IT has now been 371 days since Covid-19 restrictions were imposed. The past 12 months have been tough for most people, but especially for the younger and the older members of our communities. The very young have missed out on socialising with friends as schools were closed for a large portion of the year. For the elderly, many have been restricted to living alone with little or no contact with the outside world. Then we have the matriculants of 2020 along with those following in 2021 who have had a very difficult time in catching up with their studies. Let’s hope that the restrictions end soon so that a level of normality can resume but, with a third wave of the virus being spoken about, we might have to wait until next year, as many experts expect that herd immunity will only be reached by then. Yet, this also presents a problem. If the rest of the world is vaccinated and ready to continue life in some semblance of “normal”, and international travel is unrestricted once more, who will be prepared to enter a country where Covid-19 is still an issue (real or perceived)? The trials of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are underway but South Africa’s vaccine rollout is considerably behind many other countries and might prejudice us in future.
IT’S the Easter long weekend starting Friday. Fears of beach bans and bans on interprovincial travel (although travel is discouraged) have been allayed by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Tuesday evening announcement on the amended Level 1 lockdown restrictions. Another ban on the sale of alcohol was also feared but, aside from the long Easter weekend, from Good Friday to Easter Monday where off-site purchases are banned, nothing much has changed (and most bottle stores would probably not be opened on the Friday or Monday in any case). The restrictions on crowd size have also been relaxed and now a total of 500 people may meet in open-air gatherings and a maximum of 250 people for indoor events. There are other minor changes to the Level 1 restrictions. For more detail see our web page www.talkofthetown.co.za. Let’s all stay safe during this time and readily accept our visitors as, after all, with no real industry to fund development, they are the reason this area survives.
I DON’T like cricket, I love it! That ’s what potentially 20 youths could be singing after the cricket coaching clinic at the Port Alfred Country Club after this Easter weekend. Two clinics will be held from 11am to 1pm on each day and youths are aged between 15 and 18 are invited to attend. See our web page for more information.
THE big news this week was the ANC’s National Executive Committee’s (NEC) decision to force politicians charged with crimes to step aside. This has been a demand of the public for a considerable time, but the latest from the NEC is that these cadres will be given 30 days to transition. WHAT! If someone is not just accused of a crime but actually charged with it (or them), they should resign immediately, just as politicians do in the rest of world (well, mostly). Giving people 30 more days to “fix” things is not acceptable.
MAY everyone having a birthday in the week ahead enjoy a very happy one and lots more happy years ahead for all, especially, Leon de Waal, Dorothy de Reuk, Mike Jones, Thelma Hofer, Trevlyn Robey, Margie du Preez, Fred Tyson, John Ball, Tamsanqa Ntantiso, Max von Paul, Kim Snyman, Lance Parker, Anthony Vivier, Jovan van Aarde, Ragel Fleischack, Elbe van Heerden, Annelize Averill, Ann Engler, Thelma Hofer, Trevlyn Robey, Luke Oosthuizen, Robyn Clayton, Georgie Shelver, Linda Buchanan, Barbara Matthews, Bernard du Plessis, Jenny Moodie, Wendy Gregory, Beauty Matomela, Darrel Botha, Hein Barnard, Scala Booi, Noelene Pretorius, Megan van de Merwe, Brandan Marais, Anne Roos, Danica Kukard, Hannah Charter, Alroy Taai, Diana Lardner-Burke, twins Kate and Rachel Grimbeek, Lynette Wilson, Jandré Terblanche, Jenre du Plessis, Jacques Hilpert, Derick Bamber, Gerhald Scholz, Rachel Kohler, Shireen Hilpert, Rose Daweti, Taylor Biggs.
CONTINUED success and best wishes for many more to the following businesses celebrating another anniversary, especially Volcanik (Biscay Road), 2nd Best (Campbell Street) and Port Alfred Service Centre.
THE markets are still reeling from the pandemic and the rush to vaccinate as many people as possible is determining who leads the chase to some level of normality. Some countries have been slow to vaccinate, some because of skepticism as to the values of the vaccines and some because the ordered too late. South Africa is in the latter category and “normality” will only truly return when Covid-19 is n longer a threat to life. That could be as late as 2022. With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the Rand was at R14.80 to the Dollar (R14.15), R20.38 to the Pound (R18.16) and R17.38 to the Euro (R15.92). Gold is trading at $1,685.17 per fine ounce ($1,293.61), Platinum is at $1,130.00 ($856.50) with Brent Crude Oil at $64.34 per barrel ($69.71).
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, Lesley Stevenson.
MAY your love and happiness continue as you celebrate a wedding anniversary to all couples enjoy such, especially Graham and Merrilee Strachan, Glenn and Jenny Henning, Eric and Dawn McQuillan, Burg and Arleen Naude, Warren and Trish Solz, Bruce and Kelly McNicol, Alfred and Jacqui Weyer, Reegan and Wouné Muller.
THOUGHT for the week: “To become a thoroughly good man is the best prescription for keeping a sound mind and a sound body”.
BEST regards as always,