Levels. What levels? For whom? It’s 11pm as I type this and there’s drag racing in my neighbourhood in Durban. I hear engines revving and tyres screeching. Curfew? They don’t care.
In fact, I have encountered that blasè attitude in the last two days and it baffles me. With coronavirus infections spiking daily, the expectation is that less people will be out and about and if they are, they will be taking the necessary precautions. That isn’t happening. There’s traffic on a daily basis; a lot of traffic. There are people crammed into cars, with children. Masks are either off their faces or non-existent. And there are some people having a party. Yes, a jol. I can hear the music blaring right now, right down to the beat of the song. It’s from a distance or I would report them; I kid you not.
Level 3 is just hours away. More than 8 million people are expected to return to work. I’m grateful for that, as households have been under pressure and our economy too. But for some, levels meant nothing. It was always business and party as usual. That for me is the greatest danger. We cannot go back to life as it was, ever again. We need to be extra cautious in all aspects – from washing our hands regularly to social distancing. If anything, coronavirus should teach us the value of this gift called life. Those who have succumbed to this virus leave behind families and now, all that these families they can hold onto are the memories. The next time you ask about or check the numbers; remember these are people; people like you and I.
We may not be happy with or support everything our government is doing and that is the power of our democracy. Let us continue raising our voices, our pens and pushing at our keyboards as we see fit. But let us also be practical. A week ago, President Cyril Ramaphosa reminded us of former president Nelson’s Mandela’s words. He said… “It is in your hands, ” and with that he gave each of us an immense responsibility; to protect ourselves, our families, communities, colleagues and fellow citizens. Level 3 demands great responsibility. Let’s hold ourselves to account FIRST…