THE news dominating headlines throughout the world at this time is about Covid-19, but what is a virus and how does Covid-19 actually affect us? Viruses are the most common biological entities on t he planet and it is estimated there are 1×10 to the power 80 of them (enough, if lined up end to end to stretch from one side of the galaxy to the other). Although they are not strictly “a l ive ” they invade cells of other organisms and hijack them to make copies of themselves. Covid-19 is a member of the coronavirus family that includes SARS, MERS and several other known viruses. It is transmitted through contact with infected mucus or saliva present in a cough, a sneeze or just the breath of an infected person. This is the reason for the banning of groups of more than 100 people. Of course, other traditional events such as the pilgramage of the Zionist Christian Church to Moriah at Polokwane in Limpopo, initiation ceremonies, as well as concerts, sports matches and even the Comrades Marathon will need to be cancelled (although, at the time of writing the ZCC is still to make a statement regarding this matter). Even the National Arts Festival in Makhanda has been altered and shows and exhibitions will now be broadcast over the internet and no shows will be attended live. Talk of the Town contacted Port Alfred Hospital to get official word on what to do in the case of suspected infection and were directed to the health department at Sarah Baartman District. They told us to contact the provincial spokesperson Siyanda Manana who did not respond to our calls and messages. Local doctors said they did not have test kits and could only take blood which would be sent to pathology labs for analysis. In the absence of official recommendations, if you suspect that you may be exhibiting signs of Covid-19 do the following; Phone your local GP or the Port Alfred Hospital/Settlers Hospital or the local clinic. You will be asked the following questions; Have you been in contact with anyone with Covid- 19? Have you been in contact with anyone from overseas? If you may have had contact with an infected person go to either Port Alfred Hospital or Settler’s Hospital in Makhanda and have blood extracted (you local GP may extract blood by prior telephonic arrangement) which will be sent to a pathology lab for testing. Such tests can take time so self-quarantine in the meantime before results come back. Wash your hands regularly and wipe down surfaces including keyboards, door handles etc with antiviral/antibacterial liquid detergent. Also wash any materials (such as handkerchiefs, clothes etc) regularly. The most vulnerable to Covid-19 seems to be older people and those we pre-existing respiratory conditions. However, everyone is a potential victim of the virus but most fatalities have occurred in people over the age of 80.
STILL on the subject of Covid-19, the financial impact cannot be overstated. Many hours (even months) of preparation have gone into some of the events and these efforts may now be in vain as mass gatherings of more than 100 have been effectively banned. Yet, what about the vendors and suppliers who were commissioned to provide products or services at these events, specifically, events such as The Royal St Andrews Hotel Amanzi Challenge or the Bathurst Agricultural Show? Also affected are hospitality establishments. There is no doubt that cancellations will cost the businesses and customers and have a major impact on the local and, ultimately, the national economy.
GREETINGS and good wishes to everyone celebrating a birthday next week, especially Sheldon Elliott, Danielle Canon, Abit Cheater, Anthony Bowdler, Meagan Alexander, Tricia Border, Melissa Spira, Lauren Randall, Merle Thorp, Marilyn Charter, Mark Kieck, Lauren Botha, Lynn Manning, Jeanette Botha, Mervyn Kanes, Adele Steck, Hannah Beukes, Amillia Snyman, Susan Hunt, Rocky Pang, Nadine Vertue, Belinda Nel, Bronwyn Norman, Brendan Samuel, Aimee Roesstorff, Walter Probart, Sallie Bryant, Jan Scholtz, Jarryd King, Jean Pierre Hunke, Julie Davidson, Janay Clayton, Paula Stander, Lindi Dickie, Michelle Henn, Wendy Lenard, Nicole Muller, Wilf Slade, Theo Botha, Jean Thomas, Rosalie Hare, Bettie Hodges, Richard Pullen, Sandra Catherine, Gene Haefdle and Denise Clayton.
EVERY success for many more years to all businesses and organisations on another anniversary. Best wishes to The Kenton Workshop and the 110th anniversary of the Full Gospel Churches of SA.
WITH the global economy in turmoil any figures presented here are of a transitory nature and will change by the time of publication. Since the outbreak of the Covid- 19 virus was declared a pandemic Saudi Arabia, one of the largest of the oil-producing nations, dropped it price by around 50% and this has markets frustrated and in disorder. As production of oil and other products is curtailed so the supply and delivery of commodities has taken a severe knock. This has initiated panic buying and stripped stores around the world of food items and, for some reason, toilet paper. At the time of going to press, the Rand was trading at R16.77 to the Dollar (R14.39), R20.23 to the Pound (R19.12) and R18.42 to the Euro (R16.34). Commodities were trading with Gold at $1,498.10 per fine ounce ($1,308.10), Platinum is at $646.85 per ounce ($835.05) and Brent Crude Oil at $30.85 per barrel ($68.12).
SPECIAL thoughts and prayers are with all those who are not well, having or have already had tests, operations and treatments. Sterkte Roy Potter, Andrew de Vries, Emilene Bruwer, Jenny Groenewald, Derek Church, Jan Haig, MaureenBotha and Lyn Charter.
BEST wishes for many more and congratulations to the following couples on their upcoming wedding anniversaries – Clifford and Candy Dell, Schalk and Nicole Voster, Mark and Marizka Burgess, Carl and NatashaHaller.
THOUGHT for the week: “For a gallant spirit there can never be defeat”.
BEST regards as always,