HAVING passed the year mark, we are now at Day 377 of the national coronavirus lockdown, and though many of the previous restrictions have been eased, mask-wearing, social distancing, a night-time curfew, sanitation at shops and offices and restrictions on international travel means we are not yet back to “normal”. With talk of a third wave, people are concerned about the pandemic even as the numbers of those infected and requiring hospitalisation has dropped significantly in recent months. Will Covid-19 eventually disappear, or will it become endemic, like the common cold (another coronavirus) or flu (an influenza virus)? Scientists think the latter and that we will eventually develop immunity to the general virus but might require booster shots of vaccine as new variants evolve. According to statistics from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), about 12,000 people die each year from flu, but as it examined statistics for the end of 2020, only one case had been recorded. Now, either sanitisation or other measures have lessened the effect of influenza or we have misdiagnosed Covid and flu cases. “It is a totally unprecedented even to not see flu,” said Cheryl Cohen, who leads NICD’s respiratory disease team. She said it could be due to the coronavirus restrictions that flu had virtually disappeared over this period. However, Covid-19 is reported to have killed more than 52,000 people since March 2019, so there is still a need for caution. The vaccine rollout is also not proceeding at a fast pace.
ON the local front, a dispute between neighbours in Riversbend has been ongoing for a couple of years. The construction of a home was challenged by a neighbour, though the plans had been approved, but prior to a change in regulations pertaining to roof height. Other issues were also raised. Ndlambe Municipality was contacted three weeks ago to clarify the situation but failed to respond.
SIPHE Mzaidume’s cricket clinic for youngsters, held last weekend, was an unmitigated success. So much so that he is holding another clinic this Saturday before he leaves to return to the UK where he currently resides. The clinic will be held at the Port Alfred Country Club. Call Mzaidume on 072-873-4869 to book your child’s place.
NAUSEATING smells and pools of raw sewage are prolific in Port Alfred and the surrounding area and, despite the municipality having hired contractors to fix the problem, things seem to only be getting worse. The town needs to be involved in sorting this problem out as it affects everyone. Social media posts complaining of the problem fall on deaf ears so, perhaps, a town hall meeting must be called and the problem hammered out. Sewage on our streets will discourage holidaymakers, and lead to serious health problems.
HAPPY birthday greetings and all good wishes to everyone enjoying a birthday in the week ahead, especially Jean Wright, Charlene Palmer, Ronnie Slaughter, Anne Roos, Ragel Fleischack, Margie du Preez, Danica Kukard, Bradley Ford, Hannah Charter, Malcolm Cock, Jean Rodgerson, Eve van Rooyen, Brian Burnette, Colin Purdon, Morgan Hunke, Lara Heny, Barbara Morgan, Jon Houzet, Charleen Foster, Abenathi Stuurman, Melissa Bowles, Karl Badenhorst, Bianca Steenkamp, Irene Tawse, Trevor Langley, Brent Thorp, Valerie Chalker, Kudu Pancoust, Debbie Ford, Karen Wilson, Kian Swanepoel, Arthur Beresford, Odette Gailey, Eleanor Taai, Lesley Stevenson, Cecile Welgemoed, Barry Rudman, Nicholas McCreath, Jillian Tyson, Clair Meiring, Rory Gardner, Steven Minaar, Christo Kok, Inke Sap, AngeliqueTimm, Herman Purdon, Bernard du Plessis, Lesley Futter, Buddy Brownlee, Erin Brits, Caitlin Bessinger, Joyce Webb, Tracy Mills Willemse, Sue Bradfield, Maartje Verhaak, Sonia Nginase, Fanie Behrens, Phillip Swanepoel, Kelly van der Merwe, Terry Lansdell.
FURTHER success and congratulations to the following businesses celebrating another anniversary, especially Independent Property Consultants (Van der Riet Street), LP Gaz (Bathurst Street), Petticoat Lane and the Presbyterian Church, which is celebrating its 33rd anniversary in Port Alfred.
MOTORISTS have been hit once again with a huge fuel price hike of R1 per litre on petrol, as from midnight on Tuesday. The price of fuel is now approaching a record. Added to this, the 15% electricity price increase and the loss of jobs through Covid-19 has many unable to afford even basic requirements such as food, rent and transport. As electricity prices escalate, so manufacturers and other businesses will be required to raise prices until inflation becomes unmanageable. Government needs to fix the problems at Eskom, as consumers can no longer afford to prop it and other inefficient SEOs like Denel, SAPO and SAA up. Government needs to invite private companies to assist and not complain if they make a profit, which is after all what the free market is all about. They would not allow their infrastructure to crumble as it would be their own money they were losing, not ours. With last year’s figures in brackets to compare at the time of going to press, the Rand was trading at R14.56 to the Dollar (R18.15), R2 .09 to the Pound (R22.52) and R17.28 to the Euro (R19.86). Gold is $1,739.87 per fine ounce ($1,595.56), with platinum at $1,219.92 per ounce ($730.00). Brent Crude Oil is trading at $62.84 per barrel ($27.95).
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 and Lesley Stevenson.
OUR condolences to the family and friends of Marius Ackerman, who died suddenly last weekend at just 37 years old. Marius, who worked as a technician for Sky Alarms, always had a friendly greeting for everyone he knew. We especially think of his wife Jodiene and their beautiful daughter Amoré. May memories of good times spent together carry you in these very sad times.
WEDDING anniversary congratulations and good wishes for many more great years ahead to Dave and Arleen Young, Graham and Joan Norman, Olly and Bianca Kirby, Kevyn and Lindsay Letley, Terry and Gisella Brickhill, Colin and Louise Wiggett, Robert and Marjorie Sparks, Peter and Doffie van der Byl, Thomas and Bonny Blaine, Stephan and Angela Drennan, and Hettie and Chris Fourie.
THOUGHT for the week: “Happiness is having dreams; success is making those dreams come true.”.
BEST regards as always,