Monday 18 May 2020, Day 18 of Level 4 after 35 days at Level 5 😷
Corona Gratitude 🙏
#Grateful for another beautiful day, not so warm at only 20C, but sunny; for another excellent Exercise Time this morning, walking up to Clifton 3rd Beach, there being very few Exercisers; for having our domestic garbage removed today, other areas like Sea Point linked to the Woodstock Depot not so lucky, it being closed for the next three days due to Virus infections there; for chatting to Giles Blanc, owner of The 41 restaurant, and then regular coffee drinkers Haakon and Thomas Bauerkämper, exchanging experiences about ordering Camps Bay Restaurant Food delivered to home; for a very relaxed afternoon; and for being happy and healthy. 🙏💙
My Blogpost today was about a plea by Restaurants to be allowed to offer a Customer-Collect Service outside their establishments, there being concerns about the hygiene protocol and control of 3rd party driving partners.
I updated the Restaurant Food Delivery Facebook Group Restaurant list, now at over 460, and 3500 plus members. 👏
I had to laugh with a Homeless person this morning rolling his Zol, which has now been turned into a parody song at the expense of our Minister Zol Zuma. 😂
I wrapped myself up in my duvet on the terrace, but couldn’t warm up, the clouds blocking the sun this afternoon. So I went inside and crawled under the blankets, and found a TV program on my favorite German TV channel ZDF, honouring one of Germany’s most loved TV show hosts, Thomas Gottschalk, turning 70 today. Interesting how they did Social Distancing, but no masks.
I miss KitKat 🐱, who had to go back to his Bakoven home …. 😢
More German TV tonight, love that I can watch the two largest TV channels in the country plus others at no charge.❤️
SA Corona Status 16433 cases 286 deaths 😷😥
FitBit 16000 steps 11 km 👣
Ad man Mike Abel posted this on Facebook today:
‘Our perpetual road-trip
I woke up this morning and started humming the Talking Heads song “We’re on the road to nowhere” as I was getting ready for the day, and was thinking of the song’s pertinent lyrics:
“And we’re not little children
And we know what we want
And the future is certain
Give us time to work it out”
The thing about journeys, any of them, is that you embark with a destination and timeline in mind. Even the trip from earth to Mars, the furthest we have ever attempted to go on a manned ship, has a time attached to it, of around seven to nine months.
But here we are, on our new journey, which none of us signed up for and with seemingly no timeline nor clear destination. Many are now claiming to also wanting to change their unknown destinations as this journey continues, and as they get used to the trip being the destination itself. If this statement is confusing, that’s because so is the situation.
We hear the term “unprecedented times” used so often that I wonder if governments around the world have been watching movies like ”Outbreak” and “Contagion” to give them a basis for a “life imitating art” script in managing their various responses, as they seem less and less science and data-led.
In the song lyrics above, you may question the line “and the future is certain” because many believe it is not.
COVID for now is certain. A pandemic without a cure. A disease that attacks mostly the elderly and those with existing underlying health issues and who are therefore immune-compromised. This is by-and-large irrefutably true based on all science and data available thus far and everyone knows this. There have been reports of children presenting with swollen organs and Kawasaki-type disease symptoms but not all these kids have tested positive for COVID, so the link is currently not 100% certain.
There is lots we’ll still learn about the virus no doubt, but for now its behavior is quite well understood until something unpredictable possibly emerges. We hope not. All we can do is keep testing, researching and scrambling for a vaccine. But that is for the scientists, virologists and epidemiologists to do.
So, that is not really the point of this article other than to establish COVID is no longer an unknown presence but actually, a constant. Something we are now all aware of, and wishing it away, as we do, like aliens leaving in their spaceship. This one is sadly going nowhere until we either develop herd immunity or a find cure. Either way, it will still be here.
So, what can we start doing better? As a starting point, we can adapt to change and tackle the circumstances around us with open minds and attitudes.
This positive locus of control requires us to be led. Indeed, a President, is like a captain in a sports team. He/she is not our boss, but on the field with us, playing the game, or he/she can’t claim to be captaining the team. In a democracy (which we are) we take collective responsibilities for our decisions and actions. A democracy is the antithesis of a paternalistic state, but one of accountable and active citizenry.
So, if President Ramaphosa, is indeed “our Siya Kolisi”, then we too each have our own position and role to play in winning. We need inspiring, adaptive, agile, motivating leadership to bring out the best in all of us. Our captain has to galvanise us into a cohesive unbeatable combination who will take this thing on and win! If ever there was a time for a captain to get the best out of his entire team, it is now. We can’t afford to splinter into different directions – because if we do, it’s game over. I absolutely believe President Ramaphosa is our captain, but he needs to trust his team more, being us, in playing our roles as responsible and capable players.
