OUT TO LUNCH
Casting an eye over the foreign media, as we news junkies are wont to do, one gets the distinct impression that there is an international commonality of complaints when it comes to the handling of COVID-19. Chief amongst these is that the governments don’t know what they’re doing which is fair comment. Unless you’ve managed a major viral pandemic before the chances of getting everything right on this one are slim indeed.
When China eventually fessed up and admitted to the existence of a new and particularly virulent strain of flu they decided to put the whole of Wuhan city in lockdown. As the virus rapidly spread throughout the world in early 2020 to other countries their governments did precisely the same. As deaths mounted in Italy and France and lockdowns became stricter other European countries joined the global panic and enforced lockdowns of their own, some more repressive than others.
The great authority on viral pandemics in the UK, Prof Neil Ferguson of Imperial College, London predicted in March that the coronavirus could easily claim 500 000 lives in the UK. That would be enough to spook any government. As it turns out Ferguson, who was busy flattening the curves of his married girlfriend while demanding that everybody else observe social distancing, was horribly wrong (as it turns out he has been in the past) and the death rate, while high, has been nowhere near this prediction.
So if governments are being accused of not knowing what they are doing it’s almost certainly because those who are advising them can’t agree on the right strategy. Trusting the science is turning out to be unreliable because for every well qualified and respected scientist who suggests that the only way to beat this is to lock people up in their homes for three months there are others who confidently claim that lockdown makes absolutely no difference to the transmission of the disease and people should be allowed to go about their daily lives if they take sensible precautions. No surprise then that we are all confused.
One of the problems has been media coverage. COVID-19 has been sold to us by the media as a mass killer. It is true that if you are elderly, or have an underlying chronic illness, the disease is often deadly.
But many people, who do not fall into either of these two categories, now assume that if you are unlucky enough to get it then you first have to self isolate at home until your conditions become worse. Then you will be moved to a hospital ICU where you may have to be connected to a ventilator. In the unlikely event of you surviving that then you can go home.
Mention is seldom made in the press of the huge majority of younger, healthy people toughing it out at home as one would a bad dose of flu maybe and not even having to visit a hospital. But I guess that would hardly make for sensationalist news.
In South Africa, the death toll stands at 286 cases after seven weeks of Sharia law style lockdown and economic paralysis. The government argues that the toll would have been eight times higher if they hadn’t imposed lockdown but provided no scientific evidence to support that claim. The number of daily cases of local transmission, and deaths, have risen steadily upwards from the start of the lockdown, and will continue to rise further until the peak is eventually reached.
The government’s own failure then to stop the spread of the disease will no doubt now be used to continue to scare the hell out of people, and resist any efforts to lift even the most absurd and destructive lockdown restrictions.
Scared people are malleable people as the ANC is finding out to its delight. Which is why the loudest voices calling for the continuation of the lockdown are coming from those with guaranteed, well paid, taxpayer sponsored, cushy jobs in government or in the social sciences departments of our more Marxist universities.
Those questioning the economic wisdom of the lockdown and arguing whether the ends justify the means are vilified by embedded journalists as putting profits above lives. White privilege is regularly trotted out by the lefties as the only reason for our being concerned about the extended lockdown. Apparently it’s not our concern for the starving poor and the unemployed which motivates us but the fact that we cannot cope another week without our domestic help; a narrative gleefully carried by the main stream media.
While most other countries are desperate to get their damaged economies up and running as soon as possible, South Africa seems in no hurry to do the same. The reason for that is very simple and it’s all to do with the ANC’s wet dream of developing a Marxist/Leninist Utopia, the National Democratic Revolution.
Up until the last Moody’s downgrade there was a slim chance that, despite the ANC’s best efforts to sabotage the economy over the past decade, we might just about survive as a going concern. Those hopes have been dashed by Covid-19 which has turned out to be the ANC’s greatest weapon against us.
Under the pretence of wanting to protect lives the ANC have moved into top gear with their plans for transition. The smart move on their part was to put up a well dressed billionaire as the credible frontman because nobody likes to be shouted at by someone in an ill fitting military uniform. Well not this early in the revolutionary process at any rate. The fact that the smooth talking frontman openly confesses to having fruitful confessions with international scumbags like Maduro and Rouhani should set off alarm bells but evidently it hasn’t.
The best comparison I can come up with is that of a chronic alcoholic. Somebody who has sunk so low that he can go no lower and is beyond help. Somebody who has lost all self pride and no longer cares what anybody thinks of him. At that stage of degradation it really doesn’t matter what the alcoholic does and soiling himself or waking up in a pool of his own vomit becomes a daily occurrence.
There is now nothing that the rest of the world can do to stop South Africa’s decline. That’s assuming that, with their own problems, they would be remotely interested in doing so. No threat of sanctions would be effective because we no longer have an economy that would suffer under sanctions.
An election is still four years away and the lucky ones who have managed to survive starvation will only then need to be schmoozed with false promises of houses, jobs and healthcare. That’s assuming there will be any more elections and, because elections are expensive to hold, maybe it would be a better idea to dispense with them completely, particularly as the result will be a foregone conclusion.
As our pension funds are raided, our properties seized, our personal freedoms curtailed, our economy laid waste and our central bank hijacked and turned into a money printing machine we can only stand by and wonder how on earth we allowed it to happen. We are about to discover what it’s like to wake up in a pool of our own vomit every morning.