By Vusi Nzapheza
- STRAIGHT &TWO BEERS
Vehicle accidents have been greatly reduced as a result of Covid-19
When President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the two-week lockdown extension on Thursday, it hit most people like a sledgehammer.
To many, it did not come as a surprise as the number of those infected by Covid-19 continues to rise, but the minute the words left the Buffalo’s mouth, our worst fears were confirmed.
Like a prisoner whose appeal has been turned down by the Supreme Court, we realised we had exhausted our options and would have to serve our sentence.
It has not been easy to have our movement curtailed and some people are flagrantly behaving like they are immune to the pandemic and defy the regulations as they go about their business.
These even include cabinet ministers who openly defied their boss, the president, by posting pictures and videos of themselves at the mall and of their visits to their friends during the lockdown.
Slay queens have had to forego their daily selfie fix after being stuck at their real homes.
Nyatsis have had to contend with the reality that they play second fiddle to the wives while cheating husbands have had to suffer in silence while stuck at home with their wives without the comforting arms of abomakhwapheni. The fridges have been raided and the midriffs have been expanding.
As the liquor ban started to bite, bottle stores have become soft targets and a few were broken into as the desperate sought to quench their thirst. Even the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, was not spared as his expensive whisky stash was stolen when his house was broken into.
Nine months from today, some families will welcome unplanned additions in the form of babies conceived during the lockdown.
Indeed, the enforced house arrest of a whole nation has left scars on the psyche of the population.
However, by and large South Africans have stuck to the rules and curtailed their movement to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
It has not been easy, however, statistics have shown that violent crimes dipped significantly during the lockdown.
Knife and bullet wounds, popular over weekends and the end of the month when people get paid and drink in excess, have suddenly disappeared as people stay at home. Vehicle accidents have also become a rarity as cars are stuck at home.
In that sense, the lockdown has not been all bad.
The extension, announced by the president, was well-considered and is the only tonic that will ensure we limit the number of casualties. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize reckons there is still a storm to come and the real impact of the Covid-19 is yet to emerge as more people are tested.
Our economy was in the doldrums before the Covid-19 hit our shores. In its wake, the virus has made a bad situation worse and the repercussions will be felt for years to come. Let’s hold on tight.