Johannesburg – We were all given ample warning. We were told it was in our hands. There are many reasons to blame the government but as far as keeping us informed about the pandemic is concerned, I give them full marks.
The health protocols were drummed in our heads: wear your mask, wash your hands and keep social distances.
Unfortunately, it seems some among us dropped the ball and there’ll be a hell of a price to pay. Four provinces were declared pandemic hotspots this week as the second wave of new transmissions hit them hard.
Those who declared COVID-19 over when the country moved to alert level one have egg on their faces. Lately, I have seen lots of Covidiots without face masks, shaking hands and hugging with abandon.
One of them laughed at me when he saw me wearing a mask.
As the saying goes: he who laughs last, laughs the loudest.
As the festive season kicks into top gear, there won’t be much merry for many. For starters, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has told us to keep a social distance from Durban.
As is tradition with many Gautengers and others at this time of the year, they beat a beehive to the sunny coastal beaches.
However, this year the province does not want you because you are transmitters of this roving virus. The famous tag line – Woza eDurban – has been suspended with immediate effect.
The people of Nelson Mandela Bay municipality will not herald the new year with festivities on the streets at midnight as their curfew has been shortened to 10pm. However, as schools close this week and companies wind down their operations, you can expect the highways to fill up with traffic as amagoduka (migrant workers) go back to their rural outposts.
Lurking in that Quantum minibus will be COVID-19. My primary school teacher, Mr Mokgothu, used to say in Afrikaans: “As jy wil nie luister, dan moet jy voel.” This loosely translated to: if you don’t want to listen, then you will feel. That was during the dreaded times when capital punishment ruled the classroom.
I’ve had to revise my festive season significantly as a result of the virus and will be staying put in my man cave. Some shop owners have jettisoned the sanitiser and others even flagrantly allow customers to shop without wearing their face masks.
It will end in tears when and if the government tightens the lockdown restrictions. It seems we have forgotten how life was during the hard lockdown. That was when the army roamed the streets to enforce the lockdown regulations.
When booze was bootlegged and cigarettes were only available on the black market. Nobody wants to go back to that gulag.
The time will come when we can vul’igate and lahl’umlenze without a care, but now is not that time. Wash those bloody hands!
Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa. To Subscribe to Sunday World, click here.