Dr Robert “Mugabe” Ngwenya advises South Africans to be wary of their festive seasons spending and lending, and cautions everyone that COVID-19 is still very much deadly, and it cannot be business as usual.
December is a month of heightened excitement with many perils and frills that colour the life of a nation and a people. Everything goes up or down in this one month when a years’ toils are rested. The many will head home bound to reunite with loved ones and family. The many festivities will be held and hosted to give thanks to life and to make offerings to ancestral sacrifices.
This excitement brings with it misery and profound anguish.
2020 has been and remains a year which calls for us to be even more careful as these travels not only expose us to usual road accidents which occur at this time but also that we have become transporters of a deadly virus known as Corona virus and its resultant Covid-19.
Although travelling to see family members we have not seen is a norm at this time and even what defines us as a people, more dangerous than speed, travelling during this pandemic is discouraged and deemed risky.
How can December be without alcohol… so the saying goes. Alcohol consumption, more than other periods in the year, becomes the most wanted product as part of these festive season celebrations. Unfortunately, with alcohol comes a lot of irresponsible drivers, cyclists and even pedestrians. For years, year in and year out, our economy is ceased with the negative effects of alcohol consumption.
Drivers getting behind the wheel whilst under the influence of alcohol, pedestrians walking and get ran over by speeding cars because of alcohol. This December, this festive season, not only are we going to be put at risk of dying by these drivers, our lives are at risk because anyone who dares to leave his house exposes themselves to being infected or infect others.
If we are to rebuild our economy, in the midst of this virus, ours is to change the way we do things, the way we celebrate and our choice of how we show our excitement.
One life lost is too many. The unfortunate and sudden loss of life of a Sundowns and Bafana Bafana soccer player, Motjeka Madisa, in a car crash serves to indicate the possible harm we put ourselves in as soon as we get behind that wheel especially at this time where people feel the need to be on the road thus increasing everyone’s chance to have an accident. Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.
This, before I take a rest, may be my last opinion piece before I, for the remainder of the year, retire to the confines of my home.
It therefore remains my wish that, for this year, unusual and uncomfortable as it may be, we travel less, go out only if it is necessary to do so, avoid gatherings and spent most of the time with those we love, our families. Let us show them love by keeping them safe from the rising second wave of this Coronavirus.
The rebuilding of our economy needs us to change our behaviours, it needs us to adapt to the new normal we are not used to.
I wish everyone, every South African a safe festive season and pray that their tears and prayers for a better and healthier life be not in vain.