This is our final episode until the lockdown ends.
To contain the spread of COVD-19 (coronavirus disease) the South African government has declared a nationwide lockdown. This means that all shops and businesses are closed (except those providing essential services) and that you cannot leave your home (except under strictly controlled circumstances). But there is hope! Not only has the National Arts Festival announced plans to go completely virtual, but many restaurants (and companies like Dial-a-Picnic) are now offering home delivery, much like many estates (and brands like Frost Popsicles) have special deals on wine. And while our podcast will be taking a break until we can promote events again, Cape Town’s beauty isn’t going away anytime soon. Take care and stay safe!
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Here are this week’s links (updated Monday 17 August):
- It’s been over five months since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19. It was meant to be a three-week lockdown (with only a few essential services and certain businesses allowed to operate) but it got extended based on different alert levels, with us starting at level 5, moving down to level 4, then to level 3 (which was amended and adjusted), and finally (after predictions about the possibilities) moving to level 2. (If you’re struggling to keep up, there’s an app for that.)
- Over the last few months, we’ve answered many questions and learned many things about the coronavirus, including the sad reality that COVID-19 is way deadlier than the flu. Indeed, based on our response to COVID-19, it’s clear that the lockdown has worked in South Africa, which is in line with the international evidence that speedy lockdowns save lives. Still, it was never meant to go on forever. The lockdown was mostly to prepare us for the increased cases (for example, by converting the CTICC into a temporary COVID-19 hospital and turning an Old Mutual training centre into a quarantine facility).
- Right now, the best bet is for a coronavirus vaccine, but we’re still a long way from that. So the only way for us to keep flattening the curve together and stay safe as we come out of lockdown is to follow the precautions to avoid being infected. Yes, it’s tough to stay at home when you’d much rather be out enjoying the beauty of Cape Town. But there are good reasons why social distancing is important during the COVID-19 pandemic (and fun things to do at home, like this quirky lockdown personality quiz).
- So please keep staying at home and making use of the companies offering essential delivery across Cape Town. But if you absolutely have to go out, wear a mask and maintain good hygiene. And if you come into contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, or are concerned that you might be at risk of COVID-19, follow the guide to self-quarantine. Finally, remember to only trust reliable sources for news, including the SA Coronavirus website and other great apps for the lockdown.
- Ultimately, The Economist sums it up well: “You may have lost interest in the pandemic. It has not lost interest in you.” In other words, we have to accept and adapt to this new way of life. Still, it’s good to know that Cape Town was beautiful before COVID-19 and that the city’s beauty is worth the wait.
If you enjoyed exploring the best ways to fight COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) in Cape Town, here are similar posts:
- COVID-19 has throttled South Africa’s economy (The Economist)
- In South Africa, burial traditions upended by COVID-19 (The New York Times)
- Why South Africa’s coronavirus outbreak could be a ‘catalyst for transformation’ (National Geographic)