IT is day 161 of the national lockdown and things are gradually returning to normal with pupils going back to school and businesses reopening. However, normal is a relative term as masks, sanitising and social distancing are still required, and many people are concerned that a second wave of Covid-19 infections might overwhelm the health system and cause many more deaths. Even so, the preparations made for the current wave in terms of field hospitals and grave-digging seems to have been an overkill. Far fewer people have succumbed to the disease than, say, the seasonal flu, and certainly less than the Spanish Flu pandemic that ravaged the West 100 years ago, in which 500 million people contracted the disease and more than 50 million died, representing a mortality rate of more than 10%. It is important to understand that the Spanish Flu was a variation of the H1N1 virus and a form of influenza, whereas Covid-19 is another type of virus, a coronavirus. At present in SA, the mortality ate is less than 1%. Uncertainty still remains as to whether government will reimpose the bans on alcohol and tobacco, and if strict curfews will be reimplemented. HAVE you eaten today? Then thank a farmer. This was the message that bikers and their supporters across SA tried to get across to the public at rallies against farm murders last weekend. Local riders met at the Midway Motorcycle Club and rode in procession to Bathurst, where they met up with other riders from Makhanda (Grahamstown) and Port Elizabeth. The bikers then travelled back to Port Alfred and on to Kenton-on-Sea. Some riders then continued back to their homes. This ride was intended to highlight the plight of farmers and farm workers who have been brutally attacked and killed in incidents around the country. Without farmers the country cannot sustain itself. Farmers must be protected by the police and the community because their role in providing food is crucial. Industry in Ndlambe is predominantly agricultural, and this area too has been affected by farm robberies and murders. Loss of skills in this sector reduces our ability to produce food. Hopefully the message gets across that killing farmers or driving them off the land will have disastrous consequences.
TUESDAY was the first day of spring and we can sense that summer is just around the corner. However, given the year we have had thus far, summer has seemed such a long way away. Normally winter is the time for colds and flu but it seems that these viruses have had to take second place to Covid-19. On my regular visits to town so far, I haven’t met anyone with a cold or flu, but this might be because people are afraid to sneeze or cough in public due to the unfavourable looks from those around them. It was initially said by many that the warm weather could lessen (or even eradicate) the effects of Covid-19. Yet this is probably not the case as many northern hemisphere countries (India, the UK, the US) have experienced summer already, but have the largest number of infected people.
BEST wishes and birthday greetings to everyone who is having a special day in the week ahead, especially Justin Wilmot, Deirdre Muller, Mirinda Venter, Jason Odendaal, Erica Burnette, John Ford, Gideon Thiersen, Euthine Shone, John Basson, Fanie Fouche, Daniel Botha, Sallie Edwards, Robyn Hobbs, Frans Nel, Lauren McCreath, Sheldon Amos, John Wilson, Kirsty Clayton, Una Tarr, Janê Moss, Emily Scholtz, Doreen Pons, Wade Elliott, Kate Venter, Graham Reilly, Derek Fellows, Garnett Westley, Alex Hope-Bailie, Megan Grundling, Lisa Rose Downer, Mason Dell, Taylor Naude, Julia Painting, Jean Atkinson, Rosemary Nelson, Herman Breetzke, Pen chultz, Nicolas Cock, Timothy Rudman, Elzette Reed, Derryn Willis, Eben Groenewald, RJ Swart, Lydia Gimbel, Joan Greaves, Lionel Hunt, Jonty Payne, Phindiwe Kuhkana, Jamie Kleinhans, Jenna Rowe, Thabisa Vukuza, Dawn Nelson, Pietie le Roux and Jan Pearson.
BUSINESS anniversary greetings and congratulations for many more years to come to Vanessa’s Nail Bar and Coral Cottages.
ONCE again, the South African Rand is in the doldrums. Though considerable ground was made last week with the Rand gaining on international currencies, by midweek most of those gains had been lost. With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the Rand was trading at R16.65 to the Dollar (R14.99), R22.43 to the Pound (R18.24) and R19.95 to the Euro (R16.42), Gold was trading at $1,989.46 per fine ounce ($929.39), Platinum at $934.25 per ounce ($1538.20) and Brent Crude Oil at $45.55 per barrel ($77.40).
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, Jenny Groenewald, Jan Haig, Bev Young and Graeme Sunny Hill.
WEDDING anniversary congratulations and continued joy for many more years of happiness together, especially to Paul and Maureen Ramsey, Rudi and Ava Beukes, Dalton and Tracy Phillips, Brett and Teia Neil-Boss, Dave and Jacqui Parsons, Russell and Joy Geard and Ian and Erna McPherson.
THOUGHT for the week: “Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul.”
BEST regards as always,