Time for a bit of an update from the Homepocalypse…

We are living in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, in case any of you forgot.

And while i know that none of you who read my blog would ever be those people, it really seems like there are a lot of them.

Main road Plumstead/Southfield on the way to pick up groceries or meds from the Pharmacy gives off this impression if life happening largely as normal. While the roads are definitely still a lot quieter, there is an alarming number of people on the streets, many with masks but also too many without.

The recent picture i saw of Muizenberg i think it was, with people sitting unmasked at an outside restaurant spot with a lot of people in close proximity and very little social distancing, was deeply disturbing.

i honestly believe that it will take the death of a loved one to get the majority of people to take this thing seriously again, if they ever did.

People are doing their ‘People tend towards shtupidt’ thing again, and it is truly infuriating.

[Disclaimer: This post is in no way directed at anyone who is living in areas where social distancing is tricky or downright impossible. We have at least a two worlds experience in this country and i have a whole deeper lever of understanding and empathy for those who live in townships and informal settlements. Yes, the same dangers apply, but my rage is directed at those who have the means and the space and the relative comfort at home to be able to do much better than they are currently doing]

An Interesting Turn of Events

We are on something close to day 90 of the lockdown i believe it is. So three months of largely being away from the people and many of the things that we love.

It IS challenging. But it seems that, for a lot of people, the biggest challenge is to resist selfishness or the deepest lack of concern for other people.

In the midst of this though, there is some good news. Val showed me this fascinating article last night from BBC.com

It basically plots out the numbers of expected deaths of a country comparing it to actual deaths alongside corona deaths. The main focus for the majority of the countries is that there is an increase in actual deaths over expected deaths not linked to corona which might suggest that corona figures aren’t accurate.

However, it gets really interesting when you get to South Africa and see a very different result from most other countries that were mentioned.

The number of deaths in South Africa has been 9% lower than average, with about 7,400 fewer people dying than usual.

This has largely been attributed to a decrease in road deaths and murders , with alcohol being a chief suspect in this regard:

With people confined to their homes, South Africa saw fewer reported deaths from common incidents such as traffic accidents.

Epidemiologist Professor Debbie Bradshaw from the South African Medical Research Council notes: “Homicides almost halved with alcohol sales being banned.

“But at the same time we think the other infectious diseases were probably affected as well; the more usual flu or severe pneumonias that come about in winter were also slowed down.”

As restrictions have eased, weekly deaths have begun to climb back to normal levels.

The Pandemic has saved lives for us

How ironic and tragic that a deadly worldwide disease has actually made our lives safer, because of how dangerous we are to each other under normal circumstances.

We lose something like 14 thousand people every year to road deaths. That really feels like a number you would want to get serious about fixing if you were running things. But then look how hectic South Africans get about their alcohol. And within days of dropping the ban on alcohol the hospitals were filled. But for the most part, we just don’t care because we will always attribute those kinds of deaths to someone else.

It has been super encouraging having some kind of connection – via Val – to our local Community Action Network [CAN]. Literally hundreds of households have been kept alive [and that’s just this one CAN which is one of so many across the country!] by food vouchers and distributed goods. The hope is that this kind of community mobilisation, connectedness and action will continue beyond lockdown. That instead of simply waiting for government to get their act together and make a difference, we can start making a more tangible one at grass roots level.

CAN Quiz Night

Get Your Quiz On

In fact, one practical way you can help right now is to gather a team and join us this Thursday for a Quiz night that will be raising funds for the various local CANs. So if you have the money, please consider mobilising your friends for a fun interactive night with a vision.

Get your tickets now on https://qkt.io/klrGpF (All proceeds from tickets bought on this link go to our CAN)

Another positive thing that has happened during this Pandemic is that many of the CAN groups have adopted Common Change as their way of collecting and distributing money to meet needs. i have not blogged about Common Change for a while, but i do talk about it a lot. Basically groups of people sharing money into aa common pool to meet the needs of people they know. So in this time people have become a little more creative about how they do their giving, and that is exciting.

People have found creative ways to connect meaningfully through drive-bys and protective gear and Zoom birthday calls and online board game arenas and more.

Stop Stopping!

My fear for so many people out there who seem to largely have returned to life as normal is that it is going to take someone they know dying to be the wake-up call they need.

We have to continue to take this seriously. South Africa has been really fortunate so far in terms of deaths per cases and the general spread. While this may still grow exponentially, we need to do everything we can do to make sure we are not adding to the problem.

Speak to your people! This is on all of us! 

Wear the masks, social the distance, wash the hands, make the circle of people you connect with as small as possible and for as short a time as possible. Long times in small spaces seem to be the biggest cause of the spread. Churches? Stoppit!

Stay connected to people during these homepocalypse times in the creative ways you and others have found.

White people: Work on your race vibes – 40 Tips for white People asking ‘But what can I do?’

Men: Work on your men vibes – 40 Tips for men asking ‘How can we make a difference to the women around us?’

Parents: Okay, you probably all need a good long break but keep going! You’ve made it this far! But if you want some ideas, click here.

Jesus people: Hopefully this time has been a reflective one for you, but here are some ideas to consider.

And if you don’t fit into any of those groups, then maybe pour yourself a drink [and drink it responsibly!] cos you probably need a break. Or take some time checking out our Kids YouTube channel and sharing it with your friends who have children!

Stay at home people! Just because we have the permission to do all of the things, we still hopefully have the mindset and responsibility and compassion for others and even concern for our own lives to live well and safely, and to be more of the solution than the problem.

Well done on making it this far. But it is not over yet! We will get through this homepocalypse. Stay safe! For you and for others!