We’re required to make a sacrifice

29 March 2020

Vusi Nzapheza
  • Straight & Two Beers

Staying home a small price to pay

The scenes at Johannes­burg’s Park Station and other transport nodes said it all. On the eve of the un­precedented lockdown, many rushed to hotfoot it out of the country’s economic hub.

Considering that Gauteng is the epicentre of the novel Cov­id-19, the possibility exists that some among those who chose to abandon Jozi for the com­forts of their rural hinterland are unknowing carriers of the coronavirus.

Their platitudes of wanting to spend the lockdown among their families back home are not only misguided but down­right dangerous as they are likely to infect the same be­loved family members.

But these are scary times and, despite the flood of infor­mation since Covid-19 made its debut, the fear is palpa­ble and people are driven to make irrational decisions. To its credit, the government re­sponded appropriately to con­tain the spread of the virus, which has ravaged the rest of the world.

It has been an uphill strug­gle to explain the rationale behind a lockdown to people who are not privy to science and South Africans who are accustomed to their unbridled freedoms.

Fake news and propagan­da have also not helped and continue to dominate the dis­course on the virus. As a coun­try with glaring inequalities, others were concerned about the plight of the homeless and the vulnerable during the lockdown.

This is despite promises by government departments that everyone will be catered for and there was no need to pan­ic. Still others in our phuza na­tion were miffed about alcohol restrictions.

The most inane were op­posed to drinking in the confines of their homes and deemed it their right to im­bibe at their favourite water­ing holes. The most laughable complaint came from dog lov­ers. One minister said it was okay to leave home and walk your dog while another con­tradicted him. This left even the dogs themselves confused.

I have no doubt in my mind that we will get through this, despite some doomsayers pre­dicting mayhem in Mzansi as the virus spreads.

Today is the third day of the lockdown and the real­ity would have sunk in that it is safer to comply and stay at home instead of hitting the streets without a reason. The curbs on our freedom of move­ment are for the sake of our protection and a necessary evil during these uncertain times.

Twenty-one days lockdown is not the end of the world. If you cannot spend the next three weeks in the confines of your abode, perhaps you need to have your mind read. Those of us who have taken the lockdown on the chin have a full programme to fill our time instead of moaning about our trampled rights.

Of course, it’ll be testing on all of us, but it is for a good cause. The coronavirus has forced us to adjust our daily lives and we are all required to make a sacrifice. It’s a small price to pay and we can do it.

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