ALL the news at the moment is centred on Covid-19, so that is what we are going to focus on in this week’s Neighbourly Notes.
FIRSTLY, the lockdown. There have been social media posts with photographs of people defying the ban on groups of more than 100 people and congregating in pubs. This is totally unacceptable and selfish. Perhaps the lockdown on social gatherings will not be effective, but anyone found flouting the bans after midnight tonight when they come into effect should be dealt with severely. Next, racism seems to be spreading like wildfire with people accusing one race or another of starting or perpetuating the virus. Some of the statements made on social media are not only racist but vile. People advocating and propagating such uneducated and heinous hate-speech and posts should also be dealt with harshly. No individual is responsible for the pandemic. We are all in this together, black, coloured, Indian, Asian, white, and all other races living in SA: no one is spared. The old and the sick are those most likely to suffer the most during the pandemic so it is up to the rest of us to help where we possibly can. Keeping n contact with people is going to be a challenge during the next three weeks but it is important. Don’t allow quarantine to equal isolation from everyone and everything. Use your phone and social media to stay connected – but do not spread false information/fake news as this just leads to confusion and further insecurity. Do what the government recommends so that irrespective of the outcome, you know you have played your part.
THINGS to do while you are on lockdown . . . well, it’s a perfect time to do some spring cleaning. Many people have flooded their homes with sanitiser and bleach, but have you sorted out your old clothes and any items you no longer need? Perhaps you can sell them at a second-hand shop or post them on a website (how you get them there might have to wait until the lockdown is over). However, times are going to be rough for many people here in Ndlambe and, when it’s all over (or, at least, the lockdown is lifted) some might not have enough money to survive. Why not put these items in a box and donate them? If you are a musician, why not video yourself singing a song or two, or artists, video your studio and show off your artwork? If you are a storyteller, tell people a story (jokes are also a good stress reliever). The important thing is to stay connected, even while you will not be physically connected. Humans are a social animal and we need to know that we are not alone. And remember that older residents, partcularly those who live alone, need to feel that someone cares. If you have an elderly neighbour, go out into the garden and initiate a conversation. You don’t need to get too close to do this and it might actually make an elderly person’s day.
THINGS not to do include panicking, binge shopping and stockpiling food and drinks (this is not The Walking Dead apocalypse), visiting friends, shutting yourself off to the world and allowing the scare- and hatemongers to influence you. Some of us will be infected by the virus, there is no way around that, but if we keep our heads in this time of crisis we will come out stronger at the end. South Africans have gone through a lot in the past and, together and united, we will get through this crises as well.
WHATEVER happened to loadshedding? Not that I want to tempt fate but now, when so many businesses are on lockdown, why is load-shedding not making our lives just that little more difficult? Has the coal dried out? Are the conveyors working better than they did? Did the maintenance people resolve all the problems?
BIRTHDAY congratulations and good wishes to everyone celebrating a happy occasion in the week ahead, especially Mary Hobbs, Babette Vermaak, Hannah Beukes, Amillia Snyman, Cherie Antrobus, Jaden McKinnon, Ethan Tulk, John Dell, Mike Brown, Hannie de Flamingh, Sally-Ann Phillips-Page, Joy Geard, Vicky Kleynhans, Okkie du Plessis, Rosalie Hare, Christopher Phillips-Page, Jami Weeber, Jay-Leigh Taai, Hein Barnard, Scala Booi, Noeleen Pretorius, Megan van de Merwe, Brendan Marais, Eve Dombai, Vince McDuda, Shireen Hilpert, David Cooke, Daniella Swanepoel, Beryl Pancoust, Joyce Harrison, Charne Boshoff, Ashley Riddin, Ntia Sylianou, Wendy Cock, Linda Buchanan, Reuben Hayes, Tosca Spenceley, Ann Engler.
EVERY success for many more years to follow are the wishes we are conveying to the following businesses and organisations on another anniversary, especially KTP Kitchens and Sports ‘n All.
THE world markets are in disarray and publishing financial figures seems trite and irrelevant. However, with last year’s figures in brackets for comparison, the rand was trading at 17.42 (R11.70) to the Dollar, R20.66 to the Pound (R16.55) and R18.89 to the Euro (R14.50). In the commodities department, Gold was trading at 1,614.20 per fine ounce ($1,337.12), Platinum at R739.33 ($947.20) per ounce and Brent Crude Oil at $49.99 ($70.11) per barrel.
SPECIAL thoughts and prayers are with all those folk 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, Maureen Botha and Lyn Charter.
CONGRATULATIONS and best wishes for many more years of happiness to all couples enjoying another anniversary, especially Craig and Melissa Keevers, Jedd and Tania Reid, René and Eileen Denis, Jimmy and Julia Jamieson, Glenn and Jennifer Henning, Gordon and Katie Japp.
THOUGHT for the week: “Harmony makes small things grow, but lack of it, can make great things decay.”
BEST regards as always,