29 March 2020
- 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.