Such is the unspoken compact between a democratically elected government and its voting public. One of trust, engagement, shifting strategy and a clear focus on improving lives and future prospects. It is a social contract that implicitly implies we are playing on the same team and that we have a common view of our game plan. The words of the Talking Heads song again hold true … “And we’re not little children and we know what we want”.
When our President greets us with “my fellow South Africans”, he is endorsing exactly this: “fellow South Africans” and we must never forget this, and equally we must continue to hold our Government accountable to it.
Sadly, some cabinet ministers are forgetting themselves in this agreement – either intentionally or not. We are not a military state, so when our Minister of Social Development appears in fatigues wearing an army beret with the South African and Cuban flags next to each other, it sends a bad signal to the country. The enemy is the virus. Not our people. If the Minister wants to dress for the occasion, then wear a lab coat. Or as someone funnily observed on Twitter, maybe she was going to paintball after the press engagement.
I say this to Minister Zulu, the country is scared, wary, financially stretched and many unemployed. Your job is to be the oil in the water, not the fuel in the fire.
This brings me to her trying to control food distribution by the NGO’s. Two things are important here. 1. It is not food you have supplied nor paid for 2. The NGO’s don’t report into you. This is the best of our country playing itself out. The notion of Ubuntu and active citizenry in action. Please step aside Minister and applaud those doing a spectacular job rather than getting involved. What’s important to understand when we address food security and supply, is that there is no issue in food availability – but there are very real issues in getting this food into the hands of those who need it most. Here the role of the minister is clear, unlock the bottle necks – don’t be an unnecessary handbrake to doing what is absolutely right for our people.
The best way for our Government to work with the citizenry is to appreciate:
You are talking to adults
We are a democracy
Be totally transparent – the more we know the more we will enable your goals
Explain your decisions such as a military/police curfew so that we are part of the journey, not surprised by it
Be open to suggestion and learning, you are not alone in the battle against this virus
We are in this together
You are fellow South Africans – not our parents nor our bosses
Be kind and considerate
Be compassionate and caring
Be wise and willing
COVID is our “new normal”. It is here. We now need to protect the vulnerable health-wise before we all become vulnerable, not only in health, but in putting food on our plates. As I’ve observed time and again, this is not lives versus livelihoods, but lives versus lives. Will we get COVID with a job or will we get COVID without a job? It’s a pandemic and most of us are likely to get it over the year/s should a miracle vaccine not become available.
So, how do we fight it? We keep going. With optimism, positivity and acceptance. We take precautions like social distancing, mask-wearing, handwashing and sanitizing, but – we don’t stop living because we are scared of dying as that isn’t living, its just existing. We must adapt. We must be the best of what we can be, not the least. South Africa has always lurched forward based on its “defining moments”. These include the 1994 elections, the 1995 and 2019 Rugby World Cup or even the 2010 FIFA Football World Cup. Covid-19 is another defining moment, and if the past shows us anything is that when we respond to it as Team South Africa, then we achieve the most remarkable things.
Right now, 0.001% of the population has it. Of those infected 98.5% will survive. We must not lose sight of the facts or of the science and data. Right now, 100% of us are affected by COVID.
Can the world, and the media who largely drive perception, start moving from hysteria and end of days communication to understanding this is now our “new normal” as we await a vaccine, and rather start helping governments and society embrace life again, to come out of our shells, and to start rebuilding. That is what we must do if we want to beat this virus. Victory or defeat lies entirely within our hands. Right now, we are the only army in history to be surrendering with an over 95% chance of victory. Be safe. Be responsible. But also, don’t forget to LIVE.
This is our destination and our journey in one. Accepting this IS our new normal, but simply with another disease around us of which we must be fully aware. We must get back on the saddle of life and ride it to the full. We must embrace this defining moment with every inch of our South Africaness.‘
And on a lighter note I found this on Facebook today:
‘Written by “Bronwyn” 🤷🏼♀️ not sure who she is but this is so funny and brilliantly written …. take some time 🤣🌻
IF YOU HAVE NOT READ IT THROUGH THEN PLEASE WITHHOLD YOUR COMMENTS UNTIL YOU HAVE!
