DAY 119 of the national lockdown and figures for the Covid-19 infection rate in our area are increasing daily, but are outnumbered by the number of recoveries . SA currently has the fifth highest number of infections in the world, following (from most confirmed infections) the US, Brazil, India and Russia. As of Tuesday July 21, the number of confirmed cases in SA stood at 373,628 with 5,173 recorded deaths (1.38% of total cases), whereas out of 14,874,209 confirmed cases worldwide the number of deaths is 613,691 (4.1%). So SA, even as the country with the fifth highest infection rate, has one of the world’s lowest death rates. By way of contrast, influenza is a perennial scourge which infects millions and also claims lives. The SA health department estimates 6,000 to 11,000 South Africans die every year from seasonal flu. However, according to Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease in the US: “The seasonal flu that we deal with every year has a mortality of 0.%,” whereas coronavirus is “10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu”.
IF you visited Port Alfred in the last week you will have observed that many people are not heeding the lockdown regulations. Taxis are full to overflowing with windows closed (probably due to it being winter). People are congregating on the streets and social distancing rules are being generally ignored by many. Some seem to believe the face mask is a way of keeping their chins warm on these cold mornings. Unless you breathe and cough from your chin, this is a particularly useless way of wearing a mask. But mask wearing when driving is not a good idea, particularly if you wear spectacles. It’s similar to driving in thick fog, especially when you breathe out.
PETTY crime is definitely increasing, but so are house break-ins and robberies. Burglars are stealing from rich and poor alike, regardless of the consequences. Farms are another area of concern and the people who live there are constantly under threat from criminals.
YET, at this time of recession there are many who are attempting to assist the less fortunate by donating food, blankets and clothing and even delivering them to the doors of the needy. One such registered non-profit organisation, the Ndlambe Lockdown Support Group (NLSG), is doing sterling work in providing the less fortunate with food and clothing. The group has no political or even business affiliations, and the members of the group volunteer their time as well as paying for fuel and maintenance of their vehicles used for transport from their own pockets. However, they cannot continue to do this indefinitely. Fortunately, farms, businesses and individuals have chipped in, some in a big way, but things are getting tougher and this effort cannot be sustained in the longterm. If you have spare clothes and blankets, or can donate food or money, whether to assist the poor or the volunteers continue their work, it will be highly appreciated. As the Xhosa saying goes, Umntu Ngumntu Ngabantu (a person is a person through other persons).
ON the subject of giving, this Mandela Day was a far more lowkey event, and the usual plethora of local projects by various businesses and organisations was missing. So, it was good to see Sheldon Nelson, Ndlambe Change a Life (NCAL) rowing coach, raise funds for the NLSG by running from his new home in Makhanda (Grahamstown) to Port Alfred on Saturday. See our back page story or see the video at the end of the race on our web page (www.talkofthetown.co.za).
HAPPY birthday greetings to everyone having a special day in the week ahead, congratulations especially to James Taljaard, Sue Croukamp, Kim Radloff, Elizabeth Dickson, Brenda Spilken, Forbes Coutts, Kelly Brittle, Wilma Jurgenson, Shirley Cock, David Macgregor, mother and daughter Carol and Abigail Hartenzberg, Julie Sliziuk, Bryn Lewis, the Strohm Quads celebrating their 27th birthdays – Jason, Candice, Amy and Byron, Samuel Hawkins, Val Baker, Phillip Smith, Awie Gretton, Billy Woods, Ann Hulley, Mattie Wood, Dagma Rampf, Lyndon Bartlett, Barbara Wesson, Patrick Atkinson, Brenda Thomas, Tim Dold, Tania Adams, Dion Rieger, Khanyisa Daweti, Gary Bull, Wilma Kruger, Michael Austin, Charmaine Botha, Wendy Coetzee, Claude Cockcroft, Terri Harrewyn, Bruce Steele-Gray, Kei Macgregor, Rob Pringle, Sue Broom, Jean Hazelhurst, Dawn Goble and Mary Pottinger.
BUSINESS anniversary congratulations and every success for your continued success to Coastal Spares (PA), Jumbo Store (Makhanda), PA Kenrich Motors, PA Cement Products, plus 113 years of Scouting in the world this year.
WORLD economies are under severe threat at this time and, though lockdown in many countries has been eased, the markets are still nowhere near an economic recovery. Some pundits have suggested recovery may take two or more years after the pandemic is brought under control. How long all companies can sustain employment with no income we will have to wait and see but don’t be fooled, as any indication of growth is only due to battles between the richer nations such as the US, China, Europe and Russia. With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the Rand was trading at R16.48 to the Dollar (R13.91), R20.92 to the Pound (R17.31) and R18.85 to the Euro (R15.52). Gold was trading at $1,826.04 per fine ounce ($1,4130.30), platinum at $850.74 per ounce ($861.60) and Brent Crude oil at $42.87 per barrel ($ 63.99).
SPECIAL thoughts and prayers are with all who are not well, having or have already had tests, operations and treatments. Sterkte Roy Potter, Andrew de Vries, Emilene Bruwer, Jenny Groenewald, Jan Haig, Si Little, Kerry Charter and Bev Young.
WEDDING anniversary congratulations and best wishes to David and Lisa Lawson, Neels and Erika Snyder, Bevan and Linda Edwards and Dale and Leonie Wepener.
THOUGHT for the week “Success is more permanent when you achieve it without destroying your principles.”
BEST regards as always,