As of today [or tomorrow depending on how you interpret ‘Monday midnight’ we are in Lockdown stage 2.
What this means is a fairly extensive amount of changes and release of restrictions, including the following:
The following changes will take effect under Lockdown stage 2:
- All restrictions on inter-provincial travel will be lifted.
- Accommodation, hospitality venues and tours will be permitted according to approved protocols to ensure social distancing.
- Restaurants, bars and taverns will be permitted to operate according to approved protocols as to times of operation and numbers of people.
- Restrictions on the sale of tobacco will be lifted.
- The suspension of the sale of alcohol will be lifted subject to certain restrictions.
- Alcohol will be permitted for on-site consumption in licensed establishments only up until 10pm.
- Liquor outlets will be allowed to sell alcohol for off-site consumption from Monday to Thursday during the hours of 9am to 5pm only.
- Restrictions on family and social visits will also be lifted, although everyone is urged to exercise extreme caution and undertake such visits only if necessary.
The following restrictions will remain in place:
- Current restrictions on international travel will remain in place.
- No gatherings of more than 50 people will be permitted. Among others, this includes funerals and religious events.
- Spectators will not be permitted at sporting events.
- The curfew will remain in place between the hours of 10pm and 4am.
However, what this also means, at least from my perspective, is the following:
DO NOT GO CRAZY, PEOPLE! WE ARE ADULTS HERE [or at the very least, adult-presenting!]
We all saw what happened after alcohol ban I was cancelled and the hospitals filled up overnight. Like little kids at a birthday party there was a general rush of “MUST EAT ALL THE THINGS!!!”
It did not end well for us, and, to be honest, it feels like a move to Lockdown stage 2 might see a whole lot of the same.
This Can be a Good Thing
i think the most important thing to remember is that THERE IS STILL A PANDEMIC GOING ON!
This sadly does not work like T. Rump suggests it does in that if you don’t do any tests you don’t have any cases.
Half a million people [that we know of] have been inflicted with Covid_19 in South Africa and close to 12 thousand people [that we know of] have died from it. [You can catch up on the latest stats over here]
Maybe that doesn’t seem like a lot of people when you look at the population of South Africa. But take a moment to listen to the story of just one person who has lost their parent or their spouse or even both parents and it will seem like a number that is way too extreme.
One of the biggest problems has been the number of people not taking it seriously enough during lockdown III. i can’t see a single one of them suddenly deciding they should take this more seriously – but as we hit Lockdown II i can see a whole lot more people joining team Irresponsible.
Wearing a mask and doing social distancing seem like two really easy things [for most people, yes there are medical exceptions but that doesn’t make this change for the majority or become any less true]. And limiting the number of people you spend time with overall. And yes, this blog piece and my whole philosophy of this is directed at middle class and typically white people who have the means to be able to do this fairly easily. When you talk about townships and other overcrowded spaces it is obviously a whole lot more difficult and i do not hold them to the same restrictions. But for those of us who can, we must!
Think outside of your box
This is the thing which a lot of people have still not seemed to have grasped. You might not be personally worried about catching the disease. You might think you’re strong enough to handle it and survive. But if you give it to me then you risk giving it to my parents or Val’s dad. And that is where things start hitting fans.
It’s about our responsibility to those we know who are immuno-compromised. Like Val is actually with her asthma, and me to a lesser extent i guess with my much less severe but still present asthma. The elderly and the sick. We have to be thinking bigger picture on this – who are the people i might be affecting and who might they be affecting. It’s not rocket science here – the less people i allow into my circle, the less people have a chance of catching it or passing it on.
For the most part, Val and i have continued to live as if we are in Lockdown 5 in terms of how seriously we take this thing, with some exceptions. And in the last few weeks we have made a lot more use of the exercise opportunities [while avoiding high volume of people areas] and had some greater connection with a small extended group of friends. And will likely continue to do so in Lockdown stage 2.
My ask is not that you necessarily do the same.
i would be ecstatic if everyone could just agree to wear a mask when out [one that covers your nose and mouth cos your neck will be fine, studies show!] and stay in small groups of people. And keep your circle relatively small or maybe change it up every couple of weeks but don’t be seeing all the people you know all the time now.
If we could get that one right and just take this thing as a serious threat, then i think we would be well on the way to limiting the damage as much as we can.
And as we crawl towards a time when we can explore what a new post-corona world looks like [or one less curtailed by corona at least] let us remember to keep an eye out for people around us that we can help. There are SO many people struggling right now and if you have the means, please be reaching out and linking arms and helping us all get through this together.
Let’s breathe and embrace the new freedoms that have been extended to us and let’s continue to be the change that is needed in the communities around us. But please let’s be responsible and loving and safe.
What are your thoughts on Lockdown stage 2?
[If you’re looking for some inspiration to be part of changing the world during lockdown, click here]