(Lotsaluck because it is a long but brilliant read and you have nothing to do anyway)
Dear Corona (or Wuhan Flu, Chinese Flu, Covid- 19- whatever you are calling yourself these days).
Let me introduce myself. I’m a young female living on the most southern tip of Africa in a supposed democracy called South Africa.
You’ve been so busy around the world, but you have reared your ugly head here too, causing panic and pandemonium, the likes that I haven’t seen since Checkers Hey Day sales when I was a kid. You have caused mass panic buying of hand sanitizer here, but at least we weren’t as idiotic as the Aussies who brought toilet paper buy the bakkie loads, only to realize that you don’t cause the shits, and they can’t eat it.
You see, my country is a small one. We are a young democracy of 25 years. Not much has been accomplished since the end of Apartheid, but at least we are free from the tyranny and oppression of a government that imposed curfews, stopped people from going places, buying certain things. Where thousands of soldiers were deployed to keep the citizens at bay, and there were roadblocks and people were jailed if they were caught in areas they weren’t suppose to be in without a ‘pass’.
Thank goodness we are free of that ugly government!
Now we have a government that, up until a few months ago, was one of the most corrupt in the world. Man, Corona, I wish you had met old Uncle JZ. He would have laughed in your face. Him and his connections stole about a Trillion rand in State Capture, and all he got was a nice homestead to go retire to.
Now we have these okes in power who are trying to deal with you, but I don’t think any of them know who is the boss. They belong to the ruling party, sometimes referred to as the African National Congress, but more recently referred to as the African National Circus.
You have Cyril aka President Ramaphosa aka President Rhamanutless who is the supposed boss. He appears on TV every now and then to address the nation as ‘My Fellow South Africans’. When he does that you reach for toilet paper because the shit is about to hit the fan.
Then you have NDZ. Let’s call her that because I have no clue (or mental inclination) on how to say her first name. She was once married to JZ, and was once up against Cyril in the race for the top spot of Loothuli House. Shame, she didn’t win, even with all the support of the illegal cigarette men. This old lady speaks like she is incapacitated and belongs in an old age home. She is so drunk on the power of the sour grapes from loosing the top spot, that she will do anything to undermine Cyril. Who is she and why is she even a minister in charge of anything? I think Cyril gave her that ministry just to make that faction happy, but now it’s come back to bite him in the bum because she is running this country.
There’s another guy, Ebrahim Patel. To be honest, I don’t know much about him. But I don’t like him. I don’t trust him. He reminds me too much of a Gupta (Google them, they will make for some light-hearted reading on how best to rape a beautiful country). No one really knew about him until he took away our cooked Woolies Chicken. Then he became as (in)famous as the Colonel himself. We even named a Voodoo doll after him.
You have ministers who are calling ventilators vibrators on national television. It really is A National Catastrophe.
Oh, and then there’s Bheki Cele. He is the Police Minister. He used to be the police Commissioner, but got fired after he was found to be corrupt. So he was promoted to minister.
In our country, unless you are corrupt or have spent time in jail, you don’t qualify for a position in government. It’s a prerequisite on your CV.
Then there are the 59 million citizens who keep this country going, and our ministers in Gucci underwear. We are a mixed group, and for the most part we are a hard working, loving, caring people who just get on with life. There was a time when we didn’t get along, but for the last 25 years we have tried to build a rainbow nation. That’s was until you arrived.
You really scared the bejezus out if us.
So the world went into lockdown. We were asked to stay at home. Only go out to the shops if you needed urgent things. I think most of the people who were wondering around aimlessly during those five weeks were the people who had either only DSTV or SABC and eTV. I too would have wanted to leave the house if I had to watch repeats of Anaconda (1 – 6). Thank the Pope for Netflix.
You made a story about a man and a woman fighting over tigers an immediate hit because people were bored.
So we stayed inside like uncle Cyril asked us to. We washed our hands ten times a day (even when we didn’t leave the house). We did our own housework, washed millions of dishes. I washed enough clothes to clothe an army which was strange because I found myself sitting in my pajama’s all day eating Big Corn Bites and watching shows about people making food I’ll never eat.
Some (crazy) people baked banana bread and biscuits then posted pictures on Facebook. The closest I got to baking was licking my phone.
Uncle Cyril banned our wine and smokes in the beginning of the lockdown. He gave us 24 hrs notice so you can imagine the turmoil he created. Just before payday nogal. People went mental. Some people managed to get, but it wasn’t enough, especially when lockdown was extended from 3 weeks to 5 weeks. But like I said, us South Africans are a hardy bunch. We have a saying here ‘a boer maak n plan’ which basically means that if the shit is about to hit the fan, we will find a way to turn that fan off (such as loadshedding), or fix it by any means possible so that the shit doesn’t hit us.
