many at risk being sat in a taxi? Would the government be accountable to the lives of those they are placing now in harm’s way? How do you practise a 2-metre physical distancing in a taxi?

Lockdown means lockdown, and the dilution of the President’s speech to the actions of the Transport Minister merely adds confusion to the efforts to contain the virus. Whether it is a full, large or small load, it is a health hazard. 

Or is this to do with the pressure being placed on the government to strong-arm them to relent? Would it be interesting to enquire with the WHO on their take of current actions?