This is diabolical. I mean, sure, all the signs were there; biblical, scientific, geographic, historic and even fictitious – writers, filmmakers, theologists and philosophers have all seized the day. At some point a would-be great artist foretold the story of a deadly virus that would sweep through the planet, make its way into the economic centres of the world and destroy it all. COVID-19? Is it here to cover an owed due; to balance an unsettled score or is it just another door mankind has to open before we can qualify to go to the next frontier; Africa / Mars? Will this be our defining moment?
40 years of…
In my 4 decades on the planet I have witnessed mankind achieve some unbelievable feats; some small humane acts of kindness and generosity, some giant steps into the future, some physical jumps in the human condition and once in a while there was the odd bout of pure fucking evil. Though I would like to believe that the good stuff outweighs the bad, the truth is my experience and my reality are worlds apart. When Prince Charles married Princess Diana, to some people, even in Africa, this was a very big deal. When Mother Theresa came to S. Africa and opened a church in Khayelitsha to fight HIV it was regarded as a holy moment. When Tupac and Biggie where shot it was a wake up call to how far society would go to suppress the black voice. When a concorde took flight and seconds later crashed it was seen as poor engineering or when the Oceanos went down off the coast of East London it was seen as negligence by the staff and ships captain. When George W. Bush Jr as president went after Saddam Hussein following 911 it was seen as the head of capitalism raring its ugly head out. When the Nintendo released its game console in ’85, it was seen as a technological advancement. When Madiba was released from prison, it was seen as the world course-correcting and seeing the light.
Opening Pandora’s Box
Though both world wars hindered any progress we made in the world, one cannot deny that in the last 40 years we opened Pandora’s box and got both the extremely good and the magnificently bad out of it. Today, the whole world wrestles in panic as we take on a killer decease that has engulfed every country and almost every city in the world. COVID-19, is the real deal, my friends. No cure, no treatment, no colour and no prejudice. Even though most recorded cases are elderly there have been many young deaths that have come out of an ignorance to understand this disease. This last week, in SA, we saw people hurtling into shopping malls in crisis-mode to purchase goods in order to barricade themselves into the homes in isolation and to prevent the spread of the virus from spreading. We saw some people take to the beaches for fake safety to get their last tan before the pending lockdown. We also saw “defiant ones” who when the president announced his stay home strategy took to the streets, bars and shebeens* to party up a storm and drink themselves into a stupor knowing fully well that their families and kin would have no way to protect themselves from the coming infection of this virus. The reactions and degrees of panic have varied and will still vary as we go into the next 21 days. There is no one right way to fight this virus as this is an anomaly in the world. Never in our non biblical history have we experienced anything like this.
Let’s fight together
Wuhan, though 26 travelling hours from Cape Town, has rattled our human cages the world through, but this disease does not belong to Wuhan alone. It is our burden to bare. It is going to be a difficult journey should we choose to rebel against sound judgment that collectively aims to protect us all or not. What is certain is that our economy will not survive this pandemic and neither will some of our loved ones. So even if you think that washing your hand and social distancing is a waste of time try and make them a thing from today. For some social distancing began long before it became institutionalised. They already felt humans were too tough to bare. Imagine that we are the last frontier and the state of the planet is now in our hands. We can choose to defend the world together or watch as our world comes to an abrasive end. The ball is in our court.
We want to use this platform as an avenue to embrace the change that we are embarking on. We know a lot of you have questions, about this disease, about this new life, about where we should stand and how we should fight – Though we don’t have all the answers, we would like to open this space to create dialogue that seeks to build rather than destroy. So if you have anything you wish to talk about, share or simply bring to light to our community; please feel free to reach out to us by leaving a comment or by emailing us to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will post, share and discuss your plight. Never have the words “Each one teach one” rung truer.