We pickle, roll, sell, brew, deal, we really make life good in a bad situation.
Pineapple Beer became such a big thing, that shops were running out of yeast. The loud shots in the night that were once gunshots from crime, are now just your neighbors pineapple beers cracking open. We even have a recipe for DIY wine.
What we don’t have is a recipe for DIY cigarettes. Yes, they banned us from purchasing smokes legally. Can you believe it? Beer I can justify because when you get drunk you may snog a stranger and swap saliva, but don’t take our entjies away.
Now, the reason I took my time to introduce you to the African Notorious Criminals above was because something happened that really riled up a nation. We were lied to.
Plain and simple. Cyril, he came on national TV and in between telling us that we have done so well, giving us a gold star and a sucker, he slipped in that Tobacco products would be allowed to be sold when they move us from level 5 lockdown to level 4 lockdown. You could hear the collective sigh of relief, followed by a hacking cough from 11 million smokers in our country. People were clapping, shouting, screaming with joy. It was as if our national soccer team had actually eventually scored a goal.
We were preparing our lives to purchase our Styvies on the first day of level 4.
But then the other president, NDZ, stood up a few days later and literally took our breath away. According to her speach, over two thousand people objected to lifting the smoking ban in submissions to government. Hang on! Stop the bus! What submissions? The only reason 11 million smokers didn’t submit any submissions is because we thought that what our president said would be law. We didn’t think he would be over-ridden by some granny talking nonsense about a zol. What an absolute farce! Who is the real president of this country?
If we had know it was to be taken to a vote we would have flooded their submissions with millions of reasons to lift the tobacco ban, but we didn’t get a chance.
That’s just shows what a confusing hot mess our government has turned into.
They received thousands of submissions from those crazy, healthy people who find it fun to run about and exercise, who have been going insane under house arrest for 5 weeks. So what do they do? Oh take a guess? OK you freaks, if you want exercise so badly, go out in your masses and do what you want to, but… only between the hours of 6am and 9am.
If you want it real bad, you will wake up at the beginning of winter, when it’s still a little dark out there and the frost crackle under your Nike’s, and run.
They also decided that they were going back to a dark time in our countries history when there was a curfew and certain people weren’t allowed out past certain times. Such a draconian, colonial time is back! We are now not allowed out of our house between 7pm and 5am.
So tell me ‘rona, how do you operate? Do you sleep between 7pm and 5am, get up for an hour, work a little, then go back and snooze for 3 hours between 6am and 9am? Or do you make coffee and sit on the balcony watching the runners run past thinking’ Nah, they are crazy, I’m not touching them. They too fast’?
Then get dressed and back to work after 9am?
Im confused. I thought you worked 24 hours? Not according to our government.
And heaven help you if you are found breaking the curfew or doing other exercises that aren’t approved by the government. Surfers are getting arrested! Are you also in the sea now? I can’t even walk my dog outside of the given hours for fear of being thrown in jail. Do you know, more people have been arrested and thrown in jail for walking their dogs and surfing, than have been arrested or jailed for state capture? Wow!
But the thing that has really gotten my granny panties in a twirl is the ban on books. Doesn’t this government realize that a nation is built on education, and now is the time when books – of all kinds, should be promoted to every household. Get the children reading! Get the adults reading! Open the libraries and create a place of free entertainment for the mind!
After all, it’s books that kept their comrades sane while locked up on Robben Island for 27 years!
We are sick (pardon the pun) of you.
I had to have a mandatory You test today before I could go to hospital next week, and I swear she touched my brain with that long q-tip. Perhaps a few politicians need the test so their brains can be polished and they can wake up and start running this country, instead of ruining it.
So, just go, walk out the door, we don’t need you anymore. We just want our smokes, our brandy and coke and to be able to fart in public without the state saying that the pollution industry is only back on level 3 and arresting us.
You have honestly been the longest anything made in China has ever lasted, but it’s about time you broke so we can pack you back in the toy cupboard and forget you ever existed.
The Corona Virus Lockdown (Level 5), announced by our President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this week to commence on 27 March and to continue until 16 April, subsequently extended to 30 April, and lowered to Level 4 from 1 May, is an unprecedented event in my lifetime. I am posting my daily Facebook post to journal this Corona Lockdown Journey, perhaps to serve as material for a future Book.